Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Waste Connections (WCN) to Hold

Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Saturday, January 6th. The firm currently has a $78.00 price target on the business services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would suggest a potential upside of 10.00% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “With prime location of disposal sites within competitive markets, Waste Connections has optimal asset positioning to generate higher profitability. An experienced management team, decentralized operating strategy and financial strength remain additional tailwinds. Moreover, the merger with Progressive Waste Solutions has enhanced its scale of operations. In addition, a decentralized management enables it to identify and address customers’ needs on a real-time basis in a cost-effective manner. However, volatility in crude oil prices is expected to impair the profitability and creditworthiness of Waste Connections and adversely affect the level of investment and linear feet drilled in the basins where it operates. Seasonal factors, continuous changes to federal laws and stiff competition due to low barriers to entry remain additional challenges for the company. The stock also underperformed the industry in the last three months.”

WCN has been the topic of a number of other reports. Royal Bank of Canada increased their price objective on shares of Waste Connections from $76.00 to $80.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 price objective on shares of Waste Connections in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. KeyCorp reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 price objective on shares of Waste Connections in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Bank of America started coverage on shares of Waste Connections in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. They set a “buy” rating and a $80.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, TD Securities increased their price objective on shares of Waste Connections from $73.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $78.47.

Shares of Waste Connections (WCN) remained flat at $$70.91 during mid-day trading on Friday. The stock had a trading volume of 671,614 shares, compared to its average volume of 742,189. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66, a quick ratio of 1.46 and a current ratio of 1.46. Waste Connections has a 12 month low of $52.29 and a 12 month high of $74.20. The firm has a market capitalization of $18,694.78, a P/E ratio of 53.72, a P/E/G ratio of 3.77 and a beta of 0.17.

Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The business services provider reported $0.60 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.57 by $0.03. Waste Connections had a net margin of 7.68% and a return on equity of 9.59%. The firm had revenue of $1.21 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.19 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.72 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 11.2% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Waste Connections will post 2.13 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Waste Connections news, COO Darrell W. Chambliss sold 5,625 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.99, for a total value of $399,318.75. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 101,292 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,190,719.08. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Robert Davis sold 700 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.72, for a total transaction of $50,204.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.68% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Waste Connections by 55.8% in the second quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 1,561 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $101,000 after buying an additional 559 shares during the last quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Waste Connections in the third quarter worth $103,000. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC increased its stake in shares of Waste Connections by 50.0% in the second quarter. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC now owns 2,107 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $136,000 after acquiring an additional 702 shares during the period. BB&T Investment Services Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Waste Connections in the second quarter worth $217,000. Finally, Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Waste Connections in the third quarter worth $217,000. 82.98% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Waste Connections Company Profile

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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