Wedbush downgraded shares of Waste Management Inc. (NYSE:WM) from an outperform rating to a neutral rating in a research note released on Thursday. The brokerage currently has $68.00 price target on the stock, down from their prior price target of $73.00. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

A number of other research firms have also recently issued reports on WM. KeyCorp reiterated a hold rating on shares of Waste Management in a research report on Thursday, July 14th. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a buy rating and set a $75.00 price target (up from $70.00) on shares of Waste Management in a research note on Monday, July 18th. Imperial Capital lifted their price target on Waste Management from $62.00 to $71.00 and gave the company an in-line rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Waste Management from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, Argus reissued a buy rating and set a $72.00 price target on shares of Waste Management in a research note on Wednesday, August 10th. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $66.77.

Analyst Recommendations for Waste Management (NYSE:WM)

Shares of Waste Management (NYSE:WM) traded up 0.73% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $62.15. The stock had a trading volume of 349,965 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $27.49 billion, a PE ratio of 24.29 and a beta of 0.62. Waste Management has a 1-year low of $50.36 and a 1-year high of $70.50. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $63.41 and its 200-day moving average is $62.78.

Waste Management (NYSE:WM) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.03. Waste Management had a return on equity of 23.48% and a net margin of 8.73%. The firm had revenue of $3.43 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.40 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.67 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.3% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Waste Management will post $2.86 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 23rd. Investors of record on Friday, September 9th were issued a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, September 7th. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.66%. Waste Management’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 63.81%.

In other news, Director Frank M. Clark sold 449 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.21, for a total transaction of $30,177.29. Following the transaction, the director now owns 29,084 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,954,735.64. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Don P. Carpenter sold 1,634 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.13, for a total value of $108,056.42. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 19,865 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,313,672.45. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.42% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of WM. Hudock Capital Group LLC boosted its position in shares of Waste Management by 0.6% in the second quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 1,715 shares of the company’s stock worth $113,000 after buying an additional 11 shares in the last quarter. Financial Architects Inc boosted its position in shares of Waste Management by 0.8% in the second quarter. Financial Architects Inc now owns 2,003 shares of the company’s stock worth $132,000 after buying an additional 16 shares in the last quarter. Davis R M Inc. boosted its position in shares of Waste Management by 0.3% in the second quarter. Davis R M Inc. now owns 6,118 shares of the company’s stock worth $405,000 after buying an additional 18 shares in the last quarter. Alexandria Capital LLC boosted its position in shares of Waste Management by 2.7% in the second quarter. Alexandria Capital LLC now owns 1,583 shares of the company’s stock worth $105,000 after buying an additional 41 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lodestar Investment Counsel LLC IL boosted its position in shares of Waste Management by 1.2% in the second quarter. Lodestar Investment Counsel LLC IL now owns 4,350 shares of the company’s stock worth $288,000 after buying an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. 75.12% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Waste Management Company Profile

Waste Management, Inc is a holding company. The Company provides waste management environmental services. The Company’s segments include Solid Waste, which includes its 17 Areas aggregated into three tiers, and Other. The Company’s Solid Waste business is operated and managed locally by its subsidiaries that focuses on geographic areas and provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:WM

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