Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) Earns Hold Rating from BMO Capital Markets Analysts

BMO Capital Markets analysts have started covering the shares of Ecolab (NYSE: ECL – Get an Assessment) in a research report published on Friday, reports TipRanks. The brokerage has set a “holding” rating and a price target of $191.00 on shares of the basic materials company. BMO Capital Markets’ price target points to a potential upside of 11.55% from the stock’s previous close.

Several other research companies have also published reports on ECL. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft cut its target price on Ecolab from $230.00 to $210.00 in a Thursday, February 17 report. Bank of America upgraded Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and cut its price target for the stock from $210.00 to $196.00 in a Tuesday, March 22 report. Edward Jones upgraded Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a Thursday, March 17 report. Atlantic Securities launched coverage on Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, April 5. They issued an “overweight” rating and a price target of $210.00 on the stock. Finally, UBS Group upgraded Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised its price target for the company from $186.00 to $205.00 in a research note on Thursday. Nine equity research analysts gave the stock a hold rating and nine gave the company a buy rating. Based on MarketBeat data, Ecolab currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $200.65.

Ecolab shares were down $1.91 on Friday, hitting $171.22. 19,900 shares of the company were traded, against an average volume of 1,090,305. Ecolab has a one-year low of $154.31 and a one-year high of $238.93. The company has a 50-day moving average of $170.86 and a 200-day moving average of $192.12. The company has a current ratio of 1.27, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a debt ratio of 1.16. The company has a market capitalization of $48.91 billion, a price/earnings ratio of 44.65, a PEG ratio of 2.48 and a beta of 1.05.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL – Get Rating) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 26. The basic materials company reported EPS of $0.82 for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.82. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.35% and a net margin of 8.45%. The company posted revenue of $3.27 billion for the quarter, versus analyst estimates of $3.19 billion. During the same period a year earlier, the company posted EPS of $0.81. The company’s revenue for the quarter increased 13.2% year over year. Analysts predict Ecolab will post earnings per share of 5.19 for the current year.

Separately, director Tracy B. Mckibben acquired 1,475 shares of the company in a transaction that took place on Friday, April 29. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $170.00 per share, for a total transaction of $250,750.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 6,746 shares of the company, valued at approximately $1,146,820. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, accessible via this hyperlink. Additionally, director David Maclennan purchased 600 shares of Ecolab in a trade that took place on Thursday, May 5. The shares were acquired at an average price of $171.01 per share, with a total value of $102,606.00. Following completion of the transaction, the administrator now owns 11,351 shares of the company, valued at $1,941,134.51. Disclosure of this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 1.04% of the shares of the company.

Several large investors have recently changed their positions in ECL. Ahrens Investment Partners LLC purchased a new equity stake in Ecolab in Q4 for approximately $25,000. Rational Advisors LLC increased its stake in Ecolab shares by 133.3% in the 4th quarter. Rational Advisors LLC now owns 105 shares of the basic materials company worth $25,000 after buying 60 more shares in the last quarter. US Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Ecolab during Q1 for $25,000. EverSource Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Ecolab during Q4 valued at $26,000. Finally, Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. bought a new position in Ecolab stock in Q3 worth $28,000. 75.04% of the shares are held by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Ecolab Company Profile (Get a rating)

Ecolab Inc provides water, sanitation, and infection control solutions and services in the United States and around the world. The Company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional & Specialty and Global Healthcare & Life Sciences segments. The Global Industrial segment provides water treatment and treatment applications, as well as cleaning and sanitation solutions to manufacturing, food and beverage processing, transportation, chemical, metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, commercial laundry, petroleum, refining and petrochemicals.

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