Consumer goods maker Ecolab Inc. (NYSE: ECL) had a rough day last Tuesday after reporting adjusted earnings per share of $1.22, just below the consensus estimate of $1.24. The company also missed revenue estimates, and that made matters worse. The stock, which closed at $108.09 on Monday, closed the next day at $100.14, down about 7.4%.
Two days later the company said it would pay its regular $0.35 quarterly dividend and investors forgave some, if not all, of Ecolab’s sins. The company has paid a dividend for 79 consecutive years, and while the cleaning products maker is not among the S&P Dividend Aristocrats, it has increased its dividend by 14% per year over the past decade, according to TheStreet.com, and by 17% per year in each of the past three years.
Analysts made some adjustments to their price targets, but ratings did not change:
- Barclays cut its price target from $130 to $120 and rates the stock at Overweight.
- Canaccord Genuity cut its price target from $128 to $120 with a Buy rating.
- Deutsche Bank lowered its target price from $116 to $110.
- Jefferies cut its price target to $115 from $120.
- RBC lowered its price target from $124 to $118 with an Outperform rating.
- Stifel cut its price target from $123 to $120 and a Buy rating on the stock.
Ecolab’s shares closed Friday at $106.28, up 2.5% on the day, in a 52-week range of $98.62 to $122.48. The consensus price target on the stock is $113.94, though the latest changes may not yet be included.