Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) Stake Reduced by AGF Investments America Inc.

AGF Investments America Inc. decreased its holdings in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.9% in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 53,175 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 466 shares during the quarter. Ecolab accounts for approximately 2.3% of AGF Investments America Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 15th largest position. AGF Investments America Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $11,093,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other large investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Nordea Investment Management AB lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 126.7% in the third quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 3,498,336 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $746,614,000 after buying an additional 1,955,198 shares during the period. Amundi acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 2nd quarter valued at about $204,144,000. Millennium Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 8,040.9% during the 2nd quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 901,030 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $185,585,000 after acquiring an additional 889,962 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 5.3% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 11,743,497 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,424,409,000 after acquiring an additional 587,269 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada increased its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 6.4% during the 2nd quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 4,876,486 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,004,410,000 after acquiring an additional 292,806 shares during the last quarter. 73.61% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE:ECL traded down $6.85 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $216.43. The company had a trading volume of 26,127 shares, compared to its average volume of 808,161. The company has a quick ratio of 1.25, a current ratio of 1.72 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85. The business’s 50 day moving average price is $229.88 and its 200 day moving average price is $222.70. The stock has a market cap of $62.02 billion, a PE ratio of 57.10, a P/E/G ratio of 2.97 and a beta of 1.01. Ecolab Inc. has a 1-year low of $201.15 and a 1-year high of $238.93.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, October 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.30 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $3.32 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.26 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 20.45% and a net margin of 9.08%. Ecolab’s quarterly revenue was up 10.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.15 earnings per share. On average, research analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post 4.84 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 18th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 14th will be given a $0.51 dividend. This is an increase from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 13th. This represents a $2.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.94%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 52.17%.

In related news, EVP Machiel Duijser sold 1,452 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $222.75, for a total value of $323,433.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Timothy P. Mulhere sold 17,913 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $237.48, for a total value of $4,253,979.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 54,991 shares of company stock worth $12,823,269 in the last ninety days. 1.05% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of research analysts have recently commented on the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $230.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, October 27th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft increased their target price on Ecolab from $250.00 to $260.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 27th. Vertical Research began coverage on Ecolab in a research note on Monday, September 27th. They set a “hold” rating and a $189.00 target price for the company. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Ecolab from $230.00 to $240.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Finally, BMO Capital Markets increased their target price on Ecolab from $223.00 to $246.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 27th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat, Ecolab presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $227.30.

About Ecolab

Ecolab, Inc engages in the provision of products and services in the field of water, hygiene, and energy. It operates through the following segments: Global Industrial, Global Institutional & Specialty, Global Energy & Life Science, and Other. The Global Industrial segment consists of the water, food and beverage, paper, and downstream operating segments.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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