Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE:RSG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Friday morning. The firm currently has $72.00 target price on the business services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Republic Services is reportedly the leading domestic non-hazardous solid waste company in the U.S. Year-to-date, the stock outperformed the Zacks categorized Waste Removal Services industry. It is focused on enhancing its operations by streamlining the cost structure, improving revenue quality and seeking growth through profitable investment opportunities. The company is realigning its field support functions by combining two organizational layers and expects these initiatives to contribute about $25 million of annual cost savings from 2018. The new organizational structure is likely to ensure a clear ownership for the recycling and processing market vertical. However, margin pressure remains a bottleneck as Republic Services has more exposure to Collection services that generate the lowest margin, while protracted weakness in special waste and tight municipal budgets remain additional headwinds.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on RSG. Wedbush increased their target price on Republic Services from $62.00 to $66.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research note on Thursday, March 30th. Barclays PLC reissued a hold rating and issued a $59.00 target price on shares of Republic Services in a research note on Friday, April 28th. Credit Suisse Group set a $63.00 target price on Republic Services and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Sunday, April 30th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets initiated coverage on Republic Services in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. They issued an outperform rating and a $71.00 target price on the stock. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $67.00.

Shares of Republic Services (NYSE:RSG) traded up 0.29% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $64.64. 663,443 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The company has a market cap of $21.85 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.38 and a beta of 0.59. Republic Services has a 12 month low of $49.18 and a 12 month high of $65.34. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $63.52 and a 200 day moving average price of $61.11.

Republic Services (NYSE:RSG) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The business services provider reported $0.55 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.53 by $0.02. Republic Services had a return on equity of 10.18% and a net margin of 6.75%. The firm had revenue of $2.39 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.36 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.48 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Republic Services will post $2.38 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, July 14th. Investors of record on Monday, July 3rd were given a dividend of $0.32 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, June 29th. This represents a $1.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.98%. Republic Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 68.45%.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in RSG. Renaissance Technologies LLC acquired a new stake in Republic Services during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $11,621,000. Dynamic Capital Management Ltd acquired a new stake in Republic Services during the first quarter valued at approximately $1,947,000. TNB Financial acquired a new stake in Republic Services during the first quarter valued at approximately $277,000. Meiji Yasuda Asset Management Co Ltd. boosted its stake in Republic Services by 1.4% in the first quarter. Meiji Yasuda Asset Management Co Ltd. now owns 47,622 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $2,991,000 after buying an additional 680 shares during the period. Finally, Kentucky Retirement Systems acquired a new stake in Republic Services during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $957,000. 61.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Republic Services

Republic Services, Inc is a provider of non-hazardous solid waste collection, transfer, disposal, recycling and energy services. The Company’s segments include Group 1, Group 2 and Corporate entities. Its Group 1 and Group 2 segments provide integrated waste management services. Group 1 consists of geographic areas located in the western and portions of the mid-western United States.

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