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

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 0.7%. By the end of trading, Ecolab fell 85 cents (-1.1%) to $78.88 on average volume. Throughout the day, one million shares of Ecolab exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of one million shares. The stock ranged in price between $78.63-$80.22 after having opened the day at $80.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $79.73. Other companies within the Consumer Non-Durables industry that declined today were: Tufco Technologies ( TFCO), down 7.7%, Mannatech ( MTEX), down 7%, Verso Paper ( VRS), down 4.5%, and Summer Infant ( SUMR), down 4.4%.
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Ecolab Inc. develops and markets programs, products, and services for hospitality, foodservice, healthcare, industrial, and energy markets worldwide. It operates through six segments: U.S. Cleaning and Sanitizing; U.S. Ecolab has a market cap of $23.49 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 33.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, Standard Register Company ( SR), up 30.2%, American Apparel ( APP), up 12.9%, Nu Skin ( NUS), up 5%, and Tandy Brands Accessories ( TBAC), up 4.5%, were all gainers within the consumer non-durables industry with International Paper ( IP) being today's featured consumer non-durables industry leader.

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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