First Command Financial Services Inc. grew its stake in Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WM) by 44.0% during the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund owned 1,742 shares of the business services provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 532 shares during the period. First Command Financial Services Inc.’s holdings in Waste Management were worth $181,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other large investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in Waste Management by 3.3% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 31,659,414 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $2,817,372,000 after buying an additional 1,025,813 shares during the period. Parnassus Investments CA grew its stake in Waste Management by 1.3% during the 4th quarter. Parnassus Investments CA now owns 5,879,967 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $523,258,000 after purchasing an additional 73,432 shares in the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Waste Management by 2.4% during the 3rd quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 5,463,378 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $493,671,000 after purchasing an additional 128,847 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Waste Management by 6.7% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 5,208,586 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $462,699,000 after purchasing an additional 326,408 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp grew its stake in Waste Management by 3.8% during the 4th quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 5,024,041 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $447,089,000 after purchasing an additional 182,007 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.74% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have commented on WM. Stifel Nicolaus raised Waste Management from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday. KeyCorp began coverage on Waste Management in a report on Monday, February 4th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $96.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Waste Management from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, January 19th. UBS Group downgraded Waste Management from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $103.00 to $106.00 in a report on Thursday, April 4th. Finally, Oppenheimer increased their target price on Waste Management from $95.00 to $108.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, February 15th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $101.71.

In related news, CFO Devina A. Rankin sold 692 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $98.80, for a total value of $68,369.60. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 22,128 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,186,246.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP John J. Morris sold 1,540 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $98.82, for a total value of $152,182.80. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 95,827 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,469,624.14. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 4,092 shares of company stock worth $402,648. Company insiders own 0.30% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:WM traded up $2.47 during trading hours on Monday, reaching $104.26. 2,838,428 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,849,965. The company has a quick ratio of 0.82, a current ratio of 0.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.53. Waste Management, Inc. has a 52 week low of $79.96 and a 52 week high of $105.68. The company has a market cap of $42.71 billion, a PE ratio of 24.82, a P/E/G ratio of 2.63 and a beta of 0.67.

Waste Management (NYSE:WM) last released its earnings results on Thursday, February 14th. The business services provider reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.06 by $0.07. Waste Management had a return on equity of 29.43% and a net margin of 12.91%. The company had revenue of $3.84 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.78 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.85 EPS. Waste Management’s quarterly revenue was up 5.2% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Waste Management, Inc. will post 4.37 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 22nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 8th were issued a dividend of $0.5125 per share. This represents a $2.05 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.97%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 7th. This is an increase from Waste Management’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. Waste Management’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 48.81%.

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Waste Management Profile

Waste Management, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides waste management environmental services to residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers in North America. It provides collection services, including picking up and transporting waste and recyclable materials from where it was generated to a transfer station, material recovery facility (MRF), or disposal site; and owns, develops, and operates landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States, as well as owns and operates transfer stations.

Further Reading: The Discount Rate – What You Need to Know

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Waste Management (NYSE:WM)

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