JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered shares of Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) from a neutral rating to an underweight rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning, MarketBeat.com reports.
Several other analysts have also issued reports on ECL. Citigroup lifted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $140.00 to $144.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Thursday, February 22nd. Argus reiterated a buy rating and issued a $150.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Thursday, February 22nd. Canaccord Genuity set a $145.00 target price on shares of Ecolab and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, March 12th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ecolab from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $153.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, March 20th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets started coverage on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, March 27th. They issued an outperform rating and a $151.00 target price on the stock. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $144.81.
Shares of Ecolab opened at $138.87 on Friday, according to MarketBeat.com. Ecolab has a 52-week low of $125.74 and a 52-week high of $150.46. The stock has a market capitalization of $40.84 billion, a PE ratio of 29.61, a P/E/G ratio of 2.08 and a beta of 0.98. The company has a current ratio of 1.15, a quick ratio of 0.77 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, May 1st. The basic materials company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.89 by $0.02. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.62% and a return on equity of 19.01%. The business had revenue of $3.47 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.38 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.80 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.8% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts predict that Ecolab will post 5.39 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, June 19th will be given a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, June 18th. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.18%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is presently 34.97%.
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Wagner Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in Ecolab during the fourth quarter worth about $112,000. Signaturefd LLC acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 1st quarter valued at about $131,000. Captrust Financial Advisors acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at about $129,000. Aevitas Wealth Management Inc. acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at about $133,000. Finally, Ashburton Jersey Ltd boosted its holdings in Ecolab by 302.9% in the 4th quarter. Ashburton Jersey Ltd now owns 1,370 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $184,000 after purchasing an additional 1,030 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.83% of the company’s stock.
Ecolab Company Profile
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services for customers worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, and Global Energy segments. The Global Industrial segment provides water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to large industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, chemical, mining and primary metals, power generation, pulp and paper, and commercial laundry industries.
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