Casella Waste Systems (CWST) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Casella Waste Systems (NASDAQ:CWST) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Casella Waste Systems, Inc. is a regional, integrated solid waste services company that provides collection, transfer, disposal and recycling services, generates steam and manufactures finished products utilizing recyclable materials primarily throughout the eastern portion of the United States and parts of Canada. The Company also markets recyclable metals, aluminum, plastics, paper and corrugated cardboard all processed at its facilities and recyclables purchased from third parties. “

CWST has been the subject of several other reports. BidaskClub upgraded Casella Waste Systems from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, September 5th. Raymond James raised their target price on Casella Waste Systems from $33.00 to $35.00 and gave the company a strong-buy rating in a report on Friday, September 7th. Stifel Nicolaus lowered Casella Waste Systems from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $30.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, August 6th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Casella Waste Systems from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report on Tuesday, September 11th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, one has given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $31.50.

Shares of NASDAQ:CWST traded up $0.02 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $31.95. 135,014 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 269,539. Casella Waste Systems has a 52-week low of $18.98 and a 52-week high of $34.48. The firm has a market cap of $1.34 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 47.69 and a beta of 0.88.

Casella Waste Systems (NASDAQ:CWST) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 1st. The industrial products company reported $0.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.32 by ($0.02). Casella Waste Systems had a negative return on equity of 94.81% and a net margin of 6.30%. The firm had revenue of $172.83 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $172.77 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.30 earnings per share. Casella Waste Systems’s revenue was up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Casella Waste Systems will post 0.68 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Casella Waste Systems news, COO Edwin D. Johnson sold 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.20, for a total transaction of $624,000.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 345,317 shares in the company, valued at $10,773,890.40. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Gregory B. Peters sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $33.31, for a total value of $99,930.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 92,015 shares in the company, valued at $3,065,019.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 56,845 shares of company stock worth $1,710,613. Corporate insiders own 11.47% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of CWST. Earnest Partners LLC raised its holdings in Casella Waste Systems by 146.3% during the second quarter. Earnest Partners LLC now owns 1,837,877 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $47,068,000 after buying an additional 1,091,762 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in shares of Casella Waste Systems by 63.3% in the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,355,205 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $34,708,000 after purchasing an additional 525,320 shares during the period. Granahan Investment Management Inc. MA bought a new position in shares of Casella Waste Systems in the second quarter worth about $5,187,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Casella Waste Systems by 11.2% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 1,800,433 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $46,109,000 after purchasing an additional 180,914 shares during the period. Finally, Federated Investors Inc. PA increased its stake in shares of Casella Waste Systems by 14,143.7% in the second quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 169,500 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $4,341,000 after purchasing an additional 168,310 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 83.96% of the company’s stock.

About Casella Waste Systems

Casella Waste Systems, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a vertically-integrated solid waste services company in the northeastern United States. The company operates through Eastern Region, Western Region, Recycling, and Other segments. It offers resource management services primarily in the areas of solid waste collection and disposal, transfer, recycling, and organics services to residential, commercial, municipal, and industrial customers.

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