on Monday, saying the company is benefiting from an economic turnaround and its own successful cost management.
Analyst Trip Rodgers believes the company will have a 21% increase in earnings in 2004. He also said the company's recent increase in its dividend and a share-repurchase program might spark investor interest. As such, Rodgers raised his investment rating on the company to buy from neutral and his target price to $30 from $23.
Rodgers said recent positive trends in both economic data and the company's internal cost controls will contribute to better earnings.
Additionally, Rodgers said Waste Management's second-quarter results show its effective reduction of high overhead levels, mainly through workforce cuts. The analyst also thinks the cost cuts should continue in the second half of this year and 2004.
Rodgers reaffirmed his earnings estimates of $1.26 in 2003 and $1.52 in 2004. On average, analysts expect $1.24 a share and $1.45 a share in 2003 and 2004, respectively.
Shares of Waste Management were recently up 10 cents at $25.26 on the
New York Stock Exchange