US Ecology Inc (ECOL) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Hold” from Brokerages

Shares of US Ecology Inc (NASDAQ:ECOL) have earned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the seven analysts that are presently covering the firm, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, one has issued a hold recommendation, three have issued a buy recommendation and one has issued a strong buy recommendation on the company. The average 1 year price target among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $70.60.

Several equities analysts recently commented on ECOL shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of US Ecology from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $79.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Thursday, November 8th. BMO Capital Markets dropped their price objective on shares of US Ecology to $71.00 and set a “reduce” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of US Ecology from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 18th.

In other news, Director Stephen A. Romano sold 12,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.62, for a total transaction of $847,440.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 12,695 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $896,520.90. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Jeffrey R. Feeler sold 6,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.08, for a total transaction of $438,480.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 59,504 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,348,552.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 32,557 shares of company stock valued at $2,355,988 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of US Ecology by 4.2% during the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,124,051 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $230,400,000 after acquiring an additional 126,945 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of US Ecology by 1.4% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,312,412 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $96,791,000 after buying an additional 18,070 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its position in shares of US Ecology by 1.0% during the third quarter. FMR LLC now owns 755,533 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $55,721,000 after buying an additional 7,141 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in shares of US Ecology by 3.6% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 336,910 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $24,848,000 after buying an additional 11,654 shares during the period. Finally, Northern Trust Corp increased its position in shares of US Ecology by 2.3% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 319,867 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $20,375,000 after buying an additional 7,306 shares during the period. 84.25% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of NASDAQ:ECOL opened at $67.39 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $1.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 39.18 and a beta of 0.51. The company has a quick ratio of 2.23, a current ratio of 2.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78. US Ecology has a one year low of $44.90 and a one year high of $77.15.

US Ecology (NASDAQ:ECOL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 1st. The business services provider reported $0.70 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate 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 net margin of 12.30% and a return on equity of 15.68%. The firm’s revenue was up 13.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.37 EPS. On average, research analysts forecast that US Ecology will post 2.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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

US Ecology Company Profile

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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