Buy on Ecolab

Canaccord Genuity analyst John Quealy reiterated his "buy" recommendation on St. Paul-based Ecolab, which reported solid first-quarter earnings last week. Ecolab's industrial and institutional segments grew 3 percent in the quarter, but sales from recently acquired energy businesses grew 78 percent. He wrote: "We find Ecolab very well positioned to bene­fit from the convergence of population growth, resource volatility and rapid industrialization across the world."

Patience fades on Imation

Eric Martinuzzi, an analyst for Minneapolis-based Lake Street Capital Markets, is the only analyst among four that has a "buy" recommendation on Oakdale-based Imation Corp. Last week he reiterated his "buy" rating but lowered his price target from $8 to $5 per share after the company reported first-quarter results.

"We initiated coverage of Imation in September 2013 with the belief Imation's Storage & Security subsegment (15 percent of revenues) would prove a much needed growth driver,'' Martinuzzi wrote. "Instead S&S has caught the same flu as Imation's other major subsegments. Our patience for the S&S traction is on the wane and is reflected in our lowered price target."

Patrick Kennedy