Waste Management (NYSE:WM) Reaches New 1-Year High on Analyst Upgrade

Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WM) reached a new 52-week high on Tuesday after Raymond James raised their price target on the stock from $144.00 to $147.00. Raymond James currently has an outperform rating on the stock. Waste Management traded as high as $140.71 and last traded at $140.55, with a volume of 2371 shares. The stock had previously closed at $140.34.

Several other equities analysts have also recently commented on the company. Oppenheimer increased their target price on Waste Management from $146.00 to $148.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Waste Management from $121.00 to $133.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Robert W. Baird cut Waste Management from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $128.00 to $122.00 in a research note on Tuesday, February 16th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft increased their target price on Waste Management from $119.00 to $138.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 28th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets increased their target price on Waste Management from $140.00 to $145.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 28th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $129.77.

In other news, VP Michael J. Watson sold 432 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $111.29, for a total transaction of $48,077.28. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 18,748 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,086,464.92. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CAO Leslie K. Nagy sold 392 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $111.33, for a total value of $43,641.36. Following the transaction, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 4,891 shares in the company, valued at $544,515.03. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 31,382 shares of company stock worth $3,731,129 over the last ninety days. 0.16% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Norges Bank acquired a new position in Waste Management during the fourth quarter worth about $510,184,000. Stifel Financial Corp grew its holdings in Waste Management by 292.8% during the fourth quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 2,186,378 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $257,840,000 after acquiring an additional 1,629,791 shares during the period. Lazard Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in Waste Management by 31.2% during the fourth quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 6,035,616 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $711,778,000 after acquiring an additional 1,436,679 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its holdings in Waste Management by 8.1% during the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 6,350,430 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $748,906,000 after acquiring an additional 477,574 shares during the period. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB grew its holdings in Waste Management by 19.1% during the fourth quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 2,952,996 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $348,247,000 after acquiring an additional 474,165 shares during the period. 71.42% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

The business has a fifty day moving average of $131.26 and a 200-day moving average of $119.82. The stock has a market capitalization of $59.47 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 37.27, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.70 and a beta of 0.72. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.39, a current ratio of 0.88 and a quick ratio of 0.86.

Waste Management (NYSE:WM) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 27th. The business services provider reported $1.06 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.05. Waste Management had a return on equity of 25.84% and a net margin of 10.66%. The business had revenue of $4.11 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.02 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.93 EPS. Waste Management’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.2% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Waste Management, Inc. will post 3.84 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 26th. Investors of record on Friday, March 12th were given a $0.575 dividend. This is a positive change from Waste Management’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.55. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, March 11th. This represents a $2.30 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.63%. Waste Management’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 52.27%.

About Waste Management (NYSE:WM)

Waste Management, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides waste management environmental services to residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers in North America. It offers 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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