Waste management companies are nice to own as they have a significant barrier to entry and a pretty predictable business model. The market isn’t stupid and has priced Waste Management (WM) accordingly. All of the valuation metrics agree that the stock is fairly valued. Notably, WM pays a pretty sizeable dividend. The company pays 35.5 cents a quarter for an annual dividend of $ 1.42 per share for a yield of about 4%. The company has paid a dividend since 1998 and has nearly doubled it since 2004. Below is an overview of the valuation metrics and chart.

Valuation: Waste Management’s trailing 5 year valuation metrics suggest that the stock is fairly valued as all of the trailing valuation metrics are right around the stock’s 5 year average. Waste Management’s current P/B ratio is 2.6 and it has averaged 2.7 over the past 5 years with a high of 3.3 and low of 2. Waste Management’s current P/S ratio is 1.2 and it has averaged 1.3 over the past 5 years with a high of 1.5 and low of 1. Waste Management’s current P/E ratio is 16.9 and it has averaged 16.2 over the past 5 years with a high of 18.7 and low of 12.7.

Price Target: The consensus price target for the analysts who follow Waste Management is $ 34 compared to the current price of $ 34.45 and suggests that the stock is fairly valued at these levels.

Forward Valuation: Waste Management is currently trading at about $ 34 a share with analysts expecting EPS of $ 2.53 next year, an earnings increase of 13% y/y, for a forward P/E ratio of 13.6. Taking a look at the company’s publically traded comparisons will give us a better idea of the stock’s relative valuation. Republic Services (RSG) is currently trading at about $ 30 a share with analysts expecting EPS of $ 2.25 next year, an earnings increase of 12% y/y, for a forward P/E ratio of 13.1.

Veolia Environn (VE) is currently trading at about $ 14 a share with analysts expecting EPS of $ 1.04 next year, an earnings increase of 65% y/y, for a forward P/E ratio of 13.4. Waste Connections (WCN) is currently trading at about $ 32 a share with analysts expecting EPS of $ 1.78 next year, an earnings increase of 13% y/y, for a forward P/E ratio of 17.8. The mean forward P/E of Waste Management’s competitors is 14.8 which suggests that Waste Management is fairly valued relative to its publically traded competitors.

Top Stock Holders: The top two funds that own Waste Management are American Funds Fund of America, which owns 29 million shares or 6.29% of the shares outstanding, and Vanguard Wellington, which owns 10.9 million shares or 2.37% of the shares outstanding. The top two institutions that own Waste Management are Capital World Investors, which owns 42.9 million shares or 9.32% of the shares outstanding, and Riofisa Holding, which owns 32.7 million shares or 6.87% of the shares outstanding.

Price Action: Waste Management is down 6.8% over the past year, underperforming the S&P 500, which is up 4.5%. Looking at the technicals, the stock is currently below its 50 day moving average, which sits at $ 33.98 and above its 200 day moving average, which sits at $ 32.84

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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