Analyzing US Ecology (ECOL) & The Competition

US Ecology (NASDAQ: ECOL) is one of 20 publicly-traded companies in the “Waste Management, Disposal & Recycling Services” industry, but how does it weigh in compared to its competitors? We will compare US Ecology to similar businesses based on the strength of its profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership, risk and earnings.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

85.5% of US Ecology shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 52.2% of shares of all “Waste Management, Disposal & Recycling Services” companies are held by institutional investors. 1.3% of US Ecology shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 12.3% of shares of all “Waste Management, Disposal & Recycling Services” companies are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares US Ecology and its competitors gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue NetIncome Price/Earnings Ratio
US Ecology $477.67 million $34.25 million 41.46
US Ecology Competitors $850.65 million $28.19 million 156.27

US Ecology’s competitors have higher revenue, but lower earnings than US Ecology. US Ecology is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its competitors, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Profitability

This table compares US Ecology and its competitors’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
US Ecology 5.39% 10.35% 3.78%
US Ecology Competitors -281.35% -70.62% -14.88%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for US Ecology and its competitors, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
US Ecology 1 1 2 0 2.25
US Ecology Competitors 44 279 586 14 2.62

US Ecology presently has a consensus price target of $51.25, indicating a potential upside of 3.02%. As a group, “Waste Management, Disposal & Recycling Services” companies have a potential upside of 8.25%. Given US Ecology’s competitors stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe US Ecology has less favorable growth aspects than its competitors.

Volatility and Risk

US Ecology has a beta of 0.7, indicating that its stock price is 30% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, US Ecology’s competitors have a beta of 0.77, indicating that their average stock price is 23% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

US Ecology pays an annual dividend of $0.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. US Ecology pays out 60.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Waste Management, Disposal & Recycling Services” companies pay a dividend yield of 1.9% and pay out 98.2% of their earnings in the form of a dividend.

Summary

US Ecology competitors beat US Ecology on 9 of the 15 factors compared.

US Ecology Company Profile

US Ecology, Inc. is a provider of environmental services to commercial and government entities. The Company offers treatment, disposal and recycling of hazardous, non-hazardous and radioactive waste, as well as a range of field and industrial services. The Company operates in two business segments: Environmental Services, and Field & Industrial Services. Its Environmental Services segment provides a range of hazardous material management services, including transportation, recycling, treatment and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste at Company-owned landfill, wastewater and other treatment facilities. The Company’s Field & Industrial Services segment provides packaging and collection of hazardous waste and total waste management solutions at customer sites and through its transfer facilities. Its services include on-site management, waste characterization, transportation and disposal of non-hazardous and hazardous waste.

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