Date: December 18, 2006
Source: Waste Management, Inc.
Waste Management Announces Plan to Increase Quarterly Dividend Payments by 9.1%
Per Share Dividend to Increase from $0.88 to $0.96 on an Annual Basis Quarterly Dividend Payment of $0.24 to Begin in First Quarter 2007
Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: WMI) today announced that its Board of Directors approved a 9.1% increase in its quarterly dividend program, raising the amount to $0.24 per share compared to the $0.22 per share paid in 2006. Beginning in the first quarter of 2007, the Company expects to increase its dividend to a total of $0.96 per share per year, which would be an increase of $0.08 per share per year compared to 2006. All dividends must be declared by its Board of Directors prior to payment.
"Waste Management is first and foremost a strong and consistent generator of cash," said David P. Steiner, Chief Executive Officer of Waste Management, Inc. "The Board of Directors and management consider the return of cash to our shareholders to be one of our most important duties. Based on the current share count, this equates to approximately $510 million in dividend payments on an annual basis beginning in 2007. At the current share price of $36.97, this dividend produces a yield of 2.6%, which is in the top 25% of the dividend paying companies within the S&P 500."
Steiner continued, "The higher dividend payment remains one of the cornerstones of our previously approved capital allocation program, through which the Board of Directors has authorized management to return up to $1.2 billion to shareholders in combined cash dividends and common stock repurchases in 2007.
The Company noted that the Board of Directors intends to declare the first quarter 2007 dividend in February, at which time the record and payment dates for the first 2007 quarterly dividend will be announced. It is expected that the first payment of the higher dividend will occur in March of 2007.
Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Our subsidiaries provide collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. We are also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. Our customers include residential, commercial, industrial and municipal customers throughout North America. Ways in which Waste Management helps Think Green® can be found at www.wm.com.
For Further Information:
Waste Management, Inc.
Analysts: Greg Nikkel - 713.265.1358
Media: Lynn Brown - 713.394.5093