US Ecology (NASDAQ: ECOL) is one of 20 public companies in the “Waste Management, Disposal & Recycling Services” industry, but how does it weigh in compared to its peers? We will compare US Ecology to similar businesses based on the strength of its institutional ownership, valuation, analyst recommendations, earnings, risk, dividends and profitability.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations for US Ecology and its peers, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
US Ecology 1 1 2 0 2.25
US Ecology Competitors 44 277 585 14 2.62

US Ecology currently has a consensus price target of $51.25, suggesting a potential upside of 14.27%. As a group, “Waste Management, Disposal & Recycling Services” companies have a potential upside of 10.65%. Given US Ecology’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe US Ecology is more favorable than its peers.

Dividends

US Ecology pays an annual dividend of $0.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. US Ecology pays out 60.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Waste Management, Disposal & Recycling Services” companies pay a dividend yield of 1.9% and pay out 115.0% of their earnings in the form of a dividend.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

85.1% of US Ecology shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 52.5% of shares of all “Waste Management, Disposal & Recycling Services” companies are owned by institutional investors. 1.3% of US Ecology shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 12.3% of shares of all “Waste Management, Disposal & Recycling Services” companies are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Risk & Volatility

US Ecology has a beta of 0.7, suggesting that its stock price is 30% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, US Ecology’s peers have a beta of 0.64, suggesting that their average stock price is 36% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares US Ecology and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
US Ecology 5.39% 10.35% 3.78%
US Ecology Competitors -327.43% -69.97% -12.05%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares US Ecology and its peers gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue NetIncome Price/Earnings Ratio
US Ecology $477.67 million $34.25 million 37.38
US Ecology Competitors $850.74 million $28.04 million -353.04

US Ecology’s peers have higher revenue, but lower earnings than US Ecology. US Ecology is trading at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more expensive than other companies in its industry.

Summary

US Ecology beats its peers on 9 of the 15 factors compared.

About US Ecology

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. Its Environmental Services segment provides a range of hazardous material management services, including transportation, recycling, treatment and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste at Company-owned landfill, wastewater and other treatment facilities. The Company’s Field & Industrial Services segment provides packaging and collection of hazardous waste and total waste management solutions at customer sites and through its transfer facilities. Its services include on-site management, waste characterization, transportation and disposal of non-hazardous and hazardous waste.

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