Waste Management, Inc. (WM) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WM) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Waste Management is executing well on its initiatives to refocus on the core business activities and instill price and cost discipline to achieve better margins. Waste Management's successful cost-reduction initiatives have further helped it in accomplishing remarkable gross margin expansion and EBITDA growth over the quarters. Waste Management expects yield momentum to continue in its solid waste lines of business in the forthcoming quarters. With strong yield, volume, and cost performance in the first quarter, the company also reiterated its bullish guidance for 2017. However, continued decline in average recycling commodity prices and recycling volumes remain headwinds. The company underperformed the industry in the last three months. The pricing environment also remains challenging and highly competitive due to aggressive bidding by smaller competitors.”

Several other research firms also recently issued reports on WM. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $75.00 price objective on Waste Management and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Saturday, February 18th. Barclays PLC downgraded Waste Management from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $70.00 to $73.00 in a report on Wednesday, March 1st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Wedbush upped their price objective on Waste Management from $72.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Tuesday, February 21st. Finally, KeyCorp upped their price objective on Waste Management from $50.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Thursday, May 11th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $72.01.

Shares of Waste Management (WM) opened at 74.18 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $32.78 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.06 and a beta of 0.71. Waste Management has a one year low of $61.08 and a one year high of $74.58. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $72.62 and a 200 day moving average price of $71.76.

Waste Management (NYSE:WM) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 26th. The business services provider reported $0.66 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.66. Waste Management had a return on equity of 24.76% and a net margin of 8.81%. The firm had revenue of $3.44 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.33 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.58 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Waste Management will post $3.18 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 23rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 9th will be given a dividend of $0.425 per share. This represents a $1.70 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.29%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, June 7th. Waste Management’s payout ratio is 62.04%.

In related news, SVP Barry H. Caldwell sold 8,142 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, April 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.52, for a total value of $598,599.84. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 35,916 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,640,544.32. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, SVP Barry H. Caldwell sold 3,100 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, April 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.50, for a total transaction of $227,850.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 48,813 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,587,755.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 18,242 shares of company stock valued at $1,331,990 in the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 0.19% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America boosted its stake in Waste Management by 0.9% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,568 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $114,000 after buying an additional 14 shares in the last quarter. Choate Investment Advisors boosted its stake in Waste Management by 0.7% in the first quarter. Choate Investment Advisors now owns 3,224 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $235,000 after buying an additional 22 shares in the last quarter. Lakeview Capital Partners LLC boosted its stake in Waste Management by 0.8% in the first quarter. Lakeview Capital Partners LLC now owns 3,630 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $265,000 after buying an additional 30 shares in the last quarter. American Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in Waste Management by 0.7% in the first quarter. American Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,797 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $423,000 after buying an additional 40 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Archford Capital Strategies LLC boosted its stake in Waste Management by 0.3% in the first quarter. Archford Capital Strategies LLC now owns 16,304 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,184,000 after buying an additional 45 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.55% of the company’s stock.

Waste Management Company Profile

Waste Management, Inc (WM) is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is a provider of waste management environmental services. The Company’s segments include Solid Waste and Other. The Company’s Solid Waste segment includes its solid waste business. The Other segment includes its Strategic Business Solutions (WMSBS) organization; its landfill gas-to-energy operations and third-party subcontract and administration services managed by its Energy and Environmental Services and WM Renewable Energy organizations; its recycling brokerage services, and its service offerings and solutions, such as portable self-storage and long distance moving services, fluorescent lamp recycling and interests it holds in oil and gas producing properties.new TradingView.widget({ “height”: 400, “width”: 625, “symbol”: “WM”, “interval”: “D”, “timezone”: “Etc/UTC”, “theme”: “White”, “style”: “1”, “locale”: “en”, “toolbar_bg”: “#f1f3f6”, “enable_publishing”: false, “hideideas”: true, “referral_id”: “2588”});

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