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Republic Services Inc. (RSG - Analyst Report) announced that its board of directors has authorized an aggregate buyback of $750 million of common stock, which includes the previous authorization. The company will have to repurchase the shares by December 31, 2013, as per the latest authorization.

Earlier, in November 2010, the board of directors had authorized a buyback of $400 million of common stock of which the company utilized $303.2 million to repurchase 10.1 million shares at an average price of $30.08 per share. Hence, the new authorization adds another $653.2 million to the share repurchase coffer.

The company boasts of a strong financial position. Cash and cash equivalents of the company as of June 30, 2011, were $320.5 million, while cash flow from operation in the first half of the year was $795.6 million, which the company can leverage for its shareholder-friendly moves.

We believe apart from share repurchases, Republic Services’ consistent payment of dividend enhances the value for shareholders. The company has been consistently paying dividends to its shareholders and has increased the quarterly dividend rate thrice in the trailing thirteen quarters. A quarterly dividend of 22 cents is scheduled for payment on October 17, 2011, to shareholders of record of common stock on October 3, 2011.

Republic Services reported strong results of 49 cents per share in the recently concluded quarter, comfortably surpassing our expectation. During the earnings call, Republic Services reiterated its full-year earnings estimate in the range of $1.86 to $1.89 per share.

The Zacks Consensus Estimates for third quarter 2011, fiscal year 2011 and fiscal year 2012 are currently pegged at 50 cents, $1.88 and $2.12 per share, respectively.

Republic Services presently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates to a short-term Hold rating. The company’s competitor Waste Management Inc. (WM - Analyst Report) presently has a Zacks #4 Rank, tantamount to a short-term Sell rating.

Republic Services Inc. is a non-hazardous solid waste company. The company along with its various operating units engages in providing reliable environmental services and solutions for its customers.

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