Morningstar Rating

Stock Research and Analysis

by Jeffrey Stafford, CFA

Bulls Say

Ecolab's focus on delivering savings on labor, energy, and water for clients makes the firm's products and services attractive even during economic slowdowns.
The company's customers are willing to pay a premium to protect their own brand reputations. For example, a restaurant knows what a food contamination incident can do to its standing with customers.
Commissions make up a large portion of the pay for Ecolab's sales representatives, driving incentives for increased selling and high-level service. Read more 

Bears Say

While Ecolab's international operations present an opportunity to improve profitability, the fact remains that international margins have trailed U.S. margins for many years.
Like many chemical companies, Ecolab is facing rising raw material costs, which could damp its ability to drive earnings growth.
The acquisitions of Nalco and Champion have the potential to take away management's focus from the legacy Ecolab operations. Read more 

Management

Douglas Baker Jr. has been CEO and chairman since 2006. He started at Ecolab in 1989 and held numerous positions, including COO, before moving to his current roles. We think Baker and the rest of management at Ecolab deserve credit for the firm's consistent   Read more 

Profile

Ecolab produces and markets cleaning and sanitation products for the hospitality, health-care, and industrial markets. The firm is the global market share leader in this   Read more 

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