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3 Waste Removal Stocks in Focus as Clean Power Plan Pauses


As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia granted a freeze on the ongoing litigation over the Clean Power Plan for 60 days, waste removal stocks largely gained prominence. Critics allege that the ‘stay order’ on the court proceedings will likely help President Trump to either revise the plan or undo it completely.

The Clean Power Plan was introduced in Aug 2015 by former President Obama to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electricity by 32% through 2030 compared to 2005 levels. It was estimated that power plants accounted for nearly 40% of the harmful carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. and a significant reduction in this pollutant was necessary to improve the quality of air.

The law encouraged higher investments in renewable energy, natural gas and nuclear power to shift from coal-fired power. However, the Supreme Court stayed the implementation of the plan in Feb 2016, pending judicial review by a federal appeals court.

With Obama’s environmental policies taking a backseat and Trump’s pro-growth agenda with regulatory rollbacks gaining cynosure, waste removal stocks have been in the spotlight. Let’s have an overview of three such stocks in the industry that are likely to gain in the near term.

Waste Management Inc. WM: Headquartered in Houston, TX, Waste Management is the largest provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. The company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, as well as disposal services to nearly 20 million residential, commercial, industrial and municipal customers. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the U.S.

Waste Management currently has a Value Growth Momentum Score (VGM Score) of ‘A’ and a healthy long-term growth expectation of 9.5%. Our research shows that stocks with a VGM Score of ‘A’ or ‘B,' when combined a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or #2 (Buy), offer the best investment opportunities for investors. Waste Management carries a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Waste Connections Inc. WCN: It is an integrated solid waste services company that provides waste collection, transfer, disposal and recycling services across the U.S. and Canada. The company also offers non-hazardous oilfield waste treatment, recovery and disposal services in various active natural resource producing areas in the country through its R360 Environmental Solutions subsidiary. It carries a Zacks Rank #3. The stock has outperformed the Zacks categorized Waste Removal Services industry in the past three months with an average return of 12.0% compared with 4.4% gain for the latter.

Waste Connections has a healthy long-term growth expectation of 15.8%. The stock has a VGM Score of ‘B’ and a Zacks Rank #2.

Republic Services Inc. RSG: This Zacks Rank #2 stock is the second largest domestic non-hazardous solid waste company in the U.S. It provides non-hazardous solid waste disposal services for commercial, industrial, municipal and residential applications across the country and Puerto Rico.

Republic Services has a modest long-term growth expectation of 9.2%. The stock yielded an average return of 6.5% during the past three months.

Moving Forward

Waste removal space is highly lucrative at the moment with the several factors working in its favor. Investors should watch out for the future proceedings in this space to capitalize on potential investment opportunities that could give them a solid return on investment.

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