Russell Investments Group Ltd. Reduces Stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL)

Russell Investments Group Ltd. reduced its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECLGet Rating) by 16.0% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 310,025 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 58,974 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $44,893,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Girard Partners LTD. lifted its position in Ecolab by 0.3% during the second quarter. Girard Partners LTD. now owns 25,466 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $3,915,000 after purchasing an additional 66 shares in the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. lifted its position in Ecolab by 2.5% during the second quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. now owns 2,888 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $444,000 after purchasing an additional 71 shares in the last quarter. McKinley Carter Wealth Services Inc. lifted its position in Ecolab by 1.0% during the third quarter. McKinley Carter Wealth Services Inc. now owns 7,221 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,043,000 after purchasing an additional 74 shares in the last quarter. Courier Capital LLC lifted its position in Ecolab by 2.8% during the second quarter. Courier Capital LLC now owns 2,771 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $426,000 after purchasing an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Redmond Asset Management LLC lifted its position in Ecolab by 0.7% during the second quarter. Redmond Asset Management LLC now owns 10,517 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,617,000 after purchasing an additional 77 shares in the last quarter. 86.76% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Ecolab Trading Down 0.4 %

ECL opened at $153.67 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $43.77 billion, a P/E ratio of 39.10, a P/E/G ratio of 2.40 and a beta of 0.98. Ecolab Inc. has a 12 month low of $131.04 and a 12 month high of $193.42. The company has a current ratio of 1.35, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.13. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $148.74 and a 200 day moving average of $154.04.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECLGet Rating) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.30 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.33 by ($0.03). Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.10% and a net margin of 8.13%. The company had revenue of $3.67 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.68 billion. As a group, research analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post 4.47 EPS for the current year.

Ecolab Increases Dividend

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 17th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 20th were given a dividend of $0.53 per share. This represents a $2.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.38%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 19th. This is a positive change from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.51. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 53.94%.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

A number of equities research analysts have commented on ECL shares. StockNews.com started coverage on Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, October 12th. They set a “hold” rating on the stock. Barclays cut Ecolab from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and decreased their price target for the company from $170.00 to $160.00 in a report on Friday, December 2nd. Credit Suisse Group decreased their price target on Ecolab from $175.00 to $170.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, November 7th. Mizuho raised their price target on Ecolab from $158.00 to $163.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, January 12th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company raised their price target on Ecolab from $160.00 to $168.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, January 13th. Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, Ecolab has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $173.13.

Insider Buying and Selling at Ecolab

In other Ecolab news, Director David Maclennan bought 800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 8th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $139.66 per share, for a total transaction of $111,728.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 12,597 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,759,297.02. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Company insiders own 1.04% of the company’s stock.

Ecolab Profile

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Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and infection prevention solutions and services in the United States and internationally. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional & Specialty, and Global Healthcare & Life Sciences segments. The Global Industrial segment offers water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions to manufacturing, food and beverage processing, transportation, chemical, metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, commercial laundry, petroleum, refining, and petrochemical industries.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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