Zacks Investment Research Downgrades US Ecology (NASDAQ:ECOL) to Strong Sell

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of US Ecology (NASDAQ:ECOL) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

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. “

ECOL has been the subject of a number of other research reports. BidaskClub downgraded shares of US Ecology from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, November 5th. UBS Group set a $63.00 price objective on shares of US Ecology and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Friday, November 1st. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of US Ecology from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, August 1st. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. US Ecology presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $67.33.

Shares of NASDAQ ECOL traded up $0.04 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $60.95. The stock had a trading volume of 68,400 shares, compared to its average volume of 115,709. The firm has a market cap of $1.35 billion, a PE ratio of 26.27 and a beta of 0.53. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.95, a quick ratio of 2.08 and a current ratio of 2.03. US Ecology has a twelve month low of $54.24 and a twelve month high of $72.85. The company has a 50 day moving average of $63.36 and a two-hundred day moving average of $61.18.

US Ecology (NASDAQ:ECOL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 30th. The business services provider reported $0.75 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $167.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $161.25 million. US Ecology had a net margin of 8.22% and a return on equity of 13.61%. US Ecology’s quarterly revenue was up 10.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.61 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that US Ecology will post 2.2 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 25th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 18th were issued a $0.18 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, October 17th. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.18%. US Ecology’s payout ratio is 31.03%.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ECOL. American Research & Management Co. acquired a new stake in shares of US Ecology during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $36,000. US Bancorp DE increased its holdings in shares of US Ecology by 20.0% during the 2nd quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 1,238 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $73,000 after buying an additional 206 shares during the last quarter. Marshall Wace LLP acquired a new stake in shares of US Ecology during the 1st quarter worth approximately $77,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its holdings in shares of US Ecology by 27.4% during the 3rd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,476 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $94,000 after buying an additional 317 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Mercantile Trust Co. increased its holdings in shares of US Ecology by 13.5% during the 2nd quarter. First Mercantile Trust Co. now owns 1,510 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $90,000 after buying an additional 180 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 85.91% of the company’s stock.

About US Ecology

US Ecology, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides environmental services to commercial and government entities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It operates through 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, non-hazardous, and radioactive waste at its landfill, wastewater, deep-well injection, and other treatment facilities.

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