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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Waste management company US Ecology (ECOL) maintained its A-grade, "buy" rating in TheStreet's Trifecta Stocks portfolio. US Ecology is the leading disposal services provider for low-level radioactive and hazardous waste in the country.
The company recently announced stockholders will receive a quarterly cash dividend of 18 cents a share on October 25. US Ecology has a current annual dividend yield of approximately 2.3%.
US Ecology is set to release its third-quarter earnings after the bell on Oct. 28. Net income for the second quarter ended June 30 was $7.2 million, a better-than-expected 13% increase on the year-ago quarter.Shares gained 5.6% to $30.81, as of 3:05 p.m. EST. Year to date, shares are up 31.1%. TheStreet Ratings team rates US Ecology Inc as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate US Ecology Inc (ECOL) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 7.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.5%.
- The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.35, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. To add to this, ECOL has a quick ratio of 1.60, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
- The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. In comparison to the other companies in the Commercial Services & Supplies industry and the overall market, US Ecology Inc's return on equity significantly exceeds that of the industry average and is above that of the S&P 500.
- Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 41.11% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, ECOL should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
- US Ecology Inc has improved earnings per share by 11.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, US Ecology Inc increased its bottom line by earning $1.40 a share vs. $1.01 a share in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.49 vs. $1.40).
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: ECOL Ratings Report
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