Waste Management (NYSE:WM) Hits New 1-Year High Following Analyst Upgrade


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Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WM) shares hit a new 52-week high during trading on Monday after Raymond James raised their price target on the stock from $125.00 to $144.00. Raymond James currently has an outperform rating on the stock. Waste Management traded as high as $134.98 and last traded at $134.98, with a volume of 1 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $132.84.

Several other research firms have also issued reports on WM. Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on shares of Waste Management from $122.00 to $121.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, February 25th. Robert W. Baird lowered shares of Waste Management from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $128.00 to $122.00 in a research report on Tuesday, February 16th. Finally, The Goldman Sachs Group initiated coverage on shares of Waste Management in a research report on Wednesday, April 7th. They set a “buy” rating and a $145.00 target price on the stock. 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’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $122.58.

In related news, VP Michael J. Watson sold 432 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $111.29, for a total transaction of $48,077.28. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 18,748 shares in the company, valued at $2,086,464.92. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Devina A. Rankin sold 17,603 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $115.00, for a total transaction of $2,024,345.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 25,473 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,929,395. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 31,683 shares of company stock valued at $3,765,485. Insiders own 0.16% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WM. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of Waste Management in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $510,184,000. Stifel Financial Corp boosted 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 purchasing an additional 1,629,791 shares during the last quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC boosted 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 purchasing an additional 1,436,679 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted 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 purchasing an additional 477,574 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB boosted 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 purchasing an additional 474,165 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 71.42% of the company’s stock.

The company’s fifty day moving average is $123.01 and its 200 day moving average is $117.57. The firm has a market cap of $56.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 35.57, a PEG ratio of 4.70 and a beta of 0.72. The company has a quick ratio of 0.86, a current ratio of 0.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.39.

Waste Management (NYSE:WM) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 18th. The business services provider reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.06. Waste Management had a net margin of 10.66% and a return on equity of 25.84%. The firm had revenue of $4.07 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.98 billion. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Waste Management, Inc. will post 3.84 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 26th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 12th were issued a dividend of $0.575 per share. 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 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.71%. Waste Management’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 52.27%.

Waste Management Company Profile (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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