Ecolab (NYSE: ECL) has recently received a number of price target changes and ratings updates:

  • 5/2/2019 – Ecolab had its price target raised by analysts at BMO Capital Markets from $169.00 to $180.00. They now have a “market perform” rating on the stock.
  • 5/2/2019 – Ecolab was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Ecolab ended the first quarter on a tepid note. The company continues to gain from its core Global Industrial and Global Institutional units. Ecolab also benefited from strength in Pest Control and Colloidal technologies which drove its Other segment. Management is optimistic about the spin-off of its Upstream Energy business and acquisitions which are likely to drive segmental gains ahead. Ecolab’s cost-efficiency initiatives are expected to result in approximately $200 million of SG&A savings by 2021. Growth in Asia Pacific and Latin America is a positive. Expansion in operating margin is encouraging as well. On the flip side, year-over-year decline in the Global Energy segment raises concern. Quarterly earnings were affected by unfavorable currency movement. In fact, management expects foreign exchange to mar earnings in the quarters ahead. The company operates in highly competitive chemical speciality markets, which adds to woes.”
  • 5/2/2019 – Ecolab had its price target lowered by analysts at Nomura from $210.00 to $208.00. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 5/1/2019 – Ecolab had its price target raised by analysts at UBS Group AG from $186.00 to $191.00. They now have a “neutral” rating on the stock.
  • 5/1/2019 – Ecolab had its price target raised by analysts at Argus from $180.00 to $200.00. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 5/1/2019 – Ecolab had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Bank of America Corp. They now have a $200.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $178.00.
  • 5/1/2019 – Ecolab had its price target raised by analysts at Canaccord Genuity from $186.00 to $198.00. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 4/24/2019 – Ecolab was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating. According to Zacks, “Contraction in gross margin in recent times is discouraging for Ecolab. Ecolab operates in highly competitive markets, which might mar prospects over the long haul. Ecolab faces pricing pressure in the Energy segment, which is also likely to hurt profits. However, the company continues to gain from its core Global Industrial segment, which saw solid growth in recent times. Ecolab also gained from strength in Pest Control and Colloidal technologies, which currently drives its Other segment. Management is also optimistic about the spin-off of its Upstream Energy business as a standalone publicly-traded company. Ecolab’s cost-efficiency initiative is expected to result in approximately $200 million of SG&A savings by 2021. Global Institutional unit saw strong overseas sales recently. The recent launch of the Smart Water Navigator is encouraging as well. Ecolab has outperformed the industry in a year’s time.”
  • 4/18/2019 – Ecolab was downgraded by analysts at UBS Group AG from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating. They now have a $186.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $180.00.
  • 4/18/2019 – Ecolab was upgraded by analysts at Nomura from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $210.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $170.00.
  • 4/5/2019 – Ecolab was downgraded by analysts at Edward Jones from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating.

Shares of NYSE:ECL traded down $0.66 during trading on Friday, reaching $181.52. 33,375 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 931,354. The firm has a market cap of $51.84 billion, a PE ratio of 34.58, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.44 and a beta of 0.89. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $135.77 and a 52-week high of $186.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 0.75 and a current ratio of 1.14.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.03 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.02 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $3.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.57 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.50% and a net margin of 10.06%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.91 earnings per share. Research analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.9 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, June 18th will be paid a $0.46 dividend. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.01%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, June 17th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 35.05%.

In related news, EVP Angela M. Busch sold 3,027 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $172.26, for a total value of $521,431.02. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 18,907 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,256,919.82. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 2,969 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $183.27, for a total value of $544,128.63. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 7,732 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,417,043.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 335,758 shares of company stock valued at $57,738,346 in the last ninety days. 1.52% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. M Holdings Securities Inc. lifted its position in Ecolab by 1.5% during the first quarter. M Holdings Securities Inc. now owns 7,195 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,270,000 after buying an additional 108 shares during the period. Horizon Investments LLC lifted its position in Ecolab by 15.8% during the first quarter. Horizon Investments LLC now owns 19,737 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $3,484,000 after buying an additional 2,691 shares during the period. FMR LLC lifted its position in Ecolab by 186.7% during the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 620,059 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $109,465,000 after buying an additional 403,800 shares during the period. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Ecolab by 255.9% during the first quarter. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC now owns 10,364 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,830,000 after buying an additional 7,452 shares during the period. Finally, IHT Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in Ecolab during the first quarter valued at $208,000. 76.54% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, Global Energy, and Other segments. The Global Industrial segment offers water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, transportation, chemical, primary metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, and commercial laundry.

See Also: Outstanding Shares, Buying and Selling Stocks

Receive News & Ratings for Ecolab Inc Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Ecolab Inc and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.