Waste Management (WM) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Waste Management (NYSE:WM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday. The brokerage currently has a $102.00 price objective on the business services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 11.33% from the stock’s current price.

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, seasonality causes considerable fluctuations in Waste Management’s revenues. A debt-laden balance sheet remains a major concern.”

Several other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on WM. ValuEngine cut Waste Management from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 29th. BMO Capital Markets lifted their target price on Waste Management to $98.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, October 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 target price on shares of Waste Management in a report on Thursday, October 25th. UBS Group set a $90.00 target price on Waste Management and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 26th. Finally, Raymond James reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Waste Management in a report on Monday, October 29th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $96.67.

Shares of Waste Management stock traded up $0.78 on Monday, reaching $91.62. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 52,852 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,046,875. The firm has a market cap of $38.73 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.40, a PEG ratio of 1.78 and a beta of 0.64. Waste Management has a 52 week low of $78.39 and a 52 week high of $93.29. The company has a current ratio of 0.87, a quick ratio of 0.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.53.

Waste Management (NYSE:WM) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The business services provider reported $1.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.11 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $3.82 billion for 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 research analysts forecast that Waste Management will post 4.14 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, VP Jeff M. Harris sold 24,500 shares of Waste Management stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $90.00, for a total value of $2,205,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Insiders own 0.30% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd increased its stake in Waste Management by 1,095.4% during the second quarter. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd now owns 1,303 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $106,000 after acquiring an additional 1,194 shares during the last quarter. Almanack Investment Partners LLC. bought a new stake in Waste Management during the third quarter worth approximately $112,000. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. boosted its position in shares of Waste Management by 546.0% during the second quarter. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. now owns 1,447 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $118,000 after buying an additional 1,223 shares during the period. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Waste Management by 15.1% during the second quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 112,038 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $128,000 after buying an additional 14,720 shares during the period. Finally, Vigilant Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Waste Management by 200.0% during the third quarter. Vigilant Capital Management LLC now owns 1,500 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $136,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the period. 75.00% of the stock is currently owned by 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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