Waste Management (WM) Rating Increased to Buy at UBS Group

Waste Management (NYSE:WM) was upgraded by research analysts at UBS Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday, www.benzinga.com reports. The brokerage currently has a $103.00 target price on the business services provider’s stock, up from their previous target price of $90.00. UBS Group’s target price would indicate a potential upside of 9.98% from the company’s previous close.

A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on WM. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Waste Management from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, December 1st. Goldman Sachs Group raised Waste Management from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $84.00 to $107.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 4th. ValuEngine raised Waste Management from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 18th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets boosted their price target on Waste Management to $98.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, October 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating, Waste Management presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $98.67.

WM opened at $93.65 on Thursday. Waste Management has a 52-week low of $78.39 and a 52-week high of $95.49. The stock has a market cap of $39.17 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.08, a P/E/G ratio of 1.68 and a beta of 0.65. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.53, a quick ratio of 0.84 and a current ratio of 0.87.

Waste Management (NYSE:WM) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The business services provider reported $1.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.11 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $3.82 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.82 billion. Waste Management had a return on equity of 27.93% and a net margin of 15.60%. Equities research analysts predict that Waste Management will post 4.14 EPS for the current year.

Waste Management declared that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, December 13th that permits the company to repurchase $1.50 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the business services provider to buy up to 3.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, CFO Devina A. Rankin sold 8,107 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.41, for a total value of $765,381.87. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 21,373 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,017,824.93. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Jeff M. Harris sold 24,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.00, for a total value of $2,205,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.30% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA grew its position in Waste Management by 5.4% during the third quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA now owns 357,716 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $32,323,000 after buying an additional 18,440 shares in the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group lifted its stake in Waste Management by 97.0% during the second quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 210,343 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $16,990,000 after purchasing an additional 103,546 shares during the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP lifted its stake in Waste Management by 24.6% during the third quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 477,415 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $43,139,000 after purchasing an additional 94,283 shares during the last quarter. Parsec Financial Management Inc. bought a new stake in Waste Management during the third quarter worth $243,000. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. lifted its stake in Waste Management by 73.2% during the second quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 37,701 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $3,066,000 after purchasing an additional 15,932 shares during the last quarter. 74.57% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Waste Management (NYSE:WM)

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