Waste Connections, Inc. (NYSE:WCN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Thursday. The brokerage presently has a $79.00 target price on the business services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 13.25% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Waste Connections has outperformed the industry year to date. With prime location of disposal sites within competitive markets, Waste Connections has optimal asset positioning to generate higher profitability. The merger of Waste Connections with Progressive Waste Solutions has arguably created an industry leader with enhanced scale and a stronger financial profile. The combined entity is expected to generate approximately $50 million in annualized SG&A cost savings within the first 12 months after closing. An experienced management team and a decentralized operating strategy remain additional tailwinds. A vertically integrated services portfolio offers a competitive advantage. Waste Connections also aims to leverage its franchise-based platforms to expand customer base beyond the exclusive market territories. However, stringent health and safety laws, seasonal factors and stiff competition remain headwinds.”

Several other equities research analysts have also weighed in on the company. BidaskClub lowered Waste Connections from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. Royal Bank Of Canada boosted their target price on Waste Connections from $74.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Stifel Nicolaus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $75.00 target price on shares of Waste Connections in a report on Tuesday, August 29th. Credit Suisse Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $75.00 target price on shares of Waste Connections in a report on Friday, June 23rd. Finally, Barclays PLC restated a “buy” rating and issued a $68.00 target price on shares of Waste Connections in a report on Friday, June 23rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Waste Connections presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $72.48.

Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN) traded down 0.853% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $69.165. 339,261 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock has a market cap of $18.22 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 58.814 and a beta of 0.23. Waste Connections has a 52 week low of $47.81 and a 52 week high of $70.76. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $67.59 and a 200 day moving average price of $63.79.

Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The business services provider reported $0.55 earnings per share 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 period in the previous year, the company earned $0.66 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 61.6% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Waste Connections will post $2.13 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Waste Connections declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program on Wednesday, August 2nd that allows the company to buyback 13,180,000 shares. This buyback authorization allows the business services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

WARNING: “Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Waste Connections, Inc. (WCN) to “Buy”” was first posted by American Banking News and is owned by of American Banking News. If you are accessing this piece on another domain, it was illegally stolen and reposted in violation of US & international copyright and trademark laws. The legal version of this piece can be read at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2017/10/05/zacks-investment-research-upgrades-waste-connections-inc-wcn-to-buy.html.

In other news, CFO Worthing Jackman sold 30,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total transaction of $1,950,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Edward E. Guillet sold 11,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.27, for a total value of $750,605.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 69,500 shares of company stock valued at $4,521,285. Corporate insiders own 0.68% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. raised its stake in shares of Waste Connections by 2.2% in the first quarter. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. now owns 2,750 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $242,000 after purchasing an additional 60 shares in the last quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec raised its stake in shares of Waste Connections by 0.7% in the first quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 14,400 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,272,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Independent Portfolio Consultants Inc. raised its stake in shares of Waste Connections by 10.1% in the second 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 in the last quarter. US Bancorp DE raised its stake in shares of Waste Connections by 14.3% in the second 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 in the last quarter. Finally, Dai Ichi Life Insurance Company Ltd raised its stake in shares of Waste Connections by 11.6% in the second quarter. Dai Ichi Life Insurance Company Ltd now owns 3,682 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $237,000 after purchasing an additional 383 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 82.59% 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.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Waste Connections (WCN)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN)

Receive News & Ratings for Waste Connections Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Waste Connections Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.