Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Monday.
According to Zacks, “We appreciate Waste Connections’ focus on secondary and rural markets to garner a higher local market share. It has optimal asset positioning to generate higher profitability. An experienced management team, decentralized operating strategy and financial strength remain additional tailwinds. Acquisitions have been contributing to Waste Connections’ growth. The company is consistent in rewarding its shareholders. In the past year, the company outperformed its industry growth. Despite such positives, seasonality is likely to lower predictably in Waste Connections' revenue generation and increase operating risks. Stringent environmental, health and safety laws have been hindering the company’s operations and raising its operating costs. High debt may limit the company’s future expansion and worsen its risk profile. Foreign currency exchange rate risks is another headwind.”
A number of other research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. TD Securities raised their price target on Waste Connections from $87.00 to $88.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Friday, February 15th. Royal Bank of Canada raised their price target on Waste Connections from $85.00 to $90.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Friday, February 15th. Bank of America raised their price target on Waste Connections from $80.00 to $88.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, February 14th. ValuEngine upgraded Waste Connections from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, February 4th. Finally, KeyCorp assumed coverage on Waste Connections in a research report on Monday, February 4th. They issued an overweight rating and a $94.00 price target for the company. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $88.80.
Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 13th. The business services provider reported $0.63 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.61 by $0.02. Waste Connections had a return on equity of 10.46% and a net margin of 11.11%. The business had revenue of $1.26 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.23 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.52 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Waste Connections will post 2.81 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Investors of record on Friday, March 1st were given a dividend of $0.16 per share. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.75%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 28th. Waste Connections’s dividend payout ratio is presently 25.40%.
Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Fox Run Management L.L.C. purchased a new stake in Waste Connections during the 4th quarter worth about $425,000. AMP Capital Investors Ltd increased its position in Waste Connections by 11.8% during the 3rd quarter. AMP Capital Investors Ltd now owns 143,511 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $11,408,000 after purchasing an additional 15,114 shares in the last quarter. DNB Asset Management AS increased its position in Waste Connections by 31.9% during the 4th quarter. DNB Asset Management AS now owns 35,821 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $2,660,000 after purchasing an additional 8,654 shares in the last quarter. Tandem Investment Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in Waste Connections during the 4th quarter worth about $8,560,000. Finally, Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Co. increased its position in Waste Connections by 80.3% during the 4th quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Co. now owns 103,066 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $7,653,000 after purchasing an additional 45,902 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.02% of the company’s stock.
Waste Connections Company Profile
Waste Connections, Inc provides waste collection, transfer, disposal, and recycling services in the United States and Canada. The company operates through six segments: Southern, Western, Eastern, Canada, Central, and Exploration and Production (E&P). It offers collection services to residential, commercial, municipal, industrial, and E&P customers; landfill disposal services; and recycling services for various recyclable materials, including compost, cardboard, mixed paper, plastic containers, glass bottles, and ferrous and aluminum metals.
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