Waste Management Inc. (NYSE:WM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday. The firm presently has a $71.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price points to a potential upside of 11.20% from the company’s current price.
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.”
Several other research analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $75.00 price target (up previously from $70.00) on shares of Waste Management in a report on Monday, July 18th. Wedbush restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $73.00 target price on shares of Waste Management in a report on Thursday, July 28th. KeyCorp upgraded shares of Waste Management from a “sector weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $74.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, August 9th. Macquarie began coverage on shares of Waste Management in a report on Thursday, August 25th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $69.00 target price for the company. Finally, Imperial Capital upped their target price on shares of Waste Management from $62.00 to $71.00 and gave the company an “in-line” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Waste Management currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $67.13.
Shares of Waste Management (NYSE:WM) opened at 63.85 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $28.24 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.95 and a beta of 0.58. Waste Management has a 52-week low of $49.49 and a 52-week high of $70.50. The company’s 50-day moving average is $64.33 and its 200 day moving average is $62.52.
Waste Management (NYSE:WM) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.74 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.03. Waste Management had a net margin of 8.73% and a return on equity of 23.48%. The company earned $3.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.40 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.67 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 3.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Waste Management will post $2.86 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 23rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 9th were given a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, September 7th. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.57%. Waste Management’s payout ratio is currently 63.81%.
In other news, Director Thomas H. Weidemeyer sold 449 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.58, for a total value of $30,343.42. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 24,383 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,647,803.14. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CFO James C. Fish, Jr. sold 7,400 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.59, for a total transaction of $492,766.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 99,615 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,633,362.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.42% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Group LTD increased its position in shares of Waste Management by 10.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 4,107,659 shares of the company’s stock worth $242,351,000 after buying an additional 377,447 shares in the last quarter. FDO Partners LLC increased its position in shares of Waste Management by 16.7% in the first quarter. FDO Partners LLC now owns 6,230 shares of the company’s stock worth $368,000 after buying an additional 893 shares in the last quarter. Connable Office Inc. bought a new position in shares of Waste Management during the first quarter worth about $2,164,000. Willingdon Wealth Management bought a new position in shares of Waste Management during the first quarter worth about $1,933,000. Finally, Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. increased its position in shares of Waste Management by 11.2% in the first quarter. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. now owns 14,311 shares of the company’s stock worth $844,000 after buying an additional 1,445 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.21% of the company’s stock.
Waste Management Company Profile
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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