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Northern Trust Corp Trims Stock Position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL)

Ecolab logo with Basic Materials background

Northern Trust Corp lessened its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL - Free Report) by 5.0% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 2,636,348 shares of the basic materials company's stock after selling 138,612 shares during the quarter. Northern Trust Corp owned about 0.92% of Ecolab worth $522,920,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the company. First Personal Financial Services bought a new position in Ecolab in the 4th quarter worth $26,000. Hexagon Capital Partners LLC lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 150.0% during the 4th quarter. Hexagon Capital Partners LLC now owns 135 shares of the basic materials company's stock worth $27,000 after purchasing an additional 81 shares during the last quarter. Motco bought a new stake in Ecolab during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $28,000. Fortitude Family Office LLC acquired a new stake in Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $29,000. Finally, Operose Advisors LLC bought a new position in Ecolab in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $36,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.91% of the company's stock.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

ECL has been the topic of several research analyst reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $220.00 to $225.00 and gave the stock a "neutral" rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed an "outperform" rating and set a $260.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on shares of Ecolab from $230.00 to $240.00 and gave the company an "equal weight" rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 27th. Wolfe Research began coverage on Ecolab in a research note on Friday, March 1st. They set a "peer perform" rating on the stock. Finally, UBS Group raised their price objective on Ecolab from $269.00 to $270.00 and gave the stock a "buy" rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 21st. Eleven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company's stock. According to data from MarketBeat, Ecolab presently has an average rating of "Hold" and a consensus target price of $239.56.


Read Our Latest Analysis on ECL

Insider Activity

In other news, Director David Maclennan acquired 650 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 3rd. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $227.37 per share, for a total transaction of $147,790.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 17,111 shares in the company, valued at $3,890,528.07. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. In related news, Director Arthur J. Higgins sold 4,500 shares of the company's stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $227.52, for a total value of $1,023,840.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 25,548 shares in the company, valued at $5,812,680.96. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director David Maclennan bought 650 shares of the firm's stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 3rd. The shares were bought at an average price of $227.37 per share, with a total value of $147,790.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 17,111 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,890,528.07. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 0.04% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Ecolab Price Performance

Shares of ECL stock traded down $1.28 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $239.24. 1,071,644 shares of the company's stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,166,210. The stock's 50-day moving average is $228.23 and its 200-day moving average is $213.88. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92, a current ratio of 1.41 and a quick ratio of 0.99. The stock has a market cap of $68.32 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 44.30, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.53 and a beta of 1.12. Ecolab Inc. has a 52 week low of $156.72 and a 52 week high of $240.61.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL - Get Free Report) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.33 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.01% and a return on equity of 20.56%. The business had revenue of $3.75 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.74 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.88 EPS. The firm's quarterly revenue was up 5.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post 6.59 EPS for the current year.

Ecolab Announces Dividend

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, June 18th will be paid a $0.57 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, June 18th. This represents a $2.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.95%. Ecolab's dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 42.22%.

About Ecolab

(Free Report)

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and infection prevention solutions and services in the United States and internationally. The company operates through three segments: Global Industrial; Global Institutional & Specialty; and Global Healthcare & Life Sciences. 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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