Stocks: LaFleur & Godfrey LLC Invests $16.541 Million in Ecolab Inc. (ECL)

Stocks: LaFleur & Godfrey LLC Invests $16.541 Million in Ecolab Inc. (ECL)

LaFleur & Godfrey LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund acquired 131,971 shares of the basic materials company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,541,000. Ecolab accounts for 4.5% of LaFleur & Godfrey LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 3rd largest position.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. JNBA Financial Advisors raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 45.5% in the fourth quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 850 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 266 shares in the last quarter. Elgethun Capital Management bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the fourth quarter worth about $117,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter worth about $134,000. Perigon Wealth Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 26.2% in the fourth quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,262 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $158,000 after buying an additional 262 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Barometer Capital Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter worth about $201,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.09% of the company’s stock.

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) traded up 0.14% during trading on Friday, hitting $126.91. 57,997 shares of the stock traded hands. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $125.90 and its 200 day moving average price is $121.12. Ecolab Inc. has a 12 month low of $110.65 and a 12 month high of $129.85. The company has a market cap of $36.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.98 and a beta of 0.90.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, May 2nd. The basic materials company reported $0.80 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $3.17 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.16 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 8.11% and a return on equity of 19.08%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.77 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.78 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 17th. Investors of record on Tuesday, June 20th will be paid a $0.37 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, June 16th. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.17%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is currently 41.11%.

A number of analysts recently weighed in on ECL shares. Nomura raised shares of Ecolab from a “reduce” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $99.00 to $118.00 in a research note on Monday, April 3rd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, February 24th. Edward Jones raised shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 22nd. Longbow Research lowered shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 22nd. Finally, Instinet raised shares of Ecolab from a “reduce” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $99.00 to $118.00 in a research note on Monday, April 3rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $127.86.

In other news, Director Jerry W. Levin sold 748 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.49, for a total value of $93,118.52. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 32,521 shares in the company, valued at $4,048,539.29. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Carl M. Casale bought 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 5th. The stock was bought at an average price of $126.33 per share, with a total value of $631,650.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 11,495 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,452,163.35. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Ecolab Company Profile

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. The Company’s cleaning and sanitizing programs and products, pest elimination services and equipment maintenance and repair services support customers in the foodservice, food and beverage processing, hospitality, healthcare, government and education, retail, textile care and commercial facilities management sectors in over 170 countries.

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