Shares of Republic Services (RSG) have been strong performers lately, with the stock up 6.6% over the past month. The stock hit a new 52-week high of $95.85 in the previous session. Republic Services has gained 6.8% since the start of the year compared to the 6.3% move for the Zacks Business Services sector and the 6.5% return for the Zacks Waste Removal Services industry.
What's Driving the Outperformance?
The stock has an impressive record of positive earnings surprises, as it hasn't missed our earnings consensus estimate in any of the last four quarters. In its last earnings report on October 30, 2019, Republic Services reported EPS of $0.91 versus consensus estimate of $0.85.
For the current fiscal year, Republic Services is expected to post earnings of $3.49 per share on $10.35 billion in revenues. Meanwhile, for the next fiscal year, the company is expected to earn $3.8 per share on $10.81 billion in revenues. This represents a year-over-year change of 5.4% and 4.43%, respectively.
Republic Services may be at a 52-week high right now, but what might the future hold for the stock? A key aspect of this question is taking a look at valuation metrics in order to determine if the company has run ahead of itself.
On this front, we can look at the Zacks Style Scores, as these give investors a variety of ways to comb through stocks (beyond looking at the Zacks Rank of a security). These styles are represented by grades running from A to F in the categories of Value, Growth, and Momentum, while there is a combined VGM Score as well. Investors should consider the style scores a valuable tool that can help you to pick the most appropriate Zacks Rank stocks based on their individual investment style.
Republic Services has a Value Score of C. The stock's Growth and Momentum Scores are B and B, respectively, giving the company a VGM Score of B.
In terms of its value breakdown, the stock currently trades at 27.4X current fiscal year EPS estimates. On a trailing cash flow basis, the stock currently trades at 14.6X versus its peer group's average of 12.5X. Additionally, the stock has a PEG ratio of 3.27. This isn't enough to put the company in the top echelon of all stocks we cover from a value perspective.
We also need to look at the Zacks Rank for the stock, as this supersedes any trend on the style score front. Fortunately, Republic Services currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) thanks to rising earnings estimates.
Since we recommend that investors select stocks carrying Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and Style Scores of A or B, it looks as if Republic Services passes the test. Thus, it seems as though Republic Services shares could have a bit more room to run in the near term.
How Does Republic Services Stack Up to the Competition?
Shares of Republic Services have been rising, and the company still appears to be a decent choice, but what about the rest of the industry? Some of its industry peers are also impressive, including Omnicom Group (OMC), NV5 Global (NVEE), and Cardlytics (CDLX), all of which currently have a Zacks Rank of at least #2 and a VGM Score of at least B, making them well-rounded choices.
The Zacks Industry Rank is in the top 28% of all the industries we have in our universe, so it looks like there are some nice tailwinds for Republic Services, even beyond its own solid fundamental situation.
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