Ecolab Inc. (ECL - Free Report) reported second-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings (excluding special gains, charges and tax items) of $1.13 per share, which came above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.12. Earnings improved from $1.08 reported in the year-ago quarter.
Adjusted quarterly net sales were $3.46 billion, up 4% from the year-ago period. Also, net sales came above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.40 billion. The upside came from new business gains, better pricing, product innovation and cost efficiencies. This more than offset higher delivered product costs.
Global Industrial segment’s sales grew 3% year over year to almost $1.21 billion at fixed currency. This was driven by major gains in Paper, with modest increases in Food & Beverage and Water. North America and Latin America led the Global Industrial regional growth. Acquisition-adjusted fixed currency operating income decreased 4% due to higher delivered product costs.
Global Institutional segment sales increased 3% to $1.22 billion, led by strong growth in the Specialty and Healthcare business lines. Acquisition-adjusted fixed currency operating income increased 3% as pricing and sales volume gains more than offset innovation cum customer investments and higher delivered product costs.
Global Energy segment sales increased 5% to $792.4 million owing to strong growth in the well stimulation business and modest gains in the downstream business. Acquisition-adjusted fixed currency operating income decreased 4% due to higher delivered product costs and lower pricing.
Sales from the Other segment climbed 6% year over year to $215.3 million on account of strong growth in Pest Elimination business. Sales in this segment witnessed robust growth in North America. Fixed currency operating income fell 3% as pricing and sales volume gains were offset by higher field investments.
For the third quarter of 2017, Ecolab projects adjusted diluted earnings per share in the range of $1.36–$1.44, compared with $1.28 a year ago.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Currently, Ecolab carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
A few better-ranked stocks in the broader medical sector are Edwards Lifesciences Corporation (EW - Free Report) , CryoLife, Inc. (CRY - Free Report) and Fresenius Medical Care Corporation (FMS - Free Report) . Fresenius Medical Care sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Edwards Lifesciences and CryoLife carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Edwards Lifesciences has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 15.2%. Notably, the stock has a one-year return of 2.3%.
CryoLife delivered a strong return of 35.8% over the last one year. The stock reported a positive earnings surprise of 20% in the previous quarter.
Fresenius Medical Care delivered an impressive return of 4.3% over the last one year. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise of 20.5% in the last reported quarter.
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