U.S. Markets open in 3 hrs 7 mins

Ecolab's 3Q profit up 54 percent on acquisitions

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Ecolab Inc., a cleaning, food safety and pest-control services company, reported Tuesday that its third-quarter net income jumped 54 percent, driven largely by recent acquisitions.

The St. Paul, Minn.-based company has purchased a number of other businesses recently to help expand its reach and breadth of services. Ecolab completed its acquisition of water treatment company Nalco in December for $5.6 billion. It also bought Ecoform, an Italian company that makes personal care and infection treatment products, in December. And it announced earlier this month that it is buying specialty chemical company Champion Technologies for $2.2 billion.

Ecolab benefited from its expansion, reporting net income of $238 million, or 80 cents per share, for the period that ended Sept. 30. That is up from $154.3 million, or 65 cents per share, earned in the third quarter of last year. After adjusting for special items in both periods, the company earned 87 cents per share versus 75 cents per share last year.

The company's total revenue increased 74 percent to $3.02 billion.

Ecolab CEO Douglas Baker said the integration of Nalco is going very well and its other recent acquisitions are also performing well.

The company expects to earn 87 to 91 cents per share for its fourth quarter on an adjusted basis.

Ecolab also narrowed its 2012 full-year forecast. The company now expects to earn $2.96 to $3 per share for the full year on an adjusted basis, versus its prior forecast of $2.95 to $3.02 per share.