Factory Mutual Insurance Co. Lowers Stock Position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL)

Factory Mutual Insurance Co. decreased its holdings in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECLGet Rating) by 6.2% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 79,600 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 5,300 shares during the quarter. Factory Mutual Insurance Co.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $14,814,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other large investors have also modified their holdings of the stock. Motley Fool Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Ecolab by 2.0% in the fourth quarter. Motley Fool Asset Management LLC now owns 7,427 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,742,000 after purchasing an additional 149 shares during the period. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 2.5% in the 4th quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. now owns 62,506 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $14,663,000 after buying an additional 1,545 shares during the period. Linscomb & Williams Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 5.3% in the fourth quarter. Linscomb & Williams Inc. now owns 8,014 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,880,000 after buying an additional 403 shares in the last quarter. Nwam LLC grew its holdings in Ecolab by 3.3% during the fourth quarter. Nwam LLC now owns 22,516 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $5,282,000 after acquiring an additional 726 shares during the period. Finally, Covestor Ltd purchased a new position in Ecolab in the fourth quarter worth $45,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.04% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Ecolab stock traded up $2.31 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $161.65. 11,102 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,371,770. The firm has a market capitalization of $46.18 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 41.49, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.47 and a beta of 1.05. The company has a current ratio of 1.27, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.16. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $154.85 and a 52-week high of $238.93. The company has a fifty day moving average of $172.68 and a 200-day moving average of $197.82.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECLGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 26th. The basic materials company reported $0.82 EPS for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.82. Ecolab had a net margin of 8.45% and a return on equity of 19.35%. The company had revenue of $3.27 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.19 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.81 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 13.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.19 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, June 21st will be issued a $0.51 dividend. This represents a $2.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.26%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, June 17th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is currently 53.13%.

In other Ecolab news, Director David Maclennan bought 600 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 5th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $171.01 per share, for a total transaction of $102,606.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 11,351 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,941,134.51. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Tracy B. Mckibben purchased 1,475 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 29th. The stock was bought at an average price of $170.00 per share, with a total value of $250,750.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 6,746 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,146,820. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have acquired 7,075 shares of company stock valued at $1,250,306. 1.04% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of equities analysts have recently weighed in on ECL shares. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and lowered their price target for the stock from $191.00 to $190.00 in a research note on Wednesday, April 27th. Bank of America raised shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and dropped their target price for the company from $210.00 to $196.00 in a report on Tuesday, March 22nd. Credit Suisse Group decreased their price target on Ecolab from $255.00 to $215.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, February 16th. Morgan Stanley dropped their price objective on Ecolab from $240.00 to $200.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, February 17th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada cut Ecolab from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and reduced their price objective for the stock from $245.00 to $225.00 in a report on Friday, January 21st. Ten investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $205.40.

About Ecolab (Get Rating)

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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