(ECL) Ecolab Launches New Product

Ecolab Inc. (ECL) has launched the Stealth Fusion Fly Light program, a new offering from its Pest Elimination business. The latest proprietary extension of the market-dominating Large Fly Program is used to kill large flies indoors.

The Stealth Fusion Fly Light program integrates Ecolab’s fly light and Stealth Fly Station technology and is used to enhance food safety in places like restaurants by reducing the transmission of germs such as Salmonella and E. coli through flies. Developed by experts at Ecolab Pest Elimination’s Research, Development & Engineering team, the light in the device can eliminate up to 170% more flies than a regular fly light.

Effective from 2013, Ecolab has reorganized its reporting segments to take into account its latest acquisitions and growth in the global economy. The Global Pest Elimination business in now under Ecolab’s “Other” segment.

Revenues from the Global Pest Elimination unit increased 5% year over year in the first quarter of 2013 on the back of solid food and beverage, healthcare and foodservice sales. Further, it benefited from market penetration as well as new services and technologies. Some of the other new offerings from this business unit are the Stealth Fly Station, Stealth Maxima Fly Light, CheckPoint Interior and CheckPoint Exterior Rodent Stations, and Finito.

St. Paul, Minn.-based Ecolab serves the foodservice, food and beverage processing, healthcare and hospitality markets in the U.S. and abroad. The company remains focused on bringing new technologies into the market. Moreover, the company is aggressively pursuing acquisitions to expand into emerging markets for growth.

Although we are impressed by Ecolab’s strong international exposure, we remain cautious about aggressive competition. Challenging economic and market trends in 2013, together with unfavorable internal issues will likely be near-term headwinds for the company. Raw material price inflation also remains a cause of concern.

Ecolab currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other chemical-specialty companies such as American Pacific Corporation (APFC), American Vanguard Corp. (AVD) and Minerals Technologies Inc. (MTX) warrant a look. APFC and AVD carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while MTX is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock.
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