Topic: How To Invest

Q: Hello. I did not buy Shopify when a friend recommended it to me almost 4 years ago. I, of course, regret that. He has now suggested a company called Ecolab. What is your opinion of this company as a buy?

Article Excerpt

A: Ecolab Inc., $201.83, symbol ECL on New York (Shares outstanding: 284.2 million; Market cap: $57.3 billion; www.ecolab.com), develops and markets chemicals and services for cleaning, pest elimination, sanitizing, and maintenance. It sells to customers in the foodservice, food and beverage processing, healthcare, government, education, and retail segments. The company sells its products through three main divisions: Global Industrial (39% of revenue) serves customers in the water, food & beverage, paper, and textile-care fields; Global Institutional (39%) sells its products to restaurants, hotels, schools and hospitals; and Global Energy (23%) makes chemicals for oil and natural gas exploration firms, oil refineries, and pipeline operators. Pest control products and equipment maintenance services account for most of the remaining 4% of Ecolab’s revenue. The company continues to enjoy strong institutional sales of its cleaning and sanitizing products. However, demand from its restaurant, lodging, and entertainment customers has slowed dramatically. This is because globally these end markets have been shuttered during the coronavirus pandemic. Moreover, they…

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