Zacks Investment Research Lowers Waste Connections (WCN) to Sell

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Seasonality is likely to lower Waste Connections' revenues and increase operating risks. Stringent environmental, health and safety laws have been hindering the company’s operations and raising operating costs. High debt may limit the company’s future expansion and worsen its risk profile. Foreign currency exchange rate risks are another headwind. Despite such headwinds, we appreciate Waste Connections’ focus on secondary and rural markets to garner a higher local market share. It has optimal asset positioning to generate higher profitability. An experienced management team, decentralized operating strategy and financial strength remain additional tailwinds. Acquisitions have been contributing to Waste Connections’ growth. The company is consistent in rewarding its shareholders. In the past six months, the company has outperformed its industry growth. “

Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Stifel Nicolaus lowered shares of Waste Connections from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $88.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Thursday, April 11th. ValuEngine raised shares of Waste Connections from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Monday, February 4th. Bank of America boosted their target price on shares of Waste Connections from $80.00 to $88.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, February 14th. UBS Group boosted their target price on shares of Waste Connections from $96.00 to $100.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, April 4th. Finally, TD Securities boosted their target price on shares of Waste Connections from $87.00 to $88.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Friday, February 15th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $89.64.

Shares of Waste Connections stock opened at $88.55 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $23.35 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 35.14, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.04 and a beta of 0.25. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65, a quick ratio of 1.27 and a current ratio of 1.27. Waste Connections has a 52-week low of $70.28 and a 52-week high of $89.41.

Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 13th. The business services provider reported $0.63 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.61 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $1.26 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.23 billion. Waste Connections had a net margin of 11.11% and a return on equity of 10.46%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.52 EPS. Analysts expect that Waste Connections will post 2.8 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Comerica Bank boosted its stake in shares of Waste Connections by 0.9% in the 4th quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 16,310 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,321,000 after purchasing an additional 139 shares in the last quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC lifted its position in Waste Connections by 49.0% during the 4th quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 465 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $35,000 after buying an additional 153 shares in the last quarter. First Hawaiian Bank lifted its position in Waste Connections by 28.0% during the 4th quarter. First Hawaiian Bank now owns 860 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $63,000 after buying an additional 188 shares in the last quarter. AGF Investments Inc. lifted its position in Waste Connections by 0.3% during the 4th quarter. AGF Investments Inc. now owns 74,530 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $5,534,000 after buying an additional 199 shares in the last quarter. Finally, M&T Bank Corp lifted its position in Waste Connections by 2.0% during the 4th quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 10,330 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $767,000 after buying an additional 202 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 84.78% of the company’s stock.

About Waste Connections

Waste Connections, Inc provides waste collection, transfer, disposal, and recycling services in the United States and Canada. The company operates through six segments: Southern, Western, Eastern, Canada, Central, and Exploration and Production (E&P). It offers collection services to residential, commercial, municipal, industrial, and E&P customers; landfill disposal services; and recycling services for various recyclable materials, including compost, cardboard, mixed paper, plastic containers, glass bottles, and ferrous and aluminum metals.

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