The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Ecolab met expectations on revenues and beat slightly on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue increased slightly. Non-GAAP earnings per share expanded significantly. GAAP earnings per share expanded significantly.
Margins grew across the board.
Ecolab booked revenue of $2.87 billion. The 14 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected sales of $2.88 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were the same as the prior-year quarter's.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
EPS came in at $0.60. The 17 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated $0.59 per share. Non-GAAP EPS of $0.60 for Q1 were 20% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.50 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.53 for Q1 were 212% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.17 per share.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
For the quarter, gross margin was 45.5%, 20 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 10.8%, 70 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 5.6%, 380 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. (Margins calculated in GAAP terms.)
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $3.38 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.84.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $13.45 billion. The average EPS estimate is $3.53.
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 273 members out of 287 rating the stock outperform, and 14 members rating it underperform. Among 104 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 104 give Ecolab a green thumbs-up, and give it a red thumbs-down.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Ecolab is outperform, with an average price target of $82.06.
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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.