Shares of Republic Services, Inc. (RSG Quick QuoteRSG ) have gained 26.3% so far this year, ahead of 10.2% growth of the industry it belongs to and 20.4% rise of the Zacks S&P 500 composite.
Image Source: Zacks Investment Research
Let’s delve into the factors that have contributed to the company’s price performance:
Upbeat 2021 Guidance
Republic Services raised its full-year adjusted diluted EPS and adjusted free cash flow guidance. Adjusted EPS is now expected between $4.00 and $4.05 compared with the prior guidance of $3.74 to $3.79. The Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.04 lies within the updated guidance.
The company now expects to generate $1.45 billion to $1.475 billion of adjusted free cash flow compared with the prior guidance of $1.35 billion to $1.40 billion.
Consecutive Earnings Beat
Republic Services reported better-than-expected earnings performance in the past four quarters. The company’s bottom line continued to benefit from improvement in operational efficiency, growth in adjusted free cash flow, higher recycled commodity prices and lower fuel costs.
Notably, the company’s average recycled-commodity price per ton sold in the second quarter was $170, reflecting a year-over-year increase of $69 per ton.
Operational Efficiency Moves
Republic Services remains focused on increasing its operational efficiency by shifting to compressed natural gas (“CNG”) collection vehicles and converting rear-loading trucks to automated-side loaders, which will reduce cost and improve profitability. The company is focused on enhancing its operations by streamlining the cost structure, improving revenue quality and seeking growth through profitable investment opportunities. In 2020, almost 13% of the replacement vehicles purchased were CNG vehicles. Meanwhile, the company is highly optimistic about the usage of CNG vehicles, which will help it compete effectively on grounds of maintaining a clean environment. As of Dec 31, 2020, Republic Services operated 38 CNG fueling stations. All these factors make the company a solid investment proposition.
Zacks Rank and Other Stocks to Consider
Republic Services currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Some better-ranked stocks in the broader Zacks Business Services sector are Equifax (EFX Quick QuoteEFX ) , BGSF Inc. (BGSF Quick QuoteBGSF ) and Avis Budget (CAR Quick QuoteCAR ) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
The long-term expected earnings per share (three to five years) growth rate for Equifax, BGSF and Avis Budget is 15.2%, 20% and 57.2%, respectively.