Ecolab Inc. (ECL): Today's Featured Consumer Non-Durables Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Ecolab ( ECL) pushed the Consumer Non-Durables industry lower today making it today's featured Consumer Non-Durables laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Ecolab fell 79 cents (-1.1%) to $72.65 on light volume. Throughout the day, 705,890 shares of Ecolab exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $72.56-$73.70 after having opened the day at $73.38 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $73.44. Other companies within the Consumer Non-Durables industry that declined today were: Mannatech ( MTEX), down 10.7%, Blyth ( BTH), down 8%, Coldwater Creek ( CWTR), down 5.9%, and Nu Skin ( NUS), down 5.1%.
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Ecolab Inc. develops and markets programs, products, and services for the hospitality, foodservice, healthcare, industrial, and energy markets. Ecolab has a market cap of $21.43 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 38.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Ecolab a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ecolab as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the consumer non-durables industry could consider Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ( XLP) while those bearish on the consumer non-durables industry could consider ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods ( SZK).

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