BMO Capital Markets Trims US Ecology (ECOL) Target Price to $71.00

US Ecology (NASDAQ:ECOL) had its price objective decreased by BMO Capital Markets to $71.00 in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning, The Fly reports. BMO Capital Markets currently has a reduce rating on the business services provider’s stock.

ECOL has been the subject of a number of other reports. Zacks Investment Research raised US Ecology from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $78.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Thursday, October 25th. BidaskClub raised US Ecology from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 13th. Canaccord Genuity reissued a buy rating and set a $72.00 price objective (up from $64.00) on shares of US Ecology in a research report on Friday, August 3rd. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus raised their price objective on US Ecology from $64.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Monday, August 6th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $70.60.

Shares of ECOL opened at $67.39 on Wednesday. US Ecology has a 52-week low of $44.90 and a 52-week high of $77.15. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.49 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 39.18 and a beta of 0.51. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78, a current ratio of 2.23 and a quick ratio of 2.23.

US Ecology (NASDAQ:ECOL) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The business services provider reported $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.62 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $151.42 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $144.11 million. US Ecology had a return on equity of 15.68% and a net margin of 12.30%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.37 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that US Ecology will post 2.36 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 26th. Investors of record on Friday, October 19th were given a dividend of $0.18 per share. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.07%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, October 18th. US Ecology’s payout ratio is 41.86%.

In related news, EVP Steven D. Welling sold 9,557 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.42, for a total transaction of $692,117.94. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 31,928 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,312,225.76. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Stephen A. Romano sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.05, for a total value of $150,100.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 24,695 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,853,359.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 32,557 shares of company stock valued at $2,355,988 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. UBS Group AG boosted its holdings in US Ecology by 76.2% during the 1st quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 10,133 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $540,000 after acquiring an additional 4,381 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its holdings in US Ecology by 2.6% during the 1st quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 167,667 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $8,937,000 after acquiring an additional 4,171 shares during the period. Amalgamated Bank purchased a new position in US Ecology during the 2nd quarter valued at about $228,000. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in US Ecology by 2,381.0% during the 2nd quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 5,210 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $332,000 after acquiring an additional 5,000 shares during the period. Finally, Congress Asset Management Co. MA boosted its holdings in US Ecology by 9.0% during the 2nd quarter. Congress Asset Management Co. MA now owns 35,308 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $2,249,000 after acquiring an additional 2,907 shares during the period. 84.25% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About US Ecology

US Ecology, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides environmental services to commercial and government entities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It operates in two segments, Environmental Services; and Field & Industrial Services. The Environmental Services segment offers hazardous material management services, including transportation, recycling, treatment, and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste at its landfill, wastewater, and other treatment facilities.

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