Shares of US Ecology Inc (NASDAQ:ECOL) have been assigned an average rating of “Hold” from the seven brokerages that are currently covering the stock, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, three have assigned a hold recommendation and two have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1 year price target among brokerages that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $68.50.

Several brokerages have commented on ECOL. BMO Capital Markets dropped their price target on US Ecology from $76.00 to $74.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, November 6th. BidaskClub cut US Ecology from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, December 7th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut US Ecology from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 31st.

In other US Ecology news, Director Stephen A. Romano sold 12,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.62, for a total value of $847,440.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 12,695 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $896,520.90. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 1.60% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Congress Asset Management Co. MA increased its stake in US Ecology by 56.9% during the third quarter. Congress Asset Management Co. MA now owns 55,395 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $4,085,000 after acquiring an additional 20,087 shares during the period. United Services Automobile Association bought a new position in US Ecology during the second quarter valued at about $213,000. Northern Trust Corp increased its stake in US Ecology by 2.3% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 319,867 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $20,375,000 after acquiring an additional 7,306 shares during the period. Bessemer Group Inc. bought a new position in US Ecology during the third quarter valued at about $1,166,000. Finally, BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of US Ecology by 8.3% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,997,106 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $190,914,000 after purchasing an additional 230,864 shares during the period. 84.06% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

NASDAQ:ECOL opened at $64.80 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $1.43 billion, a PE ratio of 37.67 and a beta of 0.60. The company has a current ratio of 2.23, a quick ratio of 2.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78. US Ecology has a 12-month low of $44.90 and a 12-month high of $77.15.

US Ecology (NASDAQ:ECOL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 1st. The business services provider reported $0.70 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.08. US Ecology had a return on equity of 15.68% and a net margin of 12.30%. The firm had revenue of $151.42 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $144.11 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.37 earnings per share. US Ecology’s quarterly revenue was up 13.0% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that US Ecology will post 2.34 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 25th. Investors of record on Friday, January 18th will be given a dividend of $0.18 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 17th. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.11%. US Ecology’s payout ratio is 41.86%.

About US Ecology

US Ecology, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides environmental services to commercial and government entities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It operates in two segments, Environmental Services; and Field & Industrial Services. The Environmental Services segment offers hazardous material management services, including transportation, recycling, treatment, and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste at its landfill, wastewater, and other treatment facilities.

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