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Waste Management (NYSE:WM) was downgraded by stock analysts at Wunderlich from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Wednesday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. They currently have a $45.00 price target on the stock, down from their previous price target of $52.00. Wunderlich’s price objective indicates a potential upside of 7.86% from the stock’s previous close.

The analysts wrote, “We are lowering our rating and price target to Hold and $45 on Waste Management (WM). 2013′s stock price appreciation can be looked at as two years (2013 & 2014) of performance in one. Core solid waste produced material improvement in margins and FCF in 2013 and should settle into a steady improving trend in 2014. However, WTE and Recycling remain margin and FCF drags: they actually underperformed expectations in 2013 and are not expected to be better than flat y/y in 2014. “Recycling is in a multi-year change in the operating model and WTE does not need to be owned 100% by WM for it to get the strategic advantage of disposal. The catalyst to own WM in 2014 would be a sale of all or part of WTE and or Recycling margins permanently improving faster than expected (not a paper price play).”

A number of other firms have also recently commented on WM. Analysts at Zacks reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Waste Management in a research note on Monday, January 27th. They now have a $44.00 price target on the stock. Analysts at Macquarie initiated coverage on shares of Waste Management in a research note on Tuesday, January 7th. They set an “outperform” rating on the stock. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $43.36.

Shares of Waste Management (NYSE:WM) traded down 2.25% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $40.78. The stock had a trading volume of 1,622,321 shares. Waste Management has a one year low of $36.23 and a one year high of $46.38. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $42.75 and a 200-day moving average of $42.84. The company has a market cap of $19.133 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.07.

Waste Management (NYSE:WM) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 27th. The company reported $0.56 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.60 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $3.50 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.58 billion. Analysts expect that Waste Management will post $2.41 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Waste Management, Inc (NYSE:WM) is a provider of waste management services in North America.

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