Republic Services (RSG) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Republic Services (NYSE:RSG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday. The firm currently has a $76.00 price target on the business services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 11.44% from the company’s current price.

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 currently focusing on a series of quality acquisition opportunities for a healthy long-term growth within its top 25 markets. It is also transitioning to a fee-based recycling processing model to cover processing costs and generate a healthy ROI. The company is shifting to compressed natural gas collection vehicles and converting rear-loading trucks to automated-side loaders to reduce cost and improve margins. At the same time, it continues to generate significant free cash flow, which is utilized for higher dividend payment, share repurchases and strategic acquisitions. The stock has performed in line with the industry in the last three months. However, commodity price headwinds remain a significant impediment to growth for Republic Services.”

RSG has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Stifel Nicolaus upgraded Republic Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the company from $70.00 to $73.00 in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. Bank of America lowered their target price on Republic Services from $72.00 to $70.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. Credit Suisse Group lowered their target price on Republic Services from $69.00 to $67.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, November 6th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets lowered their target price on Republic Services from $72.00 to $70.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, November 6th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $68.71.

Republic Services (RSG) traded up $0.29 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $68.20. The stock had a trading volume of 1,240,200 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,257,569. The company has a current ratio of 0.54, a quick ratio of 0.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93. Republic Services has a fifty-two week low of $56.83 and a fifty-two week high of $69.12. The firm has a market capitalization of $22,794.11, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.90, a P/E/G ratio of 3.02 and a beta of 0.60.

Republic Services (NYSE:RSG) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The business services provider reported $0.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.63 by $0.04. Republic Services had a return on equity of 10.58% and a net margin of 8.15%. The business had revenue of $2.57 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.54 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.62 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.5% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that Republic Services will post 2.4 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Republic Services declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, November 2nd that allows the company to repurchase $2.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the business services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, insider Donald W. Slager sold 32,421 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.00, for a total value of $2,074,944.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CAO Brian A. Goebel sold 1,290 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $68.44, for a total value of $88,287.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 6,696 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $458,274.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 135,843 shares of company stock valued at $8,733,225 in the last three months. 0.40% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. lifted its holdings in Republic Services by 1.5% during the 2nd quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 5,383 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $342,000 after buying an additional 78 shares during the last quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans lifted its holdings in Republic Services by 2.6% during the 2nd quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 8,700 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $554,000 after buying an additional 220 shares during the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC lifted its holdings in Republic Services by 6.3% during the 2nd quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 3,782 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $241,000 after buying an additional 223 shares during the last quarter. Veritable L.P. lifted its holdings in Republic Services by 5.5% during the 2nd quarter. Veritable L.P. now owns 5,243 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $334,000 after buying an additional 273 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Evercore Wealth Management LLC lifted its holdings in Republic Services by 48.6% during the 2nd quarter. Evercore Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,593 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 521 shares during the last quarter. 59.80% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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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