Republic Services (RSG) Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Republic Services (NYSE:RSG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Republic Services operates in a highly competitive solid waste industry. Municipalities pose competitive threat to Republic Services’ market share as they maintain their own waste collection and disposal activities. Weak landfill pricing is likely to weigh on its margins and earnings. The company’s revenue is highly seasonal in nature with comparatively lower during winter season. A debt-laden balance sheet is another major concern. However, Republic Services’ focus on increasing its operational efficiency by shifting to compressed natural gas collection vehicles and converting rear-loading trucks to automated-side loaders, should reduce its cost and improve profitability. The company has a consistent record of returning value to shareholders in the form of dividend and share repurchases. Internal growth is another major positive. The company outperformed its industry in the past year.”

RSG has been the subject of several other reports. Oppenheimer reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Republic Services in a research note on Thursday, May 3rd. UBS Group assumed coverage on Republic Services in a research note on Wednesday, March 14th. They set a “buy” rating and a $78.00 target price for the company. Argus upgraded Republic Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 10th. Finally, Raymond James cut Republic Services from a “strong-buy” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $72.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, April 11th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $72.14.

Shares of RSG stock opened at $68.43 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.95, a current ratio of 0.53 and a quick ratio of 0.53. The company has a market capitalization of $22.61 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.16, a P/E/G ratio of 2.02 and a beta of 0.55. Republic Services has a 1 year low of $60.26 and a 1 year high of $69.97.

Republic Services (NYSE:RSG) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 2nd. The business services provider reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.06. The business had revenue of $2.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.42 billion. Republic Services had a return on equity of 11.29% and a net margin of 13.18%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.55 earnings per share. analysts predict that Republic Services will post 3.07 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Republic Services news, EVP Jeffrey A. Hughes sold 16,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.00, for a total transaction of $1,101,600.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 16,200 shares in the company, valued at $1,101,600. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.30% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Republic Services by 2.1% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,456,218 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,354,817,000 after acquiring an additional 425,547 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its stake in shares of Republic Services by 5.6% in the 1st quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 6,894,618 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $456,630,000 after acquiring an additional 367,769 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Republic Services by 11.0% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 2,884,821 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $194,696,000 after acquiring an additional 285,988 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its stake in shares of Republic Services by 10.7% in the 4th quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 2,250,500 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $152,156,000 after acquiring an additional 217,500 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wedge Capital Management L L P NC lifted its stake in shares of Republic Services by 8.3% in the 1st quarter. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC now owns 2,026,319 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $134,203,000 after acquiring an additional 155,395 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 60.17% of the company’s stock.

About Republic Services

Republic Services, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides non-hazardous solid waste collection, transfer, recycling, disposal, and energy services for small-container, large-container, municipal and residential, and energy services customers in the United States and Puerto Rico. The company's collection services include curbside collection of waste for transport to transfer stations; supply of waste containers; and renting of compactors.

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