Shares of Casella Waste Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CWST) hit a new 52-week high during trading on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $21.44 and last traded at $20.70, with a volume of 239300 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $20.01.

CWST has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. BidaskClub raised Casella Waste Systems from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 24th. Zacks Investment Research raised Casella Waste Systems from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $22.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, November 7th. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Casella Waste Systems in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus cut Casella Waste Systems from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $19.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $17.50.

The firm has a market capitalization of $900.34, a PE ratio of 32.80 and a beta of 0.69. The company has a current ratio of 0.98, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -7.91.

Casella Waste Systems (NASDAQ:CWST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The industrial products company reported $0.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.26 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $160.27 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $154.61 million. Casella Waste Systems had a negative return on equity of 56.99% and a negative net margin of 9.09%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.18 earnings per share. analysts predict that Casella Waste Systems, Inc. will post 0.64 EPS for the current year.

In related news, CEO John W. Casella sold 62,433 shares of Casella Waste Systems stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.31, for a total transaction of $1,205,581.23. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 472,112 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,116,482.72. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Christopher Heald sold 1,500 shares of Casella Waste Systems stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $20.25, for a total value of $30,375.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 71,451 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,446,882.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 117,933 shares of company stock valued at $2,245,196. Insiders own 11.47% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CWST. Macquarie Group Ltd. raised its holdings in Casella Waste Systems by 140.9% during the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 1,024,544 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $16,813,000 after buying an additional 599,264 shares in the last quarter. Thompson Siegel & Walmsley LLC bought a new position in Casella Waste Systems during the third quarter valued at about $10,017,000. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. raised its holdings in Casella Waste Systems by 171.9% during the third quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 637,775 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $11,990,000 after buying an additional 403,224 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its holdings in Casella Waste Systems by 13.9% during the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 2,644,942 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $43,403,000 after buying an additional 322,600 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. bought a new position in Casella Waste Systems during the second quarter valued at about $5,120,000. 79.31% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Casella Waste Systems Company Profile

Casella Waste Systems, Inc is a solid waste services company. The Company provides resource management services to residential, commercial, municipal and industrial customers, primarily in the areas of solid waste collection and disposal, transfer, recycling and organics services. It manages its solid waste operations on a geographic basis through two regional operating segments: Eastern and Western regions, each of which provides a range of solid waste services, and its recycling and commodity brokerage operations through its Recycling segment.

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