Critical Contrast: US Ecology (ECOL) & Its Competitors

US Ecology (NASDAQ: ECOL) is one of 20 publicly-traded companies in the “Waste Management, Disposal & Recycling Services” industry, but how does it weigh in compared to its rivals? We will compare US Ecology to related businesses based on the strength of its earnings, profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership and risk.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for US Ecology and its rivals, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
US Ecology 1 1 2 0 2.25
US Ecology Competitors 46 280 586 14 2.61

US Ecology currently has a consensus target price of $51.25, suggesting a potential upside of 2.40%. As a group, “Waste Management, Disposal & Recycling Services” companies have a potential upside of 10.02%. Given US Ecology’s rivals stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe US Ecology has less favorable growth aspects than its rivals.

Dividends

US Ecology pays an annual dividend of $0.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. US Ecology pays out 60.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Waste Management, Disposal & Recycling Services” companies pay a dividend yield of 1.9% and pay out 98.2% of their earnings in the form of a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares US Ecology and its rivals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
US Ecology 5.39% 10.35% 3.78%
US Ecology Competitors -280.96% -68.14% -14.45%

Risk and Volatility

US Ecology has a beta of 0.71, suggesting that its share price is 29% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, US Ecology’s rivals have a beta of 0.62, suggesting that their average share price is 38% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

92.6% of US Ecology shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 53.0% of shares of all “Waste Management, Disposal & Recycling Services” companies are owned by institutional investors. 1.5% of US Ecology shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 12.3% of shares of all “Waste Management, Disposal & Recycling Services” companies are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares US Ecology and its rivals top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Net Income Price/Earnings Ratio
US Ecology $477.67 million $34.25 million 41.71
US Ecology Competitors $850.65 million $28.19 million 149.36

US Ecology’s rivals have higher revenue, but lower earnings than US Ecology. US Ecology is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its rivals, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Summary

US Ecology rivals beat US Ecology on 8 of the 15 factors compared.

US Ecology Company Profile

US Ecology, Inc. is a provider of environmental services to commercial and government entities. The Company offers treatment, disposal and recycling of hazardous, non-hazardous and radioactive waste, as well as a range of field and industrial services. The Company operates in two business segments: Environmental Services, and Field & Industrial Services. Its Environmental Services segment provides a range of hazardous material management services, including transportation, recycling, treatment and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste at Company-owned landfill, wastewater and other treatment facilities. The Company’s Field & Industrial Services segment provides packaging and collection of hazardous waste and total waste management solutions at customer sites and through its transfer facilities. Its services include on-site management, waste characterization, transportation and disposal of non-hazardous and hazardous waste.

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