Wall Street brokerages expect that Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) will report $3.89 billion in sales for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Six analysts have made estimates for Ecolab’s earnings. The lowest sales estimate is $3.86 billion and the highest is $3.91 billion. Ecolab reported sales of $3.75 billion during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 3.7%. The business is expected to announce its next earnings report on Tuesday, October 29th.
On average, analysts expect that Ecolab will report full year sales of $15.21 billion for the current fiscal year, with estimates ranging from $15.00 billion to $15.50 billion. For the next financial year, analysts forecast that the business will report sales of $15.70 billion, with estimates ranging from $14.50 billion to $16.27 billion. Zacks’ sales averages are an average based on a survey of research analysts that follow Ecolab.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.42 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.41 by $0.01. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.81% and a net margin of 10.12%. The firm had revenue of $3.76 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.79 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.27 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.9% compared to the same quarter last year.
ECL has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Citigroup upped their price target on Ecolab from $190.00 to $206.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, August 2nd. Zacks Investment Research raised Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. UBS Group set a $202.00 price target on Ecolab and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. Argus upped their price target on Ecolab from $180.00 to $200.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Finally, Canaccord Genuity increased their price objective on Ecolab from $198.00 to $222.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 31st. Twelve equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $192.00.
In other Ecolab news, EVP Darrell R. Brown sold 2,280 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $207.95, for a total value of $474,126.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 8,061 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,676,284.95. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Victoria Reich sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $199.25, for a total value of $298,875.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 20,987 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,181,659.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 94,055 shares of company stock worth $18,660,054. Insiders own 1.52% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Capital Management Corp VA increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 3.9% during the 2nd quarter. Capital Management Corp VA now owns 1,335 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $264,000 after purchasing an additional 50 shares during the last quarter. Gamble Jones Investment Counsel grew its position in Ecolab by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. Gamble Jones Investment Counsel now owns 8,072 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,594,000 after acquiring an additional 50 shares during the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. grew its position in Ecolab by 3.5% during the 1st quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. now owns 1,638 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $289,000 after acquiring an additional 55 shares during the last quarter. Johnson Financial Group Inc. grew its position in Ecolab by 2.6% during the 2nd quarter. Johnson Financial Group Inc. now owns 2,195 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $433,000 after acquiring an additional 56 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cadence Bank NA grew its position in Ecolab by 1.4% during the 1st quarter. Cadence Bank NA now owns 4,110 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $725,000 after acquiring an additional 57 shares during the last quarter. 75.59% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of NYSE ECL traded down $0.22 during trading on Thursday, reaching $206.88. 794,400 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,074,673. Ecolab has a 52-week low of $135.77 and a 52-week high of $209.87. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a current ratio of 1.18 and a quick ratio of 0.78. The company has a 50-day moving average of $200.84 and a 200-day moving average of $184.98. The stock has a market capitalization of $60.02 billion, a P/E ratio of 39.41, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.83 and a beta of 0.84.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 17th will be issued a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 16th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.89%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is currently 35.05%.
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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