Franklin Resources Inc. Has $1.12 Million Position in Waste Management (WM)

Franklin Resources Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Waste Management (NYSE:WM) by 27.5% during the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 12,935 shares of the business services provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 2,793 shares during the quarter. Franklin Resources Inc.’s holdings in Waste Management were worth $1,116,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in WM. MHI Funds LLC purchased a new position in Waste Management during the fourth quarter worth about $184,000. Cerebellum GP LLC purchased a new position in Waste Management during the fourth quarter worth about $186,000. Capital Guardian Trust Co. purchased a new position in Waste Management during the third quarter worth about $193,000. FTB Advisors Inc. grew its position in Waste Management by 44.2% during the fourth quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. now owns 2,285 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $197,000 after buying an additional 700 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Gradient Investments LLC purchased a new position in Waste Management during the fourth quarter worth about $197,000. Institutional investors own 76.76% of the company’s stock.

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Several equities analysts recently commented on the company. Macquarie upgraded Waste Management from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. UBS assumed coverage on Waste Management in a research report on Wednesday, March 14th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $93.00 target price for the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Waste Management from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $92.00 target price for the company in a research report on Saturday, February 10th. Raymond James Financial upgraded Waste Management from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $95.00 target price for the company in a research report on Friday, February 16th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus restated a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 target price on shares of Waste Management in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $90.44.

In related news, Director Patrick W. Gross sold 387 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $88.30, for a total transaction of $34,172.10. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 30,673 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,708,425.90. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP John J. Morris sold 18,254 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.83, for a total value of $1,548,486.82. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 56,338 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,779,152.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 106,291 shares of company stock valued at $9,154,833 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.19% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:WM opened at $84.12 on Friday. Waste Management has a 12-month low of $70.08 and a 12-month high of $89.73. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.45, a current ratio of 0.80 and a quick ratio of 0.77. The stock has a market capitalization of $36,480.66, a PE ratio of 26.12, a PEG ratio of 1.90 and a beta of 0.70.

Waste Management (NYSE:WM) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 15th. The business services provider reported $0.85 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.83 by $0.02. Waste Management had a return on equity of 25.48% and a net margin of 13.45%. The firm had revenue of $3.65 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.57 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.75 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.5% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts expect that Waste Management will post 4.04 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 23rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 9th were issued a $0.465 dividend. This is a boost from Waste Management’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.43. This represents a $1.86 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.21%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 8th. Waste Management’s dividend payout ratio is presently 57.76%.

Waste Management announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, December 14th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.25 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the business services provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

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Waste Management Company Profile

Waste Management, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides waste management environmental services to residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers in North America. It provides collection services, including picking up and transporting waste and recyclable materials from where it was generated to a transfer station, material recovery facility (MRF), or disposal site; and owns, develops, and operates landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States, as well as owns and operates transfer stations.

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

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