Patten & Patten Inc. TN lowered its position in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 19.3% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 19,131 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 4,575 shares during the period. Patten & Patten Inc. TN’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $2,819,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the 4th quarter worth $42,000. Moody National Bank Trust Division purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the 4th quarter worth $83,000. Ancora Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Ecolab in the third quarter valued at $107,000. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. purchased a new stake in Ecolab in the third quarter valued at $110,000. Finally, Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware purchased a new stake in Ecolab in the third quarter valued at $147,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.95% of the company’s stock.
In related news, Director Leslie S. Biller sold 2,811 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $160.40, for a total transaction of $450,884.40. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 57,842 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,277,856.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 1.50% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
NYSE:ECL traded up $0.56 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $159.17. 735,158 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 952,262. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $125.74 and a 52-week high of $162.91. The company has a market cap of $45.98 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.94, a P/E/G ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 0.89. The company has a quick ratio of 0.90, a current ratio of 1.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 18th were given a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 17th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.16%. This is a positive change from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.41. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 39.23%.
A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on ECL. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 29th. BMO Capital Markets upped their target price on shares of Ecolab from $151.00 to $159.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 1st. Seaport Global Securities restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, February 5th. Deutsche Bank upped their target price on shares of Ecolab from $150.00 to $162.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, November 5th. Finally, Oppenheimer restated a “market perform” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, November 21st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $159.36.
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.
See Also: Hedge Funds