Waste Connections, Inc. (NYSE:WCN) has been given an average rating of “Buy” by the twelve ratings firms that are presently covering the firm, Marketbeat reports. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation, eight have assigned a buy recommendation and one has assigned a strong buy recommendation to the company. The average 1 year price target among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $71.33.

Several brokerages have issued reports on WCN. BidaskClub lowered Waste Connections from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Barclays PLC lifted their price target on Waste Connections from $70.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, August 7th. TD Securities lifted their price target on Waste Connections from $67.00 to $73.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Waste Connections from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st. Finally, Raymond James Financial, Inc. lifted their price target on Waste Connections from $74.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th.

Shares of Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN) traded up 1.75% during trading on Friday, reaching $67.26. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 677,710 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $65.05 and its 200-day moving average is $62.24. The stock has a market cap of $17.72 billion, a P/E ratio of 57.19 and a beta of 0.24. Waste Connections has a 12-month low of $47.81 and a 12-month high of $67.40.

Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The business services provider reported $0.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.02. Waste Connections had a return on equity of 9.19% and a net margin of 7.11%. The firm had revenue of $1.18 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.15 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.66 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 61.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Waste Connections will post $2.13 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 22nd. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 8th were issued a $0.12 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 4th. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.71%. Waste Connections’s dividend payout ratio is currently 32.11%.

Waste Connections declared that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Wednesday, August 2nd that authorizes the company to repurchase 13,180,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the business services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

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In other news, CFO Worthing Jackman sold 30,000 shares of Waste Connections stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total value of $1,950,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider James Little sold 3,000 shares of Waste Connections stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.81, for a total value of $194,430.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 69,500 shares of company stock worth $4,521,285. Company insiders own 0.68% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. increased its holdings in Waste Connections by 55.8% during the 2nd quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 1,561 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $101,000 after purchasing an additional 559 shares during the period. Independent Portfolio Consultants Inc. increased its holdings in Waste Connections by 10.1% during the 2nd quarter. Independent Portfolio Consultants Inc. now owns 1,833 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $118,000 after purchasing an additional 168 shares during the period. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC increased its holdings in Waste Connections by 50.0% during the 2nd quarter. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC now owns 2,107 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $136,000 after purchasing an additional 702 shares during the period. US Bancorp DE increased its holdings in Waste Connections by 14.3% during the 2nd quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 2,171 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $140,000 after purchasing an additional 271 shares during the period. Finally, Creative Planning increased its holdings in Waste Connections by 223.5% during the 2nd quarter. Creative Planning now owns 2,397 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $154,000 after purchasing an additional 1,656 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.81% of the company’s stock.

About Waste Connections

Waste Connections, Inc is a solid waste services company in North America. The Company provides waste collection, transfer, disposal and recycling services in markets in the United States and Canada. The Company operates through six segments: Southern segment, Western segment, Eastern segment, Canada segment, Central segment and E&P segment.

Analyst Recommendations for Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN)

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