Growth Down the Compactor

Solid-waste disposal intuitively seems like an industry that should grow in tandem with the population. More people should equal more garbage. However, that hypothesis has not been validated by recent years' results from Waste Management (WM), the U.S.'s largest player, and Republic Services (RSG).

Trailing earnings per share for each company are lower now than they were five years ago. For both stocks, as well, the Friday closing prices came in below where they had been four years earlier -- and more than 100% of total returns over that time frame came from dividends. A five-year bank CD bought in early 2008 would have outperformed these industry leaders' shares....308 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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