US Ecology (ECOL) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of US Ecology (NASDAQ:ECOL) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “US Ecology, Inc., formerly known as American Ecology Corporation, provides radioactive, PCB, hazardous, and non-hazardous waste services to commercial and government customers throughout the United States. The Company operates through its subsidiaries and provides its services to steel mills, medical and academic institutions, refineries, chemical manufacturing facilities and the nuclear power industry. Its subsidiaries include US Ecology Nevada, Inc., US Ecology Washington, Inc., US Ecology Texas, Inc., US Ecology Idaho, Inc., and US Ecology Field Services, Inc. The Company operates through two business segments: operating disposal facilities and non-operating disposal facilities. US Ecology, Inc. is headquartered in Boise, Idaho. “

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on ECOL. BMO Capital Markets increased their price target on US Ecology from $52.00 to $56.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research note on Friday, February 16th. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a buy rating and issued a $64.00 price target on shares of US Ecology in a research note on Friday, February 16th. UBS started coverage on US Ecology in a research note on Wednesday, March 14th. They issued a sell rating and a $55.00 price objective for the company. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded US Ecology from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. US Ecology currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $58.80.



US Ecology stock opened at $55.35 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 2.23 and a quick ratio of 2.23. US Ecology has a one year low of $44.50 and a one year high of $59.70. The stock has a market capitalization of $1,228.30, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.84 and a beta of 0.66.

US Ecology (NASDAQ:ECOL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 15th. The business services provider reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.62 by $0.11. US Ecology had a return on equity of 12.65% and a net margin of 9.79%. The company had revenue of $133.70 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $132.09 million. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.36 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 14.1% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts predict that US Ecology will post 2.21 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 27th. Stockholders of record on Friday, April 20th will be paid a $0.18 dividend. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.30%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, April 19th. US Ecology’s payout ratio is 41.86%.

In other news, CEO Jeffrey R. Feeler sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.59, for a total value of $1,364,750.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 79,127 shares in the company, valued at $4,319,542.93. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, COO Simon G. Bell sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.70, for a total value of $222,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 35,115 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,955,905.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 35,742 shares of company stock valued at $1,972,642. Company insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in ECOL. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its stake in shares of US Ecology by 28.2% in the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 58,500 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $3,148,000 after purchasing an additional 12,879 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its position in US Ecology by 5.3% during the third quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 95,350 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $5,130,000 after acquiring an additional 4,806 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its position in US Ecology by 1.7% during the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 92,690 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $4,987,000 after acquiring an additional 1,590 shares in the last quarter. Mondrian Investment Partners LTD raised its position in US Ecology by 18.6% during the fourth quarter. Mondrian Investment Partners LTD now owns 92,719 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $4,729,000 after acquiring an additional 14,561 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Assenagon Asset Management S.A. purchased a new position in US Ecology during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,791,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.32% of the company’s stock.

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US Ecology Company Profile

US Ecology, Inc is a provider of environmental services to commercial and government entities. The Company offers treatment, disposal and recycling of hazardous, non-hazardous and radioactive waste, as well as a range of field and industrial services. The Company operates in two business segments: Environmental Services, and Field & Industrial Services.

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