Tyson Foods, Ecolab: S&P Gainers

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Tyson Foods ( TSN) and Ecolab ( ECL) were among the best-performing stocks in the S&P 500 on Monday.

The S&P 500 ticked up roughly half a point, or 0.04%, to close at 1,369.58.

Shares of Tyson Foods rose 3.27% to $18.63. The chicken processing company reported second-quarter earnings of $166 million, or 44 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $159 million, or 42 cents. Analysts, on average, expected Tyson to earn 38 cents a share on $8.47 billion.

Second-quarter sales were $8.3 billion, up from $8 billion last year.

Shares of Tyson Foods currently trade at an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 8.13X; the average for food products companies is 17.71X. For comparison, ConAgra ( CAG) has a higher forward P/E of 13.37X.

Ten of the 15 analysts who cover Tyson Foods rate it at buy; five analysts give the stock a hold rating.

The stock has fallen 9.74% year to date.

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Ecolab shares gained 2.28% Monday to $64.96. The move came after the company announced that its shareholder rights plan was modified to allow Cascade Investment and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to acquire up to 25% of Ecolab's outstanding shares in the future.

Shares of Ecolab hit a 52-week high Monday of $65.34. The stock's 52-week low of $43.81 was set on Aug. 9.

Ecolab shares currently trade at a forward P/E of 18.17X; the average for specialty chemical companies is 12.09X. For comparison, Mosaic ( MOS) has a lower forward P/E of 9.98X.

Eleven of the 18 analysts who cover Ecolab rate it at buy. Six analysts give the stock a hold rating and one rates it at sell.

The stock has risen 12.37% year to date.

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian in New York.

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