Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Waste Management Inc. (NYSE:WM) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $71.00 target price on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Waste Management aims to refocus on its core business activities and instill price and cost discipline to achieve better margins. A steady stream of accretive acquisitions is likely to drive earnings growth for the company in future. Waste Management's successful cost-reduction initiatives have helped it in accomplishing remarkable gross margin expansion and EBITDA growth over the quarters. The company’s solid operational position is also reflected in its bullish guidance for 2016. Waste Management has a positive earnings history, beating estimates on all occasions in the last four quarters. Earnings estimates have remained steady in the last 7 days. However, continued decline in average recycling commodity prices and recycling volumes remain headwinds. Stringent government regulations are further likely to restrict operations, while compliance with such regulations increase the operating costs for the company.”
A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on WM. Barclays PLC downgraded Waste Management from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $66.00 to $70.00 in a research note on Tuesday, August 9th. Argus reiterated a buy rating and set a $72.00 price objective on shares of Waste Management in a research note on Wednesday, August 10th. KeyCorp reiterated a hold rating on shares of Waste Management in a research note on Thursday, July 14th. Imperial Capital boosted their price objective on Waste Management from $62.00 to $71.00 and gave the company an in-line rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Macquarie began coverage on Waste Management in a research note on Thursday, August 25th. They set a neutral rating and a $69.00 price objective for the company. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $67.13.
Waste Management (NYSE:WM) opened at 63.76 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $28.20 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.92 and a beta of 0.58. Waste Management has a 1-year low of $50.36 and a 1-year high of $70.50. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $64.15 and its 200 day moving average is $62.56.
Waste Management (NYSE:WM) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.03. The business earned $3.43 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.40 billion. Waste Management had a return on equity of 23.48% and a net margin of 8.73%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.67 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Waste Management will post $2.86 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 23rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 9th were issued a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, September 7th. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.57%. Waste Management’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 63.81%.
In related news, Director Frank M. Clark sold 449 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, July 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.21, for a total transaction of $30,177.29. Following the sale, the director now owns 29,084 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,954,735.64. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Don P. Carpenter sold 1,634 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, July 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.13, for a total value of $108,056.42. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 19,865 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,313,672.45. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.42% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Alexandria Capital LLC raised its stake in Waste Management by 2.7% in the second quarter. Alexandria Capital LLC now owns 1,583 shares of the company’s stock valued at $105,000 after buying an additional 41 shares during the last quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC raised its stake in Waste Management by 0.6% in the second quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 1,715 shares of the company’s stock worth $113,000 after buying an additional 11 shares during the last quarter. Cribstone Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Waste Management during the second quarter worth $132,000. Financial Architects Inc raised its stake in Waste Management by 0.8% in the second quarter. Financial Architects Inc now owns 2,003 shares of the company’s stock worth $132,000 after buying an additional 16 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC raised its stake in Waste Management by 320.0% in the second quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 2,100 shares of the company’s stock worth $139,000 after buying an additional 1,600 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.21% of the company’s stock.
About Waste Management
Waste Management, Inc is a holding company. The Company provides waste management environmental services. The Company’s segments include Solid Waste, which includes its 17 Areas aggregated into three tiers, and Other. The Company’s Solid Waste business is operated and managed locally by its subsidiaries that focuses on geographic areas and provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services.
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