Waste Connections (WCN) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

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Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Saturday. The firm presently has a $84.00 price target on the business services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 10.70% from the stock’s previous close.

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’ top-line growth. The company's efforts to reward its shareholders look impressive. year-to-date, the company has outperformed the industry it belongs to. However, seasonality in business is likely to hurt Waste Connections’ top line growth. Stringent environmental, health and safety laws have been hindering the company’s operations and raising its operating costs. Foreign currency exchange rate risks and a debt-laden balance sheet remain other major concerns.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on WCN. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their price objective on shares of Waste Connections from $82.00 to $84.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, July 26th. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price objective on shares of Waste Connections from $82.00 to $84.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, June 29th. TD Securities boosted their price objective on shares of Waste Connections from $79.00 to $83.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 26th. Finally, Citigroup boosted their price objective on shares of Waste Connections from $80.00 to $86.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, July 26th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $83.00.

NYSE:WCN traded up $0.84 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $75.88. 573,083 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 735,384. The stock has a market cap of $21.02 billion, a P/E ratio of 35.13, a P/E/G ratio of 2.73 and a beta of 0.05. Waste Connections has a 12-month low of $65.06 and a 12-month high of $81.36. The company has a current ratio of 1.15, a quick ratio of 1.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60.

Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 24th. The business services provider reported $0.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.03. Waste Connections had a net margin of 14.80% and a return on equity of 9.90%. The business had revenue of $1.24 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.23 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.55 earnings per share. Waste Connections’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Waste Connections will post 2.5 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, VP David Eddie sold 20,000 shares of Waste Connections stock in a transaction on Friday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.06, for a total value of $1,601,200.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 36,320 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,907,779.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, COO Darrell W. Chambliss sold 6,485 shares of Waste Connections stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.00, for a total transaction of $518,800.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 38,385 shares of company stock valued at $3,063,670. Company insiders own 0.40% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of WCN. Toronto Dominion Bank increased its stake in shares of Waste Connections by 115.0% in the second quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 1,126,901 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $85,916,000 after buying an additional 602,814 shares during the period. Unigestion Holding SA purchased a new position in shares of Waste Connections in the second quarter worth $35,412,000. Royal Bank of Canada increased its stake in shares of Waste Connections by 4.6% in the first quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 10,560,499 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $757,609,000 after buying an additional 467,951 shares during the period. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Waste Connections by 20.6% in the second quarter. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. now owns 2,046,843 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $154,091,000 after buying an additional 349,520 shares during the period. Finally, Rathbone Brothers plc increased its stake in shares of Waste Connections by 2,919.2% in the second quarter. Rathbone Brothers plc now owns 358,887 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $27,017,000 after buying an additional 347,000 shares during the period. 81.86% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Waste Connections Company Profile

Waste Connections, Inc, a solid waste services company, 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, office paper, plastic containers, glass bottles, and ferrous and aluminum metals.

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