Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Saturday. The brokerage presently has a $84.00 target price on the business services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 10.70% from the company’s previous close.

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 research analysts have also weighed in on the stock. BMO Capital Markets raised their price target on shares of Waste Connections from $82.00 to $84.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, June 29th. Citigroup raised their price target on shares of Waste Connections from $80.00 to $86.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 26th. Royal Bank of Canada raised their price target on shares of Waste Connections from $82.00 to $84.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 26th. Finally, TD Securities raised their price target on shares of Waste Connections from $79.00 to $83.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 26th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $83.00.

NYSE WCN traded up $0.84 on Friday, hitting $75.88. 573,083 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 735,384. The firm has a market cap of $21.02 billion, a PE ratio of 35.13, a P/E/G ratio of 2.73 and a beta of 0.05. Waste Connections has a 12 month low of $65.06 and a 12 month high of $81.36. The company has a quick ratio of 1.15, a current ratio of 1.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60.

Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, July 24th. The business services provider reported $0.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $1.24 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.23 billion. Waste Connections had a net margin of 14.80% and a return on equity of 9.90%. Waste Connections’s revenue was up 5.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.55 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Waste Connections will post 2.5 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, COO Darrell W. Chambliss sold 6,485 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.00, for a total transaction of $518,800.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP David Eddie sold 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.06, for a total transaction of $1,601,200.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 36,320 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,907,779.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 38,385 shares of company stock valued at $3,063,670 in the last 90 days. 0.40% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Voya Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Waste Connections by 14.9% in the second quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 1,402,178 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $105,556,000 after purchasing an additional 181,301 shares in the last quarter. Aureus Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Waste Connections by 20.1% in the second quarter. Aureus Asset Management LLC now owns 225,438 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $16,971,000 after purchasing an additional 37,721 shares in the last quarter. Highstreet Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Waste Connections by 35.3% in the second quarter. Highstreet Asset Management Inc. now owns 15,169 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,143,000 after purchasing an additional 3,958 shares in the last quarter. Osterweis Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Waste Connections by 1.6% in the second quarter. Osterweis Capital Management Inc. now owns 339,975 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $25,594,000 after purchasing an additional 5,295 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Waste Connections in the second quarter worth about $3,255,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 81.86% of the company’s stock.

Waste Connections Company Profile

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.

Featured Story: Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Waste Connections (WCN)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN)

Receive News & Ratings for Waste Connections Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Waste Connections and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.