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5 Waste Management Stocks to Gain From Coronavirus Outbreak

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On Feb 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced an official name for China’s coronavirus, Covid-19. The “Co” is for corona, “vi” for virus, “d” for disease, and 19 represents the year in which the outbreak began.

As of Feb 11, more than 44,653 people were infected by Covid-19, with the death toll rising to more than 1,113 in mainland China. The older population is more vulnerable to the virus due to their weak immune systems.

In fact, per China’s National Health Commission’s recent reports, 80% of people who died from the virus in the country were over the age of 60, and 75% had pre-existing conditions such as heart disease or diabetes.

Need for Medical Waste Disposal on the Rise

Proper disposal of used masks, suits and other medical equipment is of utmost importance. Environmental activist and organizations in China have urged local authorities to properly supervise and manage the treatment of medical waste.

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment issued circulars regarding proper handling of medical waste that includes collection, transportation, storage and disposal. The ministry has also urged local environmental departments to work with public health departments in this regard.

Per global health regulations issued by WHO, collection, transportation and disposal of medical waste can be done by licensed companies only. In fact, medical waste should be collected in special containers, and transported in special vehicles by qualified people.

5 Waste Management Stocks to Play

Medical waste disposal has been a concern for several countries across the globe, especially as many do not have a waste separation system. Hence, from food to metal to medical waste everything goes into the same bin.

During the SARS outbreak, cities in China had built special disposal sites for medical garbage. In fact, the medical waste, especially, the masks had to be disinfected and sent for incineration at special facilities. Given the current global health scenario and the spread of coronavirus, it is prudent that investors keep a close watch on waste management companies, which are likely to witness an increase in demand for their services.

Sharps Compliance Corp. (SMED - Free Report) provides medical, pharmaceutical, and hazardous waste management services. It helps in containment, transportation, treatment, and tracking of medical waste generated outside hospital and health care facility settings. Its flagship product, the Sharps Disposal by Mail System, is a cost-effective and easy-to-use solution to dispose of medical waste.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100% compared with the Zacks Pollution Control industry’s projected earnings growth of 27.9%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings has been revised 50% upward over the past 60 days. Sharps Compliance sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Waste Management, Inc. (WM - Free Report) provides collection services, including pickup and transportation of waste and recyclable materials to a transfer station. Waste Management specializes in commercial medical waste disposal.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 4.5% against the Zacks Waste Removal Services industry’s projected earnings decline of 3.5%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings has been revised 0.9% upward over the past 60 days. Waste Management carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Waste Connections, Inc. (WCN - Free Report) provides waste collection, transfer, disposal and recycling services. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 5.6% against the Zacks Waste Removal Services industry’s projected earnings decline of 3.5%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings has been revised 0.8% upward over the past 60 days. Waste Connections carries a Zacks Rank #2.

Republic Services, Inc. (RSG - Free Report) offers solid waste collection, transfer, recycling, disposal, and energy services for small-container, large-container, municipal and residential, and energy services customers. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 7.4% against the Zacks Waste Removal Services industry’s projected earnings decline of 3.5%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings has been revised 1.2% upward over the past 60 days. Republic Services carries a Zacks Rank #2.

Tetra Tech, Inc. (TTEK - Free Report) provides consulting and engineering services globally. It caters to mining, oil exploration and production, manufacturing, health care, and military operations and essential waste disposal programs. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter is 8.6% compared with the Zacks Pollution Control industry’s projected earnings growth of 5.9%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings has been revised 1.5% upward over the past 60 days. Tetra Tech carries a Zacks Rank #2.

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