Casella Waste Systems (NASDAQ:CWST) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Casella Waste Systems (NASDAQ:CWST) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Casella Waste Systems, Inc. is a regional, integrated solid waste services company that provides collection, transfer, disposal and recycling services, generates steam and manufactures finished products utilizing recyclable materials primarily throughout the eastern portion of the United States and parts of Canada. The Company also markets recyclable metals, aluminum, plastics, paper and corrugated cardboard all processed at its facilities and recyclables purchased from third parties. “

Separately, Raymond James boosted their target price on shares of Casella Waste Systems from $76.00 to $77.00 and gave the stock a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Monday. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $69.50.

Shares of Casella Waste Systems stock traded down $0.55 on Tuesday, hitting $67.08. 134,455 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 268,754. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $65.80 and a 200-day simple moving average of $61.04. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.43 billion, a PE ratio of 87.12 and a beta of 0.93. Casella Waste Systems has a 1 year low of $43.97 and a 1 year high of $68.48. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.59, a quick ratio of 0.78 and a current ratio of 0.84.

Casella Waste Systems (NASDAQ:CWST) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 29th. The industrial products company reported $0.09 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.04 by $0.05. Casella Waste Systems had a net margin of 4.85% and a return on equity of 33.65%. On average, analysts expect that Casella Waste Systems will post 0.83 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO John W. Casella sold 31,702 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.78, for a total transaction of $1,895,145.56. Also, Director Emily Nagle Green sold 4,256 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.46, for a total transaction of $253,061.76. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 66,105 shares of company stock valued at $3,997,304. 7.71% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in CWST. Oak Ridge Investments LLC increased its position in shares of Casella Waste Systems by 470.3% during the first quarter. Oak Ridge Investments LLC now owns 1,053,087 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $66,944,000 after acquiring an additional 868,417 shares during the last quarter. Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Casella Waste Systems by 25.5% during the first quarter. Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC now owns 3,424,482 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $217,694,000 after acquiring an additional 695,017 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its position in shares of Casella Waste Systems by 65.8% during the fourth quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,478,105 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $91,568,000 after acquiring an additional 586,457 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Casella Waste Systems during the fourth quarter valued at about $33,537,000. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in shares of Casella Waste Systems by 14.0% during the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 4,079,736 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $252,738,000 after acquiring an additional 500,771 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.69% of the company’s stock.

About Casella Waste Systems

Casella Waste Systems, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a vertically integrated solid waste services company in the northeastern United States. It offers resource management services primarily in the areas of solid waste collection and disposal, transfer, recycling, and organics services to residential, commercial, municipal, and industrial customers.

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