US Ecology (NASDAQ:ECOL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. The firm presently has a $79.00 price target on the business services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would indicate a potential upside of 12.14% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “US Ecology, Inc., formerly known as American Ecology Corporation, provides radioactive, PCB, hazardous, and non-hazardous waste services to commercial and government customers throughout the United States. The Company operates through its subsidiaries and provides its services to steel mills, medical and academic institutions, refineries, chemical manufacturing facilities and the nuclear power industry. Its subsidiaries include US Ecology Nevada, Inc., US Ecology Washington, Inc., US Ecology Texas, Inc., US Ecology Idaho, Inc., and US Ecology Field Services, Inc. The Company operates through two business segments: operating disposal facilities and non-operating disposal facilities. US Ecology, Inc. is headquartered in Boise, Idaho. “

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. BMO Capital Markets decreased their price target on shares of US Ecology from $76.00 to $74.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday. BidaskClub upgraded shares of US Ecology from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 18th. UBS Group raised their price target on shares of US Ecology from $56.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 5th. Stifel Nicolaus raised their price target on shares of US Ecology from $64.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, August 6th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price target (up from $64.00) on shares of US Ecology in a report on Friday, August 3rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $71.20.

ECOL stock opened at $70.45 on Thursday. The company has a quick ratio of 2.45, a current ratio of 2.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78. The company has a market cap of $1.52 billion, a P/E ratio of 40.96 and a beta of 0.51. US Ecology has a 52 week low of $44.50 and a 52 week high of $77.15.

US Ecology (NASDAQ:ECOL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The business services provider reported $0.70 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $151.42 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $144.11 million. US Ecology had a net margin of 12.30% and a return on equity of 15.68%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 13.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.37 earnings per share. As a group, analysts anticipate that US Ecology will post 2.3 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, CEO Jeffrey R. Feeler sold 6,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.08, for a total transaction of $438,480.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 59,504 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,348,552.32. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, COO Simon G. Bell sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.95, for a total transaction of $227,850.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 31,197 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,369,412.15. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 21,457 shares of company stock worth $1,573,483. Insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS bought a new position in shares of US Ecology in the second quarter valued at approximately $296,000. United Services Automobile Association bought a new position in shares of US Ecology in the second quarter valued at approximately $213,000. Van Hulzen Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of US Ecology in the second quarter valued at approximately $200,000. Congress Asset Management Co. MA raised its position in shares of US Ecology by 56.9% in the third quarter. Congress Asset Management Co. MA now owns 55,395 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $4,085,000 after purchasing an additional 20,087 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of US Ecology by 8.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,997,106 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $190,914,000 after purchasing an additional 230,864 shares during the period. 83.51% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

US Ecology Company Profile

US Ecology, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides environmental services to commercial and government entities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It operates in two segments, Environmental Services; and Field & Industrial Services. The Environmental Services segment offers hazardous material management services, including transportation, recycling, treatment, and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste at its landfill, wastewater, and other treatment facilities.

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