Wall Street analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) will announce earnings per share (EPS) of $1.55 for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Seven analysts have issued estimates for Ecolab’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $1.53 to $1.59. Ecolab reported earnings of $1.39 per share during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 11.5%. The business is scheduled to issue its next quarterly earnings results before the market opens on Tuesday, February 19th.
According to Zacks, analysts expect that Ecolab will report full year earnings of $5.25 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.24 to $5.30. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the firm will post earnings of $5.92 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.75 to $6.05. Zacks’ EPS calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that follow Ecolab.
A number of research firms recently commented on ECL. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, December 17th. Bank of America began coverage on Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, October 23rd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $123.00 target price on the stock. UBS Group cut Ecolab from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 21st. Barclays lifted their target price on Ecolab from $150.00 to $165.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 24th. Finally, Nomura reduced their price target on Ecolab from $153.00 to $150.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, October 16th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $159.36.
In other news, Director Leslie S. Biller sold 2,811 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $160.40, for a total transaction of $450,884.40. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 57,842 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,277,856.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 1.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of ECL. Patten Group Inc. grew its stake in Ecolab by 4.3% in the 4th quarter. Patten Group Inc. now owns 14,233 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,097,000 after purchasing an additional 583 shares during the period. Standard Life Aberdeen plc raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Standard Life Aberdeen plc now owns 190,663 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $27,627,000 after purchasing an additional 864 shares during the last quarter. Parametrica Management Ltd purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter worth $313,000. Freestone Capital Holdings LLC raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 115.6% in the fourth quarter. Freestone Capital Holdings LLC now owns 3,654 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $538,000 after purchasing an additional 1,959 shares during the last quarter. Finally, TT International raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 2.4% in the fourth quarter. TT International now owns 60,111 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $8,857,000 after purchasing an additional 1,386 shares during the last quarter. 77.29% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
ECL stock opened at $160.10 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $46.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.14, a P/E/G ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 0.89. Ecolab has a 52 week low of $127.19 and a 52 week high of $162.91. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79, a current ratio of 1.34 and a quick ratio of 0.90.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 18th were paid a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 17th. This is a positive change from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.41. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.15%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 39.23%.
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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