First Business Financial Services Inc. Boosts Stake in Ecolab Inc. (ECL)

First Business Financial Services Inc. Boosts Stake in Ecolab Inc. (ECL)

First Business Financial Services Inc. increased its stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 6.7% during the third quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 3,828 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 240 shares during the period. First Business Financial Services Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $466,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 6.2% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 3,734,458 shares of the company’s stock valued at $442,907,000 after buying an additional 217,927 shares during the period. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 0.7% in the second quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 3,121,226 shares of the company’s stock valued at $370,179,000 after buying an additional 22,175 shares during the period. CAM Group Holding A S increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 3.2% in the second quarter. CAM Group Holding A S now owns 3,018,465 shares of the company’s stock valued at $357,990,000 after buying an additional 94,504 shares during the period. Mairs & Power INC increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 1.1% in the second quarter. Mairs & Power INC now owns 2,504,143 shares of the company’s stock valued at $296,991,000 after buying an additional 27,029 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Group LTD increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 1.2% in the second quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 2,069,714 shares of the company’s stock valued at $245,468,000 after buying an additional 25,535 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.91% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) traded down 0.09% during trading on Friday, hitting $120.84. 116,201 shares of the stock traded hands. Ecolab Inc. has a 52 week low of $98.62 and a 52 week high of $124.60. The company has a 50-day moving average of $119.49 and a 200-day moving average of $118.96. The firm has a market cap of $35.23 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.59 and a beta of 0.90.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 1st. The company reported $1.28 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.28. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.08% and a net margin of 8.11%. The firm had revenue of $3.39 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.49 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.28 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.40 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 17th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 20th were paid a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.22%. This is a positive change from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.35. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 16th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 41.11%.

Several research analysts recently issued reports on ECL shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $136.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, October 4th. Nomura restated a “sell” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, November 8th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and set a $125.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, November 9th. RBC Capital Markets set a $130.00 target price on shares of Ecolab and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, January 21st. Finally, Barclays PLC restated a “buy” rating and set a $135.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Monday, November 7th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $127.07.

About Ecolab

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. The Company’s segments include Global Industrial, Global Institutional, Global Energy, Other and Corporate. The Global Industrial segment consists of the Water, Food and Beverage, Paper and Textile Care operating units. The Global Institutional segment consists of the Institutional, Specialty and Healthcare operating units.

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