Shares of Republic Services Inc. (NYSE:RSG) gapped up before the market opened on Thursday . The stock had previously closed at $51.41, but opened at $51.52. Republic Services shares last traded at $51.77, with a volume of 464,638 shares traded.

A number of analysts have recently commented on the stock. Barclays PLC raised shares of Republic Services from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $45.00 to $52.00 in a research note on Tuesday, May 3rd. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. assumed coverage on shares of Republic Services in a research note on Wednesday, May 4th. They set a “market perform” rating for the company. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Republic Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, May 3rd. Bank of America Corp. reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Republic Services in a research note on Monday, April 25th. Finally, Argus assumed coverage on shares of Republic Services in a research note on Wednesday, May 18th. They set a “hold” rating and a $50.00 target price for the company. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. Republic Services has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $51.56.

The stock has a market cap of $17.73 billion and a P/E ratio of 24.85. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $51.58 and its 200-day moving average is $48.14.

Republic Services (NYSE:RSG) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.55 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.55. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.54 EPS. The firm earned $2.35 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.38 billion. The firm’s revenue was up 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Republic Services Inc. will post $2.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Stockholders of record on Monday, October 3rd will be paid a $0.32 dividend. This represents a $1.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.48%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 29th. This is a boost from Republic Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30.

In other news, CEO Donald W. Slager sold 106,112 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.52, for a total value of $5,148,554.24. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 232,709 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,291,040.68. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CAO Brian A. Goebel sold 1,695 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.10, for a total transaction of $88,309.50. Following the completion of the sale, the chief accounting officer now owns 6,391 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $332,971.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several institutional investors recently made changes to their positions in RSG. Advantus Capital Management Inc increased its position in shares of Republic Services by 2.6% in the fourth quarter. Advantus Capital Management Inc now owns 23,073 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,015,000 after buying an additional 582 shares in the last quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management CO. LTD. increased its position in shares of Republic Services by 5.1% in the fourth quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management CO. LTD. now owns 32,384 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,425,000 after buying an additional 1,573 shares in the last quarter. Gluskin Sheff & Assoc Inc. bought a new position in shares of Republic Services during the fourth quarter worth about $1,761,000. Utah Retirement Systems increased its position in shares of Republic Services by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Utah Retirement Systems now owns 43,479 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,913,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Finally, KBC Group NV increased its position in shares of Republic Services by 67.6% in the fourth quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 54,456 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,396,000 after buying an additional 21,957 shares in the last quarter.

Republic Services, Inc is a provider of non-hazardous solid waste collection, transfer, disposal, recycling and energy services in the United States. The Company operates through three segments: East, Central and West. The Company operates in over 40 states and Puerto Rico through approximately 340 collection operations, over 200 transfer stations, over 190 active landfills, approximately 70 recycling centers, approximately 10 treatment, recovery and disposal facilities, and over 10 salt water disposal wells.

Get Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and new coverage with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.