Gradient Investments LLC Lowers Holdings in Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WM)

Gradient Investments LLC trimmed its holdings in Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WMGet Rating) by 29.8% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 28,537 shares of the business services provider’s stock after selling 12,092 shares during the period. Gradient Investments LLC’s holdings in Waste Management were worth $4,477,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Other large investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. McClarren Financial Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Waste Management in the third quarter valued at about $25,000. Twin Lakes Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Waste Management in the third quarter worth about $31,000. TD Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Waste Management in the third quarter worth about $33,000. Tortoise Investment Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Waste Management by 232.1% in the third quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC now owns 269 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $43,000 after buying an additional 188 shares in the last quarter. Finally, IAG Wealth Partners LLC lifted its position in shares of Waste Management by 51.5% in the third quarter. IAG Wealth Partners LLC now owns 365 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $58,000 after buying an additional 124 shares in the last quarter. 78.48% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Waste Management Trading Down 1.6 %

WM opened at $153.15 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $62.51 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.41, a P/E/G ratio of 2.33 and a beta of 0.72. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $152.41 and its 200-day moving average price is $159.14. Waste Management, Inc. has a one year low of $138.89 and a one year high of $175.98. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.12, a quick ratio of 0.77 and a current ratio of 0.81.

Waste Management (NYSE:WMGet Rating) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, February 1st. The business services provider reported $1.30 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.39 by ($0.09). The business had revenue of $4.94 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.97 billion. Waste Management had a net margin of 11.36% and a return on equity of 32.91%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.26 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Waste Management, Inc. will post 6.09 EPS for the current year.

Waste Management Increases Dividend

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 24th. Investors of record on Friday, March 10th will be paid a $0.70 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 9th. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.83%. This is a boost from Waste Management’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.65. Waste Management’s dividend payout ratio is 51.95%.

Waste Management announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Thursday, December 8th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.50 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the business services provider to reacquire up to 2.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

Analyst Ratings Changes

A number of equities research analysts recently commented on the company. Stifel Nicolaus downgraded Waste Management from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and decreased their target price for the stock from $185.00 to $171.00 in a research report on Monday, December 19th. Citigroup decreased their target price on Waste Management from $183.00 to $180.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, February 2nd. Raymond James decreased their target price on Waste Management from $167.00 to $166.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, February 6th. BMO Capital Markets reduced their price objective on Waste Management from $167.00 to $158.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, February 2nd. Finally, StockNews.com assumed coverage on Waste Management in a research note on Thursday. They set a “buy” rating on the stock. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat.com, the company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $169.50.

Insider Buying and Selling

In related news, CAO Leslie K. Nagy sold 800 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $151.11, for a total value of $120,888.00. Following the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 5,210 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $787,283.10. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. In other Waste Management news, Director John C. Pope sold 218 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $154.76, for a total transaction of $33,737.68. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 55,809 shares in the company, valued at $8,637,000.84. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CAO Leslie K. Nagy sold 800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $151.11, for a total value of $120,888.00. Following the sale, the chief accounting officer now owns 5,210 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $787,283.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 31,027 shares of company stock valued at $4,806,619 over the last quarter. 0.18% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Waste Management Company Profile

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Waste Management, Inc is a holding company, which engages in the provision of waste management environmental services. It operates through the following segments: East Tier, West Tier, and Other. The East Tier segment consists of Eastern U.S., the Great Lakes Region, and Canada. The West Tier segment includes the upper Midwest region and British Columbia, Canada.

Further Reading

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Waste Management (NYSE:WM)

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