Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Waste Management (WM) to “Buy”

Waste Management (NYSE:WM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $101.00 price target on the business services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 11.68% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Waste Management continues to execute its core operating initiatives and instill price and cost discipline to achieve better margins. The company's successful cost-reduction initiatives have helped it achieve EBITDA growth. Its solid waste business is in great shape. Waste Management continues to enjoy dominant market capitalization and has a steady annual dividend policy. The company is increasingly focusing on maximizing return on disposal network.  The stock has outperformed the industry in the past year. On the flip side, high debt remains a major concern. Also, the company faces seasonal fluctuations in revenues.”

Several other analysts have also issued reports on the stock. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price target on shares of Waste Management to $98.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, October 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. ValuEngine raised shares of Waste Management from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 18th. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. Waste Management presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $94.00.

Shares of WM stock opened at $90.44 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $38.63 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.09, a P/E/G ratio of 1.85 and a beta of 0.70. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48, a quick ratio of 0.72 and a current ratio of 0.75. Waste Management has a 52 week low of $77.14 and a 52 week high of $92.85.

Waste Management (NYSE:WM) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 25th. The business services provider reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.02. Waste Management had a net margin of 14.94% and a return on equity of 27.38%. The company had revenue of $3.74 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.76 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.81 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts predict that Waste Management will post 4.08 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Rainier Group Investment Advisory LLC purchased a new position in Waste Management in the 1st quarter worth approximately $135,000. Private Capital Group LLC grew its stake in Waste Management by 295.3% in the 1st quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 2,625 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $221,000 after buying an additional 1,961 shares in the last quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC grew its stake in Waste Management by 8.4% in the 1st quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC now owns 43,164 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $3,631,000 after buying an additional 3,344 shares in the last quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB grew its stake in Waste Management by 6.6% in the 1st quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 63,759 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $5,363,000 after buying an additional 3,945 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Summit Trail Advisors LLC grew its stake in Waste Management by 8,276.6% in the 1st quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC now owns 152,621 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $153,000 after buying an additional 150,799 shares in the last quarter. 74.71% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Waste Management

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.

Further Reading: Diversification

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