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Ecolab Posts Increased Q4 Profits

February 14, 2001
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New York (Reuters) -- Maintenance services and supplies company Ecolab Inc. says its fourth-quarter earnings rose 10%, just missing analysts' revised estimates, on strong growth in both domestic and international operations.

The St. Paul, Minn.-based company, which develops cleaning, pest elimination and repair products for the hospitality and industrial markets, said that, excluding unusual items, it earned $47 million, or 36 cents a share, for the quarter.

Including gains, the company said it earned $54.8 million, or 42 cents per share, compared with $42.3 million, or 32 cents per diluted share, a year earlier.

Wall Street analysts, who revised their estimates after the company offered lower guidance, on average had been expecting Ecolab to earn 37 cents per share, according to research firm First Call/Thomson Financial.

The company had earlier said that its earnings would rise to 36 cents per share, blaming the slowing economy and currency troubles, and analysts readjusted their earnings estimates from 38 cents per share.

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