investing

The Best Stock in Idaho: US Ecology

We analyzed publicly traded companies based in the Gem State to identify the best stock in Idaho to buy now.

We scoured the nation to identify the best stock in every state. US Ecology (symbol ECOL) is the publicly traded company we picked in Idaho. The company headquarters is located in Boise.

A word of caution: Since we selected a single stock from each state (plus one from D.C), and choices in some states are sparse, a few of our picks are best suited to investors comfortable with a higher degree of risk. This is not necessarily one of our 51 favorite stocks in the entire U.S., in other words.

US Ecology by the Numbers

  • Headquarters: Boise
  • Share price: $49.35
  • Market value: $1.1 billion
  • Price-earnings ratio: 26

(Prices and data are as of June 22, 2017)

US Ecology operates hazardous-waste disposal landfills in the U.S. and Canada. The company’s focus on hazardous materials has historically produced higher profit margins than more-diversified waste management firms, says Morningstar analyst Barbara Noverini.

Although US Ecology depends on its core contracts with industrial-waste generators that consistently pay the company for regular disposal, a large portion of its business comes from high-volume special projects. Delays in a number of those projects last year, combined with overall sluggishness in the industrial sector, led to declines in 2016 earnings and sales. But Value Line analyst Simon Shoucair notes that 2016 project deferments have pushed business into 2017. Add in improving prospects for many of US Ecology’s industrial clients, and the company is poised to bounce back this year, he says. Stifel analysts Michael Hoffman and Brian Butler see earnings per share jumping 18% this year, helping to push the stock to $55 over the next 12 months.

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