Waste Management (WM) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Waste Management (NYSE:WM) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Sunday. The brokerage currently has $99.00 price target on the business services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Waste Management is focusing on the core business activities to instill price and cost discipline in order to achieve better margins. The acquisition of Deffenbaugh Disposal will enable Waste Management to extend its geographic footprint and make a foray in the attractive market of Kansas City, where it has limited presence. A steady stream of such accretive acquisitions is likely to drive earnings for the company in the future. The company's successful cost-reduction initiatives have helped it in accomplishing remarkable gross margin expansion and EBITDA growth over the quarters. With strong yield and cost performance in the third quarter, the company has lifted its guidance for 2017. Waste Management has also outperformed the industry in the last three months. However, stringent government regulations are likely to erode profitability as compliance with such regulations increases operating costs.”

WM has been the subject of a number of other reports. Credit Suisse Group set a $90.00 price objective on Waste Management and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Oppenheimer upped their price objective on Waste Management from $82.00 to $87.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. KeyCorp upped their price objective on Waste Management from $80.00 to $84.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research note on Friday, October 13th. Bank of America lowered their price objective on Waste Management from $85.00 to $83.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus downgraded Waste Management from a buy rating to a hold rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $85.00 to $80.00 in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $86.78.

Shares of Waste Management (NYSE WM) traded up $0.10 on Friday, hitting $88.06. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,069,100 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,716,131. Waste Management has a one year low of $69.00 and a one year high of $88.73. The firm has a market cap of $38,380.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.32, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.64 and a beta of 0.75. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.60, a quick ratio of 0.68 and a current ratio of 0.71.

Waste Management (NYSE:WM) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The business services provider reported $0.90 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate 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 during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.71 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.84 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.7% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Waste Management will post 3.2 earnings per share for the current year.

Waste Management announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, December 14th that permits the company to repurchase $1.25 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the business services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Director Patrick W. Gross sold 387 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $88.30, for a total transaction of $34,172.10. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 30,673 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,708,425.90. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Barry H. Caldwell sold 1,650 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.10, for a total value of $133,815.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.19% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its position in Waste Management by 6.2% in the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 1,466,158 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $114,756,000 after purchasing an additional 85,636 shares during the last quarter. Yellowstone Partners LLC acquired a new position in Waste Management in the 3rd quarter worth about $449,000. Cambria Investment Management L.P. acquired a new position in Waste Management in the 2nd quarter worth about $5,535,000. Personal Capital Advisors Corp increased its position in Waste Management by 24.0% in the 3rd quarter. Personal Capital Advisors Corp now owns 163,337 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $12,784,000 after purchasing an additional 31,585 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Moody Lynn & Lieberson LLC increased its position in Waste Management by 20.1% in the 3rd quarter. Moody Lynn & Lieberson LLC now owns 171,716 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $13,440,000 after purchasing an additional 28,760 shares during the last quarter. 74.94% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Waste Management (NYSE:WM)

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