Ecolab is focused on constantly improving stockholder value. Every year, we work aggressively to improve our growth, profitability and market positions in order to provide our stockholders consistent, reliable, and superior earnings growth.
Strong Earnings Growth
Our industry-leading products, systems, and service enable Ecolab to achieve steady and attractive growth and profitability. Through the value we bring customers in terms of better results and lower total costs, we look to further improve on those returns as we drive to meet our 15% earnings per share growth long term objective.
Strong Cash Flow
Because of strong product margins, stable markets, and low capital investment requirements, Ecolab generates a strong cash flow from operations. Our goal is for free cash flow to approximate net income.
Solid Balance Sheet, Attractive Returns
Ecolab's attractive business and strong financial management have resulted in a strong, investment grade balance sheet. This gives Ecolab the financial flexibility to fund its business needs while maintaining financial discipline and yielding attractive returns on assets and investments. Our leverage target is approximately 2 times net debt/EBITDA.
Moderate Capital Investment Requirements
Ecolab is primarily a service business. As a result, capital expenditures have generally been moderate. This allows Ecolab to use its cash resources for other business investment purposes.
Stable, Growing Markets
Ecolab's solutions in these primary markets – food, water, energy and healthcare – tend to be less sensitive to the economic cycles faced by many other businesses. Since Ecolab products fulfill basic global needs, they are less susceptible to reduction in tough economic times. This has provided Ecolab with a relatively stable market in which to do business.