In a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) revealed that Microsoft’s founder and top shareholder, Bill Gates, has bought a considerable number of shares in the company.
A top shareholder is one who owns more than 10% of the company.
How Much of Ecolab Did Gates Buy?
In the latest transaction by Gates, the billionaire bought shares worth $19.65 million over two days. On August 17, Gates bought 66,427 shares at an average price of $174.76 per share, while on August 18, he bought 45,898 shares at an average price of $175.27 per share.
Notably, with this transaction, Gates’ buying spree on the stock continues for this month. The philanthropist has now bought shares worth about $77 million in the company over the past month.
Ecolab fits into Gates’ current investment outlook of investing in companies that are engaged in sustainable growth. Ecolab develops and offers services, technology, and systems with a focus on water treatment, purification, cleaning, and hygiene, among others.
Insiders Remain Neutral on Ecolab
According to the TipRanks’ Insider Trading Activity tool, which also provides a comprehensive list of daily insider transactions, insiders are currently Neutral on Ecolab as corporate insiders have bought ECL shares worth $75.4 million in the last three months.
Interestingly, TipRanks also provides a list of hot stocks that boast of either a Very Positive or Positive insider confidence signal.
Is Ecolab a Good Stock?
Overall, the Wall Street community is cautiously optimistic about the stock with a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on six Buys, eight Holds, and one Sell. The ECL average price target of $180.54 implies the stock has an upside potential of 5.1% from current levels. Shares have declined 21.9% over the past year.
In recent days, Bill Gates has increased his stake in Ecolab. With this latest transaction, Gates reaffirms faith in Ecolab’s prospects. Additionally, the company’s consistent profitability gives it a solid footing too.
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