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Ecolab (ECL) to Report Q3 Earnings: What's in the Offing?

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Ecolab, Inc. (ECL - Free Report) is scheduled to report third-quarter 2021 results on Oct 26, before the opening bell.

In the last-reported quarter, the company’s earnings of $1.22 per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.39%. Over the trailing four quarters, its earnings outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate on two occasions, missed the same in one and broke-even in the other one, delivering an earnings surprise of 1.92%, on average.

Let’s see how things have shaped up for Ecolab prior to this announcement.

Global Industrial

The Global Industrial segment witnessed a sales uptick in the second quarter of 2021 on the back of strong new business generated during the pandemic and accelerated pricing. Water sales also grew during the quarter with a surge in light industries sales, driven by strong momentum in new segments like data centers. The Paper business also improved, driven by strong demand for Ecolab's innovative solutions in board and packaging. Also, Food & Beverage continued to improve. These momentums are likely to have continued in the to-be-reported quarter as well, thus driving up revenues.

Robust adoption of the company’s Peroxide Multi Surface Cleaner and Disinfectant for use against SARS-CoV-2 and Sink & Surface Cleaner Sanitizer to address unexpected hygiene challenges are also expected to have contributed robustly to the segmental revenues in the quarter.

Another notable offering from the company is the Exelerate TUFSOIL (a breakthrough ready-to-use gel cleaner and degreaser for food and protein manufacturers), which is likely to have registered continued customer adoption, thus pushing up third-quarter revenues.

Ecolab Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Ecolab Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Ecolab Inc. price-eps-surprise | Ecolab Inc. Quote

The Water Flow Intelligence, a digital service that provides the industry with real-time visibility of water usage at the enterprise, site and asset levels, is another notable contributor to segmental revenues. The product, launched in May, is expected to have continued to witness strong adoption, thus pushing up third-quarter revenues.

Solid prospects in the food retail segment on net new business gains are expected to get reflected in the to-be-reported quarterly results. A shift from restaurants to food retail and increasing demand for hygiene programs are consistently boosting the Food & Beverage business. Also, there has been a strong recovery in the number of restaurants served by Ecolab as well as the number of solutions bought from the company with the gradual reopening of markets. All these factors are likely to have contributed significantly to the company’s third-quarter results.

Other Factors at Work

Ecolab’s Cockroach Multi-Station (launched in May with the aim of enabling foodservice providers to ensure hygienic and safe operations) is likely to have continued to drive the company’s global Pest Elimination (a component of Ecolab’s broader Other segment) revenues in the to-be-reported quarter.

The Global Healthcare and Life Sciences segment is expected to have continued to see revenue growth during the third quarter on the back of higher sales owing to the coronavirus-related demand in both the Healthcare and Life Sciences business lines, as well as benefits from new business. The company’s new virtual visit offering for the life sciences industry, launched in June, to proactively help address cleaning and disinfection challenges, is also likely to have contributed robustly to its segmental revenues.

Notably, the company had opened the Ecolab Healthcare Advanced Design Center in Eagan, MN in August. The innovation center is expected to enable Ecolab Healthcare to partner with medical device industry customers on infection prevention solutions for their surgical equipment and develop new solutions for hospitals and surgery centers. This is also likely to have contributed to revenues in the to-be-reported quarter.

Solid business wins, product and service innovation, investments in new hygiene and digital technologies, and successful sales and profit initiatives are likely to have contributed to Ecolab’s third-quarter performance.

The Estimate Picture

For third-quarter 2021, the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.28 billion for total revenues implies an improvement of 8.8% from the prior-year quarter’s reported figure.

The consensus estimate for earnings per share is pegged at $1.29, implying an uptick of 12.2% from the prior-year period’s reported number.

What Our Model Suggests

Per our proven model, a stock with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) along with a positive Earnings ESP has higher chances of beating estimates. However, this is not the case here as you can see:

Earnings ESP: Ecolab has an Earnings ESP of +1.98%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Stocks Worth a Look

Here are a few medical stocks worth considering, as these have the right combination of elements to beat on earnings this reporting cycle.

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (DGX - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +5.37% and a Zacks Rank of 2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

DexCom, Inc. (DXCM - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +5.46% and a Zacks Rank of 2, at present.

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LH - Free Report) or LabCorp has an Earnings ESP of +27.39% and is a Zacks #2 Ranked stock.