Equities opened lower this morning, weakened further in the afternoon with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling by more than 400 points at its intra-day nadir, but managed to recover considerably, as bargain hunters stepped in during the final hour of the session. At the close of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 178 points; the S&P 500 Index was off 27 points; and the technology-heavy NASDAQ surrendered 79 points.
Shares of environmental services Republic Services (RSG) have been standouts over the past couple of years. The sector is not exactly sexy, to be sure, catering to society’s needs rather than wants. But it’s fundamentally sound, with long-term contracts typically supporting strong free cash flow and good operating leverage. Should individual investors accumulate shares of this best-of-breed waste hauler? Or is the valuation too rich relative to the firm’s growth prospects at present, suggesting that greener pastures can be found elsewhere? In this brief article, we will attempt to address these questions and more by taking a look at Republic’s operations and performing an easy-to-follow SWOT analysis of the company, evaluating its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
The U.S. Labor Department has reported mixed employment numbers for January. Specifically, the government intoned that the nation added 151,000 jobs last month; that was some 35,000 fewer than the consensus forecast of 186,000 new positions for the latest month. Meanwhile gains for November were revised from 252,000 to 280,000. However, the non-farm payroll increase for December was pared back from 292,000 to 262,000.