US Ecology, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECOL) has been given an average rating of “Hold” by the six ratings firms that are covering the firm, Marketbeat.com reports. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 12 month price target among brokerages that have covered the stock in the last year is $53.75.

ECOL has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $60.00 target price on shares of US Ecology in a report on Friday, September 8th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of US Ecology from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 30th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $60.00 target price on shares of US Ecology in a report on Friday. BMO Capital Markets initiated coverage on shares of US Ecology in a report on Thursday, June 29th. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $54.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of US Ecology from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, October 2nd.

US Ecology (NASDAQ ECOL) opened at 53.80 on Friday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $50.85 and a 200-day moving average of $50.10. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.17 billion, a PE ratio of 42.06 and a beta of 0.66. US Ecology has a 52-week low of $38.00 and a 52-week high of $55.75.

US Ecology (NASDAQ:ECOL) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The business services provider reported $0.38 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.38. The firm had revenue of $126.06 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $128.38 million. US Ecology had a net margin of 5.86% and a return on equity of 11.37%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.41 EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that US Ecology will post $1.77 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 27th. Investors of record on Friday, October 20th will be issued a $0.18 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 19th. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.34%. US Ecology’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 56.25%.

In related news, Director Katina Dorton acquired 600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 25th. The shares were bought at an average price of $47.16 per share, for a total transaction of $28,296.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 3,970 shares in the company, valued at approximately $187,225.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Eric L. Gerratt sold 19,936 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.80, for a total transaction of $933,004.80. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 31,447 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,471,719.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of ECOL. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of US Ecology by 133,529.0% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,595,075 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $121,579,000 after purchasing an additional 2,593,133 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its holdings in shares of US Ecology by 31.3% during the 2nd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 652,225 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $32,937,000 after purchasing an additional 155,498 shares during the period. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of US Ecology by 866.1% during the 2nd quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 130,602 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $6,596,000 after purchasing an additional 117,083 shares during the period. GW&K Investment Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of US Ecology by 23.8% during the 2nd quarter. GW&K Investment Management LLC now owns 511,609 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $25,836,000 after purchasing an additional 98,202 shares during the period. Finally, Nicholas Company Inc. increased its holdings in shares of US Ecology by 351.7% during the 2nd quarter. Nicholas Company Inc. now owns 102,740 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $5,188,000 after purchasing an additional 79,995 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 85.63% 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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