Analyst Note| Seth Goldstein, CFA |
Excluding the temporary impact of the Texas winter freeze that occurred in February, Ecolab's first-quarter results were in line with our general expectations for the year. We had expected the first half of the year to reflect a continued recovery from the COVID-19-related slowdown, with stronger second-half results. Management continues to expect 2021 adjusted EPS will be slightly above 2019 levels, excluding a $0.15 impact from the Texas storm, which we think this is achievable. With our long-term outlook for postpandemic growth and margin expansion largely unchanged, we raise our fair value estimate to $200 per share from $195, due largely to the time value of money since our last update. Our wide moat rating is unchanged.