Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Waste Management (WM) to “Buy”
Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Waste Management (NYSE:WM) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Saturday. The brokerage currently has $92.00 price target on the business services provider’s stock.
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 acquisition of Deffenbaugh Disposal will enable Waste Management to extend its geographic footprint and make a foray in the attractive market of Kansas City, where it has limited presence. A steady stream of such accretive acquisitions is likely to drive earnings for the company in the future. The company's successful cost-reduction initiatives have helped it in accomplishing remarkable gross margin expansion and EBITDA growth over the quarters. With strong yield and cost performance in the third quarter, the company has lifted its guidance for 2017. However, Waste Management has performed in line with the industry in the last three months. Stringent government regulations are likely to erode profitability as compliance with such regulations increases operating costs.”
Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Macquarie raised shares of Waste Management from a neutral rating to an outperform rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. BMO Capital Markets increased their price objective on shares of Waste Management from $82.00 to $86.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Stifel Nicolaus raised shares of Waste Management from a hold rating to a buy rating and increased their price objective for the company from $80.00 to $95.00 in a research note on Monday, December 11th. KeyCorp reissued a buy rating and issued a $88.00 price objective on shares of Waste Management in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Oppenheimer increased 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. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $86.00.
Waste Management declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Thursday, December 14th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.25 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the business services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
In other Waste Management news, Director Patrick W. Gross sold 387 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $88.30, for a total value of $34,172.10. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 30,673 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,708,425.90. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP Barry H. Caldwell sold 1,650 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.10, for a total transaction of $133,815.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.19% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in WM. FMR LLC increased its position in Waste Management by 5.4% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 840,582 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $61,657,000 after acquiring an additional 43,218 shares during the period. Shelton Capital Management acquired a new position in Waste Management in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $307,000. BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd acquired a new position in Waste Management in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $1,048,000. Colony Group LLC acquired a new position in Waste Management in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $276,000. Finally, WINTON GROUP Ltd increased its position in Waste Management by 76.7% in the 2nd quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd now owns 309,270 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $22,685,000 after acquiring an additional 134,224 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.33% of the company’s stock.
About Waste Management
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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