Waste Connections, Inc. (WCN) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Buy

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Waste Connections, Inc. (NYSE:WCN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Thursday morning. They currently have $79.00 target price on the business services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Waste Connections has outperformed the industry year to date. With prime location of disposal sites within competitive markets, Waste Connections has optimal asset positioning to generate higher profitability. The merger of Waste Connections with Progressive Waste Solutions has arguably created an industry leader with enhanced scale and a stronger financial profile. The combined entity is expected to generate approximately $50 million in annualized SG&A cost savings within the first 12 months after closing. An experienced management team and a decentralized operating strategy remain additional tailwinds. A vertically integrated services portfolio offers a competitive advantage. Waste Connections also aims to leverage its franchise-based platforms to expand customer base beyond the exclusive market territories. However, stringent health and safety laws, seasonal factors and stiff competition remain headwinds.”

WCN has been the topic of several other reports. BidaskClub lowered shares of Waste Connections from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. Barclays PLC set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Waste Connections and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. Royal Bank Of Canada upped their price objective on shares of Waste Connections from $68.00 to $74.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Friday, June 23rd. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $75.00 price objective on shares of Waste Connections and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Raymond James Financial, Inc. upped their price objective on shares of Waste Connections from $74.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock a strong-buy rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Waste Connections currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $72.48.

Waste Connections (NYSE WCN) traded down 0.51% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $68.90. 664,814 shares of the stock traded hands. Waste Connections has a 12 month low of $47.91 and a 12 month high of $70.76. The stock has a market cap of $18.15 billion, a P/E ratio of 58.59 and a beta of 0.23. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $67.74 and a 200-day moving average price of $63.83.

Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The business services provider reported $0.55 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.02. Waste Connections had a net margin of 7.11% and a return on equity of 9.19%. The firm had revenue of $1.18 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.15 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.66 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 61.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Waste Connections will post $2.13 earnings per share for the current year.

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Waste Connections announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Wednesday, August 2nd that permits the company to repurchase 13,180,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the business services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, insider James Little sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.81, for a total value of $194,430.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Worthing Jackman sold 30,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total transaction of $1,950,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 69,500 shares of company stock worth $4,521,285 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.68% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Swiss National Bank raised its holdings in shares of Waste Connections by 54.7% in the 2nd quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 961,659 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $61,950,000 after purchasing an additional 340,053 shares in the last quarter. Twin Tree Management LP acquired a new stake in shares of Waste Connections in the 2nd quarter valued at $1,195,000. Dorsey Wright & Associates raised its holdings in shares of Waste Connections by 52.5% in the 2nd quarter. Dorsey Wright & Associates now owns 68,993 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $4,445,000 after purchasing an additional 23,754 shares in the last quarter. Sentry Investments Corp. raised its holdings in shares of Waste Connections by 37.4% in the 2nd quarter. Sentry Investments Corp. now owns 2,973,999 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $248,418,000 after purchasing an additional 810,130 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Symphony Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Waste Connections by 133.5% in the 2nd quarter. Symphony Asset Management LLC now owns 43,570 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $2,807,000 after purchasing an additional 24,907 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 82.59% of the company’s stock.

About Waste Connections

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN)

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