BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 1.5% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 15,713,077 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 226,031 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. owned about 5.44% of Ecolab worth $2,108,380,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at about $125,000. Community Bank N.A. purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at about $140,000. Cerebellum GP LLC purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at about $174,000. Chelsea Counsel Co. purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the 4th quarter worth approximately $201,000. Finally, Wesbanco Bank Inc. purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the 4th quarter worth approximately $201,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.52% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) opened at $131.49 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a current ratio of 1.23 and a quick ratio of 0.83. The stock has a market capitalization of $37,990.00, a P/E ratio of 29.61, a PEG ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 1.06. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $121.50 and a 52-week high of $140.50.
Several equities research analysts have commented on the company. UBS Group boosted their price objective on Ecolab from $147.00 to $148.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price objective on Ecolab from $129.00 to $137.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Friday, January 19th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $155.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, January 29th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $140.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $140.07.
In other news, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 11,644 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $137.50, for a total value of $1,601,050.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 109,542 shares in the company, valued at $15,062,025. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Michael A. Hickey sold 19,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $137.54, for a total value of $2,654,522.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 43,262 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,950,255.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 57,446 shares of company stock valued at $7,886,307 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. The Company’s cleaning and sanitizing programs and products, pest elimination services and equipment maintenance and repair services support customers in the foodservice, food and beverage processing, hospitality, healthcare, government and education, retail, textile care and commercial facilities management sectors in over 170 countries.
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