Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WM) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Thursday morning.
According to Zacks, “Waste Management has underperformed the industry year to date. The pricing environment remains challenging and highly competitive due to aggressive bidding by smaller competitors. Moreover, Waste Management expects volumes to be down due to lower national counts as it strives for improved margin growth and pricing. In addition, continued decline in average recycling commodity prices and recycling volumes remain headwinds. Stringent government regulations are likely to erode profitability as compliance with such regulations increases the operating costs for the company. Time consuming permits and approvals to operate a landfill or any other waste management facility are often difficult to obtain and further act as deterrents. However, Waste Management aims to improve customer retention through better service and high value solutions, while extending its geographic footprint through opportunistic acquisitions.”
A number of other equities analysts have also commented on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus lowered shares of Waste Management from a buy rating to a hold rating and reduced their target price for the stock from $85.00 to $80.00 in a research report on Wednesday. BMO Capital Markets reissued a buy rating and set a $82.00 price objective on shares of Waste Management in a report on Friday, September 8th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. lifted their price objective on shares of Waste Management from $77.00 to $82.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group raised their target price on shares of Waste Management from $80.00 to $85.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Waste Management has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $76.74.
Shares of Waste Management (NYSE WM) opened at 76.28 on Thursday. Waste Management has a 52 week low of $61.08 and a 52 week high of $79.28. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $77.28 and its 200 day moving average price is $74.38. The company has a market cap of $33.57 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.12 and a beta of 0.74.
Waste Management (NYSE:WM) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The business services provider reported $0.81 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.81. Waste Management had a net margin of 9.18% and a return on equity of 25.07%. The firm had revenue of $3.68 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.62 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.74 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Waste Management will post $3.19 EPS for the current year.
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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 22nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 8th were issued a $0.425 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 7th. This represents a $1.70 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.23%. Waste Management’s dividend payout ratio is currently 58.42%.
In related news, Director John C. Pope sold 453 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.38, for a total transaction of $33,694.14. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 51,470 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,828,338.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Patrick W. Gross sold 487 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $74.68, for a total transaction of $36,369.16. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 23,222 shares in the company, valued at $1,734,218.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.19% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. First National Bank of Mount Dora Trust Investment Services purchased a new position in shares of Waste Management in the 3rd quarter valued at $207,000. Bridges Investment Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Waste Management during the 3rd quarter worth $203,000. MPS Loria Financial Planners LLC acquired a new stake in Waste Management during the 2nd quarter worth $182,000. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC acquired a new stake in Waste Management during the 2nd quarter worth $19,445,000. Finally, Hall Laurie J Trustee boosted its stake in Waste Management by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. Hall Laurie J Trustee now owns 18,555 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,361,000 after purchasing an additional 175 shares during the period. 74.93% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
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.
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