Republic Services Inc. (NYSE:RSG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Republic Services is focused on enhancing its operations by streamlining the cost structure, improving revenue quality and seeking growth through profitable investment opportunities. The company is realigning its field support functions by combining two organizational layers into one and expects these initiatives to contribute about $25 million of annual cost savings from 2018. Republic Services reaffirmed its earlier 2016 adjusted earnings per share and adjusted free cash flow guidance. The company has a positive earnings history in the trailing four quarters. Earnings estimates have also remained steady over the last 30 days. However, it remains exposed to commodity price headwinds and protracted weakness in special waste, industrial volumes and tight municipal budgets, which will likely have a negative impact on earnings. Margins are also expected to remain constrained in the future quarters as well.”

A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on RSG. Imperial Capital upped their price target on shares of Republic Services from $52.00 to $58.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 2nd. Macquarie began coverage on shares of Republic Services in a research note on Thursday, August 25th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $53.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Barclays PLC boosted their price objective on shares of Republic Services from $52.00 to $56.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 9th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $51.70.

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Shares of Republic Services (NYSE:RSG) traded up 0.34% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $50.88. 832,304 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The firm has a market cap of $17.44 billion, a PE ratio of 24.45 and a beta of 0.59. Republic Services has a one year low of $40.05 and a one year high of $52.92. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $50.84 and its 200 day moving average price is $49.27.

Republic Services (NYSE:RSG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.55 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.55. Republic Services had a net margin of 7.85% and a return on equity of 9.21%. The business had revenue of $2.35 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.38 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.54 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Republic Services will post $2.16 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Shareholders of record on Monday, October 3rd will be issued a $0.32 dividend. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.52%. This is a positive change from Republic Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 29th. Republic Services’s dividend payout ratio is 57.97%.

In other news, CAO Brian A. Goebel sold 1,695 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.10, for a total transaction of $88,309.50. Following the transaction, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 6,391 shares in the company, valued at approximately $332,971.10. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CAO Brian A. Goebel sold 3,780 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.83, for a total transaction of $192,137.40. Following the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 7,671 shares in the company, valued at $389,916.93. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.50% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. PineBridge Investments L.P. raised its position in shares of Republic Services by 526.7% in the second quarter. PineBridge Investments L.P. now owns 2,933 shares of the company’s stock valued at $150,000 after buying an additional 2,465 shares during the last quarter. Mizuho Asset Management Co. Ltd. raised its position in shares of Republic Services by 73.2% in the second quarter. Mizuho Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 3,005 shares of the company’s stock valued at $154,000 after buying an additional 1,270 shares during the last quarter. Farmers National Bank bought a new position in shares of Republic Services during the second quarter valued at $183,000. IFP Advisors Inc raised its position in shares of Republic Services by 45.0% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 4,198 shares of the company’s stock valued at $200,000 after buying an additional 1,303 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Reynolds Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Republic Services during the first quarter valued at $210,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 61.46% of the company’s stock.

About Republic Services

Republic Services, Inc is a provider of non-hazardous solid waste collection, transfer, disposal, recycling and energy services in the United States. The Company operates through three segments: East, Central and West. The Company operates in over 40 states and Puerto Rico through approximately 340 collection operations, over 200 transfer stations, over 190 active landfills, approximately 70 recycling centers, approximately 10 treatment, recovery and disposal facilities, and over 10 salt water disposal wells.

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