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

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of US Ecology (NASDAQ:ECOL) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research report released on Thursday morning, 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. “

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on ECOL. BidaskClub cut shares of US Ecology from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Friday, November 15th. UBS Group set a $63.00 target price on shares of US Ecology and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Friday, November 1st. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of US Ecology from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday.

ECOL stock traded up $0.66 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $55.44. 184,796 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 151,760. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.95, a current ratio of 2.03 and a quick ratio of 2.03. The business has a 50-day moving average price of $56.20 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $60.05. US Ecology has a one year low of $53.43 and a one year high of $67.24. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.21 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.42 and a beta of 0.55.

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, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.01. US Ecology had a net margin of 8.22% and a return on equity of 13.61%. The firm had revenue of $167.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $161.25 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.61 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.6% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts anticipate that US Ecology will post 2.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 24th. Stockholders of record on Friday, January 17th will be given a $0.18 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, January 16th. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.30%. US Ecology’s payout ratio is presently 31.03%.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Millennium Management LLC lifted its position in US Ecology by 377.9% during the third quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 60,959 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $3,897,000 after purchasing an additional 48,203 shares during the period. GW&K Investment Management LLC lifted its position in US Ecology by 8.2% during the third quarter. GW&K Investment Management LLC now owns 483,020 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $30,884,000 after purchasing an additional 36,751 shares during the period. Voya Investment Management LLC lifted its position in US Ecology by 128.6% during the third quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 415,866 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $26,591,000 after purchasing an additional 233,941 shares during the period. State Street Corp lifted its position in US Ecology by 0.9% during the third quarter. State Street Corp now owns 639,685 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $40,901,000 after purchasing an additional 5,939 shares during the period. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. lifted its position in US Ecology by 13.4% during the second quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 10,887 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $648,000 after purchasing an additional 1,288 shares during the period. 89.45% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

US Ecology Company Profile

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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