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Waste Management (WM) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know

Zacks Equity Research

In the latest trading session, Waste Management (WM) closed at $114.36, marking a +0.7% move from the previous day. The stock lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 1.05%. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 1.02%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, added 1.66%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the garbage and recycling hauler had gained 8.69% over the past month. This has outpaced the Business Services sector's gain of 5.16% and the S&P 500's loss of 0.08% in that time.

WM will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release. In that report, analysts expect WM to post earnings of $1.08 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 6.93%. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $3.94 billion, up 5.33% from the year-ago period.

WM's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $4.30 per share and revenue of $15.62 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of +2.38% and +4.75%, respectively.

It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for WM. Recent revisions tend to reflect the latest near-term business trends. With this in mind, we can consider positive estimate revisions a sign of optimism about the company's business outlook.

Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. Investors can capitalize on this by using the Zacks Rank. This model considers these estimate changes and provides a simple, actionable rating system.

The Zacks Rank system ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell). It has a remarkable, outside-audited track record of success, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.35% lower. WM is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).

Valuation is also important, so investors should note that WM has a Forward P/E ratio of 26.58 right now. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 27.01, which means WM is trading at a discount to the group.

Also, we should mention that WM has a PEG ratio of 3.11. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. The Waste Removal Services was holding an average PEG ratio of 2.97 at yesterday's closing price.

The Waste Removal Services industry is part of the Business Services sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 154, which puts it in the bottom 40% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

Be sure to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and many more, on Zacks.com.


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