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JP Morgan Cuts Allied Waste Rating

JP Morgan cut its investment opinion on Allied Waste Industries (AW) to underweight from neutral, citing the stock's recent rise in price as a selling opportunity.

Analyst Amanda Tepper thinks the stock's 14+% post- Katrina jump on expectations of a cleanup earnings windfall offers an outstanding selling opportunity. She says impacted markets represent less than 1% of revenues, and the company's earnings per share will be hit near-term for out-of-service markets and landfill cleanup costs. She noted that while Allied Waste will get some cleanup volumes over the next year or so, Federal Emergency Management Agency work is notoriously low-margin. She trimmed her 35 cents 2005 earnings per share estimate to 32 cents and her 43 cents 2006 estimate to 39 cents, amid higher fuel costs. She thinks Allied Waste will not be able to pass through 100% of its latest jump in diesel costs.

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