For the third year in a row, St. Paul, MN-based Ecolab Inc. (ECL - Free Report) has been selected as a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (“DJSI”), the global indicator tracking the financial performance of leading sustainability-driven companies. Launched in 1999, DJSI is considered as a benchmark in this area. The index is drawn up by Dow Jones in collaboration with investment management firm Strategic Asset Management (“SAM”).
Ecolab has been selected as a leader in corporate sustainability by the DJSI. The company claims is recognition of its world class services, products, and programs, as well as the successful integration of corporate responsibility and sustainability into overall business practices. This is the third consecutive year the company has been selected and the company’s fourth listing since 2012.
Ecolab is a leading provider of water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that protect people and vital resources. The company's programs and services helps in promoting safe food, maintaining clean environments, optimizing water and energy use and improving operational efficiencies for customers in the food, energy, healthcare, industrial and hospitality markets in more than 170 countries.
Ecolab had an impressive run on the bourse over the last six months, trading above the industry in terms of price performance. A glimpse at the price movement reveals that Ecolab’s shares have gained 5.1% against the industry’s 0.6% decline.
The company’s prospects in the Global Industrial and Global Institutional business segments reflect positivity. In the last reported quarter, sales at both these segments scaled 3%, on a year-over-year basis. Furthermore, Ecolab boasts compelling fundamentals with revenues and adjusted earnings multiplying at a rate of 4.6% and 13.7%, over the last three years.
However, on the flip side, unfavorable foreign currency and the impact of Venezuelan deconsolidation are expected to hurt earnings in the near term. Also escalating costs and expenses are weighing on its margins. Last month, a comparative study of Ecolab’s forward P/E (forward 12-month basis) multiple reflected that the stock has been quite overvalued.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Ecolab currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
A few better-ranked medical stocks are Edwards Lifesciences Corporation (EW - Free Report) , Lantheus Holdings, Inc. (LNTH - Free Report) and IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (IDXX - Free Report) . Edwards Lifesciences sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Lantheus Holdings and IDEXX Laboratories carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Edwards Lifesciences has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 15.2%. The stock has surged roughly 25.9% over the last six months.
Lantheus Holdings has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 12.5%. The stock has rallied 25.8% over the last six months.
IDEXX Laboratories has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 19.8%. The stock has gained around 5.4% over the last six months.
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