Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WM) shares hit a new 52-week high on Monday . The company traded as high as $105.68 and last traded at $104.61, with a volume of 95469 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $101.79.

WM has been the topic of a number of research reports. Stifel Nicolaus upgraded Waste Management from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday. UBS Group upgraded Waste Management from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $90.00 to $103.00 in a report on Thursday, January 10th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Waste Management from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $94.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, December 31st. Oppenheimer lifted their price target on Waste Management from $95.00 to $108.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, February 15th. Finally, KeyCorp started coverage on Waste Management in a report on Monday, February 4th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $96.00 price target on the stock. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $101.71.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.53, a current ratio of 0.85 and a quick ratio of 0.82. The firm has a market capitalization of $42.71 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.82, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.63 and a beta of 0.67.

Waste Management (NYSE:WM) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 14th. The business services provider reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.07. Waste Management had a return on equity of 29.43% and a net margin of 12.91%. The business had revenue of $3.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.78 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.85 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Waste Management, Inc. will post 4.37 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 22nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 8th were issued a dividend of $0.5125 per share. This represents a $2.05 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.97%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, March 7th. This is a positive change from Waste Management’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. Waste Management’s payout ratio is currently 48.81%.

In related news, Director Patrick W. Gross sold 365 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $93.03, for a total value of $33,955.95. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 53,058 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,935,985.74. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Steve Batchelor sold 707 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $98.83, for a total transaction of $69,872.81. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 22,142 shares in the company, valued at $2,188,293.86. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 4,092 shares of company stock worth $402,648. Insiders own 0.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Pacer Advisors Inc. lifted its position in Waste Management by 10.7% during the 3rd quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 21,399 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,934,000 after acquiring an additional 2,062 shares during the period. Worldquant Millennium Quantitative Strategies LLC lifted its position in Waste Management by 3.5% during the 3rd quarter. Worldquant Millennium Quantitative Strategies LLC now owns 30,106 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $2,720,000 after acquiring an additional 1,008 shares during the period. Advisors Asset Management Inc. lifted its position in Waste Management by 29.5% during the 3rd quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 14,141 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,278,000 after acquiring an additional 3,225 shares during the period. Mutual Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Waste Management during the 3rd quarter valued at about $206,000. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in Waste Management by 2.4% in the third quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 5,463,378 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $493,671,000 after buying an additional 128,847 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.74% of the company’s stock.

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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 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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