Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC Buys 3,322 Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL)

Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC increased its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 34.1% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 13,063 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 3,322 shares during the period. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $2,036,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in ECL. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the 4th quarter worth about $391,675,000. Alecta Pensionsforsakring Omsesidigt boosted its holdings in Ecolab by 43.5% in the 1st quarter. Alecta Pensionsforsakring Omsesidigt now owns 3,105,468 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $483,894,000 after purchasing an additional 941,468 shares during the period. Girard Partners LTD. boosted its holdings in Ecolab by 2,375.6% in the 1st quarter. Girard Partners LTD. now owns 514,678 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $3,924,000 after purchasing an additional 493,888 shares during the period. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Ecolab by 36.5% in the 4th quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,843,772 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $355,826,000 after purchasing an additional 493,401 shares during the period. Finally, Pictet Asset Management Ltd. boosted its holdings in Ecolab by 12.9% in the 4th quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 3,336,411 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $643,894,000 after purchasing an additional 381,681 shares during the period. 74.17% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

ECL stock opened at $200.50 on Friday. The company has a 50 day simple moving average of $182.15 and a 200 day simple moving average of $186.92. The stock has a market cap of $57.96 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 37.90, a P/E/G ratio of 3.82 and a beta of 0.99. Ecolab Inc. has a 1 year low of $124.60 and a 1 year high of $211.24. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.76, a current ratio of 1.51 and a quick ratio of 1.15.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 28th. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.07. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.32% and a return on equity of 20.12%. The business had revenue of $3.58 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.49 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.03 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.06 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, June 16th will be given a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, June 15th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 32.30%.

In other Ecolab news, EVP Jill S. Wyant sold 24,084 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $195.07, for a total value of $4,698,065.88. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 34,018 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,635,891.26. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Jill S. Wyant sold 72,606 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $204.02, for a total transaction of $14,813,076.12. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 34,018 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,940,352.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 108,844 shares of company stock valued at $21,878,694. Corporate insiders own 1.22% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts have recently commented on ECL shares. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $204.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, March 4th. BMO Capital Markets boosted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $171.00 to $177.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 29th. Cfra boosted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $170.00 to $197.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 30th. UBS Group boosted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $165.00 to $200.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 29th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and dropped their target price for the company from $200.00 to $152.00 in a research report on Tuesday, March 17th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $188.15.

About Ecolab

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, Global Energy, and Other segments. The Global Industrial segment offers water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, transportation, chemical, primary metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, and commercial laundry.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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