First Mercantile Trust Co. boosted its stake in Waste Connections, Inc. (NYSE:WCN) by 38.6% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 7,193 shares of the business services provider’s stock after buying an additional 2,002 shares during the period. First Mercantile Trust Co.’s holdings in Waste Connections were worth $463,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Independent Portfolio Consultants Inc. increased its stake in shares of Waste Connections by 10.1% in the second quarter. Independent Portfolio Consultants Inc. now owns 1,833 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $118,000 after buying an additional 168 shares in the last quarter. US Bancorp DE boosted its position in shares of Waste Connections by 14.3% in the second quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 2,171 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $140,000 after buying an additional 271 shares in the last quarter. Creative Planning boosted its position in shares of Waste Connections by 223.5% in the second quarter. Creative Planning now owns 2,397 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $154,000 after buying an additional 1,656 shares in the last quarter. Capital One National Association bought a new position in shares of Waste Connections during the first quarter worth approximately $208,000. Finally, BB&T Corp bought a new position in shares of Waste Connections during the second quarter worth approximately $212,000. 61.21% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Waste Connections, Inc. (NYSE WCN) opened at 64.25 on Wednesday. Waste Connections, Inc. has a 52-week low of $47.81 and a 52-week high of $67.14. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $64.71 and a 200 day moving average price of $81.82. The stock has a market cap of $16.93 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 54.63 and a beta of 0.23.

Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The business services provider reported $0.55 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $1.18 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.15 billion. Waste Connections had a net margin of 7.11% and a return on equity of 9.19%. Waste Connections’s quarterly revenue was up 61.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.66 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Waste Connections, Inc. will post $2.13 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 22nd. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, August 8th will be issued a $0.12 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 4th. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.75%. Waste Connections’s payout ratio is 32.11%.

Waste Connections declared that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Wednesday, August 2nd that authorizes the company to buyback 13,180,000 shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the business services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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A number of equities research analysts have commented on the company. Royal Bank Of Canada decreased their price target on Waste Connections from $68.00 to $63.33 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, April 28th. Zacks Investment Research cut Waste Connections from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 30th. Barclays PLC reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Waste Connections in a report on Friday, April 28th. BidaskClub cut Waste Connections from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $75.00 price target on shares of Waste Connections in a report on Friday, June 23rd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Waste Connections currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $70.47.

In other news, COO Darrell W. Chambliss sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.05, for a total transaction of $1,626,250.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO Worthing Jackman sold 30,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total transaction of $1,950,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 93,900 shares of company stock valued at $6,871,801 in the last 90 days. Insiders own 0.68% of the company’s stock.

About Waste Connections

Waste Connections, Inc is a solid waste services company in North America. The Company provides waste collection, transfer, disposal and recycling services in markets in the United States and Canada. The Company operates through six segments: Southern segment, Western segment, Eastern segment, Canada segment, Central segment and E&P segment.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN)

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