Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE:RSG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Thursday. The firm presently has a $70.00 target price on the business services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 12.16% from the company’s previous close.

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 and expects these initiatives to contribute about $25 million of annual cost savings from 2018. Republic Services has outperformed the industry in the last three months. The company is currently focusing on a series of quality acquisition opportunities, primarily of recycling assets, which are likely to act as a catalyst for a healthy long-term growth within its top 25 markets. The company is also transitioning to a fee-based recycling processing model to cover processing costs and generate a healthy ROI. However, margin pressure remains a bottleneck as Republic Services has more exposure to Collection services that generate the lowest margin.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on the company. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $63.00 target price on Republic Services and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Sunday, April 30th. Barclays PLC reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $59.00 target price on shares of Republic Services in a report on Friday, April 28th. Wedbush raised their target price on Republic Services from $62.00 to $66.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, March 30th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Republic Services in a report on Friday, February 17th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus raised their target price on Republic Services from $60.00 to $64.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, February 13th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $66.33.

Analyst Recommendations for Republic Services (NYSE:RSG)

Shares of Republic Services (NYSE:RSG) traded up 0.64% during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $62.81. 302,740 shares of the company traded hands. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $62.82 and its 200-day moving average is $59.49. Republic Services has a 1-year low of $47.74 and a 1-year high of $64.11. The stock has a market capitalization of $21.23 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.41 and a beta of 0.59.

Republic Services (NYSE:RSG) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The business services provider reported $0.55 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.53 by $0.02. Republic Services had a return on equity of 9.62% and a net margin of 6.40%. The company had revenue of $2.39 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.36 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.48 earnings per share. Republic Services’s quarterly revenue was up 6.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Republic Services will post $2.38 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 14th. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 3rd will be given a $0.32 dividend. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.05%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 29th. Republic Services’s dividend payout ratio is currently 74.85%.

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In other news, EVP Catharine D. Ellingsen sold 1,625 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.21, for a total value of $101,091.25. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 3,589 shares in the company, valued at $223,271.69. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CFO Charles F. Serianni sold 9,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.43, for a total value of $583,585.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 39,893 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,450,626.99. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 12,405 shares of company stock valued at $763,742. Company insiders own 0.50% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Cribstone Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in Republic Services during the first quarter worth approximately $121,000. Parallel Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Republic Services during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $120,000. M&R Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in Republic Services by 120.0% in the fourth quarter. M&R Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,200 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 1,200 shares during the period. Independent Advisor Alliance acquired a new stake in Republic Services during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $173,000. Finally, Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. acquired a new stake in Republic Services during the first quarter valued at approximately $203,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.52% of the company’s stock.

Republic Services Company Profile

Republic Services, Inc is a provider of non-hazardous solid waste collection, transfer, disposal, recycling and energy services. The Company’s segments include Group 1, Group 2 and Corporate entities. Its Group 1 and Group 2 segments provide integrated waste management services. Group 1 consists of geographic areas located in the western and portions of the mid-western United States.

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