The Board of Directors of Ecolab Inc. declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.155 per common share, to be paid April 15, 2010, to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 9, 2010. Ecolab has paid cash dividends on its common stock for 73 consecutive years.
At the same time, the Board of Directors authorized the company to repurchase up to 10 million additional shares of Ecolab stock. As of December 31, 2009, Ecolab had approximately 2.7 million shares remaining under a previous repurchase authorization approved in October 2006. Ecolab had approximately 236.3 million shares outstanding on January 31, 2010.
Ecolab is currently trading at $45.54 with a price target of $50, representing about 10% additional upside. The dividend and share repurchase announcement reiterate some of the reasons why ECL was purchased.