US Ecology (ECOL) vs. Its Rivals Head-To-Head Review

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

Institutional & Insider Ownership

92.6% of US Ecology shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 52.9% of shares of all “Waste Management, Disposal & Recycling Services” companies are owned by institutional investors. 1.5% of US Ecology shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 12.3% of shares of all “Waste Management, Disposal & Recycling Services” companies are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for US Ecology and its peers, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
US Ecology 1 1 2 0 2.25
US Ecology Competitors 46 281 589 14 2.61

US Ecology currently has a consensus target price of $51.25, indicating a potential upside of 1.18%. As a group, “Waste Management, Disposal & Recycling Services” companies have a potential upside of 11.25%. Given US Ecology’s peers stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe US Ecology has less favorable growth aspects than its peers.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares US Ecology and its peers top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Net Income Price/Earnings Ratio
US Ecology $477.67 million $34.25 million 42.21
US Ecology Competitors $850.65 million $28.19 million 146.79

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

Profitability

This table compares US Ecology and its peers’ 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 -280.95% -67.99% -14.33%

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 1.8% and pay out 98.5% of their earnings in the form of a dividend.

Risk & Volatility

US Ecology has a beta of 0.71, indicating that its stock price is 29% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, US Ecology’s peers have a beta of 0.62, indicating that their average stock price is 38% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

US Ecology peers beat US Ecology on 8 of the 15 factors compared.

About US Ecology

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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