Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) had its price objective increased by research analysts at Morgan Stanley from $210.00 to $230.00 in a note issued to investors on Tuesday, Benzinga reports. The brokerage currently has an "equal weight" rating on the basic materials company's stock. Morgan Stanley's price objective suggests a potential upside of 1.34% from the stock's current price.
A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. Credit Suisse Group upped their price target on Ecolab from $210.00 to $250.00 and gave the company a "neutral" rating in a report on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research cut Ecolab from a "buy" rating to a "hold" rating and set a $221.00 target price for the company. in a report on Wednesday, February 17th. G.Research upgraded Ecolab from a "hold" rating to a "buy" rating in a report on Friday, January 15th. Gabelli upgraded Ecolab from a "hold" rating to a "buy" rating in a report on Friday, January 15th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded Ecolab from an "underweight" rating to a "neutral" rating and set a $220.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, April 28th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. Ecolab currently has an average rating of "Hold" and a consensus price target of $228.00.
ECL opened at $226.95 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.10, a quick ratio of 1.19 and a current ratio of 1.61. Ecolab has a 52-week low of $181.25 and a 52-week high of $231.36. The stock has a market capitalization of $64.93 billion, a PE ratio of -61.50, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.91 and a beta of 1.01. The stock's 50 day moving average price is $217.48 and its 200-day moving average price is $213.38.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 27th. The basic materials company reported $0.81 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters' consensus estimate of $0.82 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $2.89 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts' expectations of $2.90 billion. Ecolab had a positive return on equity of 18.14% and a negative net margin of 8.21%. Ecolab's revenue for the quarter was down 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.13 earnings per share. Research analysts forecast that Ecolab will post 4.03 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In other Ecolab news, EVP Jill S. Wyant sold 2,613 shares of the company's stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $214.54, for a total value of $560,593.02. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 10,123 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,171,788.42. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 1.22% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Hexavest Inc. bought a new position in shares of Ecolab in the 4th quarter worth $25,000. IronBridge Private Wealth LLC bought a new position in shares of Ecolab in the 4th quarter worth $25,000. West Financial Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Ecolab in the 4th quarter worth $25,000. Glassman Wealth Services raised its position in shares of Ecolab by 81.7% in the 4th quarter. Glassman Wealth Services now owns 149 shares of the basic materials company's stock worth $32,000 after acquiring an additional 67 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Evolution Wealth Advisors LLC increased its position in Ecolab by 52.7% during the 1st quarter. Evolution Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 168 shares of the basic materials company's stock valued at $36,000 after buying an additional 58 shares in the last quarter. 73.58% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and infection prevention solutions and services worldwide. Its 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, and petrochemical industries.
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