Waste Management (WM) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Waste Management (NYSE:WM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Monday, January 8th. The brokerage presently has a $99.00 price objective on the business services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would indicate a potential upside of 12.30% from the stock’s previous close.

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 company's successful cost-reduction initiatives have helped it in accomplishing remarkable gross margin expansion and EBITDA growth over the quarters. Waste Management expects yield momentum to continue in its solid waste lines of business in the forthcoming quarters as well. With strong yield, volume, and cost performance in the third quarter, the company has lifted its guidance for 2017. The company plans to return significant cash to shareholders through healthy dividends and share repurchases in the future to reward them with risk-adjusted returns. 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.”

Several other equities analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 target price on shares of Waste Management in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Macquarie upgraded shares of Waste Management from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Credit Suisse Group set a $90.00 price objective on shares of Waste Management and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Oppenheimer lifted their price objective on shares of Waste Management from $82.00 to $87.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets raised their price target on shares of Waste Management from $82.00 to $86.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. Waste Management has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $86.78.

Waste Management (NYSE:WM) opened at $88.16 on Monday. Waste Management has a 1 year low of $69.00 and a 1 year high of $88.73. The stock has a market cap of $38,328.26, a PE ratio of 28.44, a PEG ratio of 2.65 and a beta of 0.75. The company has a current ratio of 0.71, a quick ratio of 0.68 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.60.

Waste Management (NYSE:WM) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The business services provider reported $0.90 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.88 by $0.02. Waste Management had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 25.61%. The business had revenue of $3.72 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.71 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.84 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts forecast that Waste Management will post 3.2 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Waste Management declared that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan on Thursday, December 14th that permits the company to repurchase $1.25 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the business services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Waste Management news, SVP Barry H. Caldwell sold 1,650 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.10, for a total value of $133,815.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. 0.19% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Bruderman Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Waste Management during the second quarter valued at about $110,000. FTB Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of Waste Management by 4.3% during the second quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. now owns 1,585 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 65 shares during the period. Atlantic Trust LLC increased its position in shares of Waste Management by 7.6% during the second quarter. Atlantic Trust LLC now owns 3,820 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $172,000 after buying an additional 270 shares during the period. MPS Loria Financial Planners LLC purchased a new position in shares of Waste Management during the second quarter valued at about $182,000. Finally, Horan Capital Advisors LLC. purchased a new position in shares of Waste Management during the third quarter valued at about $186,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.93% of the company’s stock.

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Waste Management Company Profile

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.

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