Clean Harbors (NYSE: CLH) and Waste Management (NYSE:WM) are both mid-cap business services companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, dividends, risk, profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings and institutional ownership.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations for Clean Harbors and Waste Management, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Clean Harbors 0 4 7 0 2.64
Waste Management 1 3 6 0 2.50

Clean Harbors presently has a consensus target price of $60.90, suggesting a potential upside of 14.11%. Waste Management has a consensus target price of $75.00, suggesting a potential downside of 0.73%. Given Clean Harbors’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities analysts clearly believe Clean Harbors is more favorable than Waste Management.


This table compares Clean Harbors and Waste Management’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Clean Harbors -0.65% 0.79% 0.23%
Waste Management 9.18% 25.07% 6.56%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Clean Harbors and Waste Management’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Clean Harbors $2.86 billion 1.07 $415.29 million ($0.32) -166.78
Waste Management $14.13 billion 2.35 $3.86 billion $2.91 25.96

Waste Management has higher revenue and earnings than Clean Harbors. Clean Harbors is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Waste Management, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


Waste Management pays an annual dividend of $1.70 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. Clean Harbors does not pay a dividend. Waste Management pays out 58.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Waste Management has increased its dividend for 13 consecutive years.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

95.1% of Clean Harbors shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 75.5% of Waste Management shares are held by institutional investors. 9.5% of Clean Harbors shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 0.2% of Waste Management shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Risk & Volatility

Clean Harbors has a beta of 0.82, indicating that its stock price is 18% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Waste Management has a beta of 0.71, indicating that its stock price is 29% less volatile than the S&P 500.


Waste Management beats Clean Harbors on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Clean Harbors

Clean Harbors, Inc. is a provider of environmental, energy and industrial services throughout North America. The Company is also a re-refiner and recycler of used oil in the world and a provider of parts cleaning and related environmental services to commercial, industrial and automotive customers in North America. The Company operates in six segments: Technical Services, Industrial Services, Field Services, Safety-Kleen, Oil and Gas Field Services, and Lodging Services. The Company is also a service provider in the recovery and decontamination of pollutants. The Company provides services to protect the ozone layer from the effects of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). It offers brands, such as Performance Plus brand and green brand EcoPower. The Company also offers CleanPack services, which include the collection, identification and categorization, packaging, transportation and disposal of laboratory chemicals and household hazardous waste. It also provides hydro excavation services.

About Waste Management

Waste Management, Inc. (WM) is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is a provider of waste management environmental services. The Company’s segments include Solid Waste and Other. The Company’s Solid Waste segment includes its solid waste business. The Other segment includes its Strategic Business Solutions (WMSBS) organization; its landfill gas-to-energy operations and third-party subcontract and administration services managed by its Energy and Environmental Services and WM Renewable Energy organizations; its recycling brokerage services, and its service offerings and solutions, such as portable self-storage and long distance moving services, fluorescent lamp recycling and interests it holds in oil and gas producing properties. As of December 31, 2016, the Company owned or operated 243 solid waste landfills and five secure hazardous waste landfills. Its recycling brokerage services involve managing the marketing of recyclable materials for third parties.

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