Waste Management (NYSE:WM) declared a quarterly dividend on Monday, February 19th, Zacks reports. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 9th will be given a dividend of 0.465 per share by the business services provider on Friday, March 23rd. This represents a $1.86 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.21%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 8th. This is a positive change from Waste Management’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.43.
Waste Management has raised its dividend payment by an average of 4.3% per year over the last three years and has raised its dividend every year for the last 14 years. Waste Management has a dividend payout ratio of 53.1% meaning its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Research analysts expect Waste Management to earn $4.41 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $1.70 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 38.5%.
Shares of Waste Management stock traded up $0.94 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $84.12. The company had a trading volume of 1,675,375 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,387,221. The company has a quick ratio of 0.77, a current ratio of 0.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.45. The company has a market capitalization of $36,120.70, a P/E ratio of 19.07, a PEG ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 0.70. Waste Management has a 52-week low of $70.08 and a 52-week high of $89.73.
Several analysts have commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Waste Management from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $99.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, January 8th. Stifel Nicolaus upgraded Waste Management from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the company from $80.00 to $95.00 in a research note on Monday, December 11th. Raymond James Financial upgraded Waste Management from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $95.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Friday, February 16th. UBS raised Waste Management from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, February 16th. Finally, Macquarie raised Waste Management from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. Waste Management has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $90.44.
In other Waste Management news, CEO James C. Fish, Jr. sold 2,159 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, February 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.08, for a total value of $181,528.72. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Patrick W. Gross sold 387 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $88.30, for a total value of $34,172.10. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 30,673 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,708,425.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 106,291 shares of company stock worth $9,154,833. 0.19% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Waste Management announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, December 14th that allows the company to buyback $1.25 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the business services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
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About Waste Management
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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