Like Sigma-Aldrich, Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) is a company with a huge opportunity to expand its already substantive business in emerging markets such as those in China, India and other Asian nations. The company has carved a great niche in the commercial cleaning and sanitation industry — a business that has kept its business expanding at a 10% clip during the past five years. Revenue also is growing; Ecolab has seen a jump of more than 30% in the past year. Metrics such as gross margins also are stellar at nearly 48%.
On the dividend front, the company has grown its payout by nearly 12% annually over the past five years. It also has been a long-term dividend diva, pumping out payouts to shareholders since 1936. Ecolab’s dividend yield is 1.2%, which is solid if not stellar. Year-to-date, ECL shares are up 13.9%. The combination of yield and upside, along with the company’s future growth prospects, make this stock a great addition to any income watch list.