Investing

Top ESG Fund Managers Love and Own These 5 Blue Chip Leaders

Ecolab

This company continues to be widely followed on Wall Street, and 33% of the funds own the shares. Ecolab Inc. (NYSE: ECL) provides water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions and services worldwide.Its Global Industrial segment offers water treatment and process applications, as well as cleaning and sanitizing solutions to manufacturing, food and beverage processing, transportation, chemical, metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, commercial laundry, petroleum and petrochemical industries.

The Global Institutional & Specialty segment provides specialized cleaning and sanitizing products to the foodservice, hospitality, lodging, government and education and retail industries. Its Global Healthcare & Life Sciences segment offers specialized cleaning and sanitizing products to the health care, personal care and pharmaceutical industries, such as infection prevention and surgical solutions, and end-to-end cleaning and contamination control solutions under the Ecolab, Microtek and Anios brand names.

The Other segment offers pest elimination services to detect, eliminate and prevent pests, such as rodents and insects in restaurants, food and beverage processors, educational and health care facilities, hotels, quick-service restaurant and grocery operations, and other institutional and commercial customers. This segment also provides colloidal silica for binding and polishing applications in semiconductor, catalyst and aerospace component manufacturing, as well as products and services that manage the wash process through custom-designed programs, premium products, dispensing equipment, water and energy management and reduction, as well as real-time data management.

Investors receive just a 0.91% dividend. Deutsche Bank has a $250 price target, and the consensus target is $231.64. Ecolab stock closed on Thursday at $209.83 a share.

Microsoft

This is a more conservative way for investors to participate in the massive cloud growth, and 41% of the funds own the stock. Microsoft Inc. (NASDAQ: MSFT) manufactures, licenses and supports a wide range of software products. The company has transformed its business model from a component-driven model (personal computer, server) to one driven by the need for cloud capacity.

Many Wall Street analysts agree that Microsoft has become a clear number two in the public or hyper-scale cloud infrastructure market with Azure, which is the company’s cloud computing platform offerings, and which continues growing at triple-digit levels. Some have flagged Azure as the biggest rival to Amazon’s AWS service.

Some analysts maintain that Microsoft is discounting Azure for large enterprises, so that Azure may be cheaper than AWS for larger users. The cloud was big in the 2020 earnings reports and will remain a growing part of the software giant’s earnings profile.

Holders of Microsoft stock receive a 0.80% dividend. The $305 BofA Securities price target compares with a $298.92 consensus price objective and the closing price on Thursday of $277.42.