Waste Connections (WCN) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “We appreciate Waste Connections’ focus on secondary and rural markets to garner a higher local market share. It has optimal asset positioning to generate higher profitability. An experienced management team, decentralized operating strategy and financial strength remain additional tailwinds. Acquisitions have been contributing to Waste Connections’ top-line growth. The company's efforts to reward its shareholders look impressive. Year-to-date, the company has outperformed the industry it belongs to. However, seasonality in business is likely to hurt Waste Connections’ top line growth. Stringent environmental, health and safety laws have been hindering the company’s operations and raising its operating costs. Foreign currency exchange rate risks and a debt-laden balance sheet remain other major concerns.”

A number of other brokerages have also weighed in on WCN. Royal Bank of Canada raised their target price on Waste Connections from $82.00 to $84.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Thursday, July 26th. BMO Capital Markets raised their target price on Waste Connections from $82.00 to $84.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Friday, June 29th. TD Securities raised their target price on Waste Connections from $79.00 to $83.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, July 26th. Finally, Citigroup raised their target price on Waste Connections from $80.00 to $86.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Thursday, July 26th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $84.11.



Shares of NYSE:WCN opened at $73.12 on Thursday. Waste Connections has a twelve month low of $65.06 and a twelve month high of $81.36. The firm has a market capitalization of $19.27 billion, a PE ratio of 31.38, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.57 and a beta of 0.05. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60, a current ratio of 1.15 and a quick ratio of 1.15.

In related news, COO Darrell W. Chambliss sold 6,485 shares of Waste Connections stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.00, for a total value of $518,800.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP David Eddie sold 20,000 shares of Waste Connections stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.06, for a total value of $1,601,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 36,320 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,907,779.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 38,385 shares of company stock valued at $3,063,670. Corporate insiders own 0.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its position in Waste Connections by 4.4% in the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 2,976,711 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $224,093,000 after purchasing an additional 124,200 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Waste Connections by 4.3% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,826,679 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $212,793,000 after buying an additional 116,433 shares during the period. Brown Advisory Inc. grew its position in shares of Waste Connections by 1.6% during the 2nd quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. now owns 2,067,697 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $155,749,000 after buying an additional 33,296 shares during the period. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. grew its position in shares of Waste Connections by 20.6% during the 2nd quarter. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. now owns 2,046,843 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $154,091,000 after buying an additional 349,520 shares during the period. Finally, Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC grew its position in shares of Waste Connections by 1.2% during the 2nd quarter. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC now owns 1,784,030 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $134,302,000 after buying an additional 20,753 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 81.72% of the company’s stock.

About Waste Connections

Waste Connections, Inc, a solid waste services company, provides waste collection, transfer, disposal, and recycling services in the United States and Canada. The company operates through six segments: Southern, Western, Eastern, Canada, Central, and Exploration and Production (E&P). It offers collection services to residential, commercial, municipal, industrial, and E&P customers; landfill disposal services; and recycling services for various recyclable materials, including compost, cardboard, office paper, plastic containers, glass bottles, and ferrous and aluminum metals.

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