Traders Buy Waste Management (WM) on Weakness

Investors bought shares of Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WM) on weakness during trading on Friday. $326.39 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $27.39 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $299.00 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Waste Management had the 8th highest net in-flow for the day. Waste Management traded down ($0.19) for the day and closed at $100.97

A number of brokerages recently weighed in on WM. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Waste Management from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 12th. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Waste Management from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $84.00 to $107.00 in a research note on Tuesday, December 4th. Oppenheimer lifted their price objective on shares of Waste Management from $95.00 to $108.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, February 15th. KeyCorp began coverage on shares of Waste Management in a research note on Monday, February 4th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $96.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, UBS Group upgraded shares of Waste Management from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $90.00 to $103.00 in a research note on Thursday, January 10th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $101.00.

The company has a current ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 0.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.53. The stock has a market capitalization of $43.05 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.04, a PEG ratio of 2.49 and a beta of 0.67.

Waste Management (NYSE:WM) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 14th. The business services provider reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.07. Waste Management had a net margin of 12.91% and a return on equity of 29.43%. The firm had revenue of $3.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.78 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.85 earnings per share. Waste Management’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.2% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Waste Management, Inc. will post 4.37 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 22nd. Investors of record on Friday, March 8th will be paid a $0.5125 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 7th. This represents a $2.05 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.03%. This is a boost from Waste Management’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. Waste Management’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 48.81%.

Waste Management declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, December 13th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.50 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the business services provider to buy up to 3.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, SVP Tara J. Hmmer sold 472 shares of Waste Management stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $98.81, for a total value of $46,638.32. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 17,208 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,700,322.48. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Patrick W. Gross sold 365 shares of Waste Management stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $93.03, for a total value of $33,955.95. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 53,058 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,935,985.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 4,092 shares of company stock worth $402,648 in the last three months. 0.30% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Norges Bank purchased a new position in Waste Management during the 4th quarter valued at about $402,210,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its stake in Waste Management by 8,644.5% during the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 3,823,989 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $43,000 after acquiring an additional 3,780,259 shares in the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors grew its stake in Waste Management by 407.2% during the 3rd quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 3,935,751 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $355,634,000 after acquiring an additional 3,159,827 shares in the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. grew its stake in Waste Management by 695.7% during the 4th quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 1,337,530 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $119,027,000 after acquiring an additional 1,169,429 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in Waste Management by 3.3% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 31,659,414 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $2,817,372,000 after acquiring an additional 1,025,813 shares in the last quarter. 74.40% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Waste Management (NYSE:WM)

Waste Management, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides waste management environmental services to residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers in North America. It provides 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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