Waste Management (WM) Upgraded at UBS Group

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Waste Management (NYSE:WM) was upgraded by analysts at UBS Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday, The Fly reports.

Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Waste Management from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $104.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Thursday, September 20th. Raymond James reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Waste Management in a research note on Monday, October 29th. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price target on shares of Waste Management in a research note on Thursday, October 25th. Goldman Sachs Group raised Waste Management from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $84.00 to $107.00 in a research note on Tuesday, December 4th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Waste Management from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 18th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating, The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $96.50.

Shares of Waste Management stock opened at $91.87 on Thursday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.84, a current ratio of 0.87 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.53. The company has a market cap of $38.73 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.53, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.66 and a beta of 0.65. Waste Management has a 52 week low of $78.39 and a 52 week high of $95.49.

Waste Management (NYSE:WM) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The business services provider reported $1.15 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.11 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $3.82 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.82 billion. Waste Management had a return on equity of 27.93% and a net margin of 15.60%. On average, equities analysts predict that Waste Management will post 4.14 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Waste Management announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Thursday, December 13th that permits the company to repurchase $1.50 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the business services provider to purchase up to 3.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, VP Jeff M. Harris sold 24,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $90.00, for a total value of $2,205,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CFO Devina A. Rankin sold 8,107 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.41, for a total value of $765,381.87. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 21,373 shares in the company, valued at $2,017,824.93. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.30% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA grew its stake in shares of Waste Management by 5.4% in the third quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA now owns 357,716 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $32,323,000 after acquiring an additional 18,440 shares during the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group boosted its position in shares of Waste Management by 97.0% during the second quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 210,343 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $16,990,000 after buying an additional 103,546 shares during the last quarter. Parsec Financial Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Waste Management during the third quarter valued at $243,000. First Trust Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Waste Management by 24.6% during the third quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 477,415 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $43,139,000 after buying an additional 94,283 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Waste Management by 73.2% during the second quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 37,701 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $3,066,000 after buying an additional 15,932 shares during the last quarter. 74.57% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Waste Management Company Profile

Waste Management, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides waste management environmental services to residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers in North America. It provides collection services, including picking up and transporting waste and recyclable materials from where it was generated to a transfer station, material recovery facility (MRF), or disposal site; and owns, develops, and operates landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States, as well as owns and operates transfer stations.

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