Waste Management Target of Unusually High Options Trading (WM)

Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WM) saw some unusual options trading on Wednesday. Investors purchased 2,229 put options on the stock. This is an increase of 643% compared to the average volume of 300 put options.

WM has been the topic of a number of research reports. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $82.00 price objective on shares of Waste Management in a report on Friday, September 8th. Stifel Nicolaus lowered Waste Management from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $85.00 to $80.00 in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Waste Management from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, October 5th. Bank of America cut their price objective on Waste Management from $85.00 to $83.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, October 5th. Finally, KeyCorp increased their price objective on Waste Management from $80.00 to $84.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, October 13th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $86.44.

Waste Management (NYSE WM) opened at $87.99 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.68, a current ratio of 0.71 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.60. The firm has a market capitalization of $38,210.00, a PE ratio of 28.29, a PEG ratio of 2.62 and a beta of 0.75. Waste Management has a 1-year low of $69.00 and a 1-year high of $88.40.

Waste Management (NYSE:WM) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The business services provider reported $0.90 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.88 by $0.02. Waste Management had a return on equity of 25.61% and a net margin of 9.66%. The business had revenue of $3.72 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.71 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.84 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 4.7% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that Waste Management will post 3.2 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Waste Management announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program on Thursday, December 14th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.25 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the business services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 1st were paid a $0.425 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, November 30th. This represents a $1.70 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.93%. Waste Management’s payout ratio is 54.66%.

In related news, SVP Barry H. Caldwell sold 1,650 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.10, for a total transaction of $133,815.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Corporate insiders own 0.19% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. AXA boosted its stake in shares of Waste Management by 15.0% in the second quarter. AXA now owns 450,490 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $33,044,000 after buying an additional 58,630 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of Waste Management by 6.2% in the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 1,466,158 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $114,756,000 after buying an additional 85,636 shares during the last quarter. AGF Investments America Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Waste Management by 3.6% in the second quarter. AGF Investments America Inc. now owns 65,137 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $4,778,000 after buying an additional 2,278 shares during the last quarter. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Waste Management by 4.6% in the second quarter. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. now owns 170,921 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $12,537,000 after buying an additional 7,568 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cambria Investment Management L.P. purchased a new stake in shares of Waste Management in the second quarter worth about $5,535,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.83% of the company’s stock.

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About Waste Management

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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