Weekly News Bulletin: Aug. 6-12, 2008


Waste Management Under Pressure to Raise its Bid for Republic

Last week, Bill Gates' investment arm BGI, which manages the assets of Cascade Investment, owner of 15.6% of Republic Services, sent a letter to Waste Management saying it should abandon efforts to acquire Republic as "ill-timed and poorly conceived." BGI which also owns 2.3% of Waste Management could well be pushing the company to sweeten its bid. It is becoming increasingly apparent that Waste Management will have to raise its bid by at least $5 per share to be taken seriously by the board or the company's larger shareholders i.e. BGI. A higher bid will be needed to surmount moves last week by Republic's board that adopted a "poison pill" defense that penalizes anyone acquiring more than 10% of the common stock without board approval. Of concern to Waste Management would be to lose its investment grade credit rating were it to offer all cash for Republic, which means the company would likely borrow. Here too it would likely raise debt rather than equity to avoid earnings dilution...Read More »



Waste Connections Buys $100-Million-Company Harold LeMay

Waste Connections is buying Harold LeMay Enterprises, reputed to be the largest privately-owned solid waste services company in the Pacific Northwest with total annual revenue of approximately $100 million. Waste Connections had been bolstering its borrowing capacity in recent weeks with the objective of making acquisitions. "This represents the single largest acquisition for Waste Connections and solidifies our leading position in Washington. We are extremely excited about the prospects for our combined operations," said Ronald J. Mittelstaedt, Chairman and CEO. The company is also acquiring the remaining interests in Pierce County Recycling, Composting and Disposal, LLC from affiliates of LeMay...Read More »



Republic Services Agrees to Clean up Landfill, Take Charge

Republic Services recently settled a 10-year dispute with the US EPA and Clark County, NV by agreeing to remediate an unlined landfill near Las Vegas for which it will take an estimated $35 million pretax charge against second-quarter income. Last month, the EPA ordered Republic to upgrade its now closed 440 acre Sunrise Landfill which is thought to be contaminating Lake Mead, a drinking water source for Phoenix, southern Nevada and southern California. The EPA estimates that it will cost about $7 million to fix the landfill which is home to 18 million tons of buried waste...Read More »



US Cleantech Investments Rise 41% to Record $962 Million in 2Q

Rising energy costs are driving capital investments in U.S. clean technology companies to record levels - $961.7 million in the second quarter of 2008 - up 41 percent from the first quarter and 83 percent from the same quarter last year according to an Ernst & Young report based on data from Dow Jones VentureSource. "We expect to see robust activity" in the future, said Jeff Grabow, head of Ernst & Young's clean-tech unit for the Pacific Northwest. "It's not just energy - there are a host of markets, from fuels to electricity to storage to efficiency to water treatment." Clean technology includes products and services that use natural resources or reduce the negative environmental impact of their use. Rising energy costs and corporate commitments to climate change are fueling these investments, 52% (or $494.9 million) of which went into clean or renewable energy generation technologies, while energy efficiency made up 20% of total investment dollars followed by alternative fuels (mostly biofuels transactions), comprised 13% of the overall US cleantech market attracting $129 million...Read More »



Clean Harbors Reports Record Second-Quarter 2008 Financial Results

Clean Harbors Inc. said rising demand at its hazardous waste incinerators helped second quarter profits to rise 44% to $16 million, or $0.70 per share, from $11.1 million, or $0.54 per share, last year. Revenue rose 11% to $265.3 million from $238.7 million last year. The company said use of its domestic centers was strong, offsetting weakness in its landfill disposal plants due to project timing. For the year, the company expects revenue at the high end of its previously announced range of 8 percent to 10 percent. The range implies revenue of $1.02 billion to $1.04 billion...Read More »



Senate Passes Legislation to Clean Up Rail Solid Waste Sites

The Senate recently passed legislation authored by U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) to allow states to regulate solid waste processing facilities along rail lines. The rail waste legislation is based on the Clean Railroads Act of 2007 and seeks to close a loophole whereby companies processing solid waste along rail lines could claim exemption from state and local regulation. The new legislation excludes solid waste disposal from the jurisdiction of the Surface Transportation Board which was never intended to oversee such activity...Read More »



Advanced Disposal Acquires Attaway Waste Services

Jacksonville, FL-based Advanced Disposal Services has acquired Milledgeville, GA-based Attaway Waste Services, a move that adds customers and bridges the gap between adjacent markets in Augusta and Macon, GA. Attaway has collection and transfer operations in six Georgia counties. "By consolidating operations between the I-20 and I-16 corridors, Advanced Disposal is better prepared to meet the solid waste collection and disposal needs of the state for many years to come," says Wally Hall, president and chief operating officer of Advanced Disposal...Read More »



WCA Waste Corp has Good 2Q Despite Small Drop in Volume

WCA Waste Corp. said second quarter revenues climbed by 14.2% to a record $52.7 million from $46.2 million reported for the same period last year. Growth through acquisitions and disciplined pricing outpaced a 2% decline in volume for the quarter. According to Tom Fatjo, Chairman and CEO, "This volume has tracked the economic conditions of our markets with Texas having strong positive volume growth while Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, and Tennessee have had volume slowdown." Operating income increased 5.8% despite higher fuel costs to $6.6 million. Net income which was hampered by higher taxes and a loss on interest rate swaps, rose modestly to $1.9 million, or $0.11 per share...Read More »



American Ecology Sets New Record with Second Quarter Profits

Waste processor American Ecology Corp. reported record second quarter results that were driven by strong growth in disposal service revenues. Revenues for the quarter rose 8% to $44.5 million from $41.3 million last year. Net income reached $6.1 million, or $0.33 per share, up from $5.1 million, or $0.28 per share, in the second quarter last year. "Very strong cleanup business performance and diversified growth over multiple service lines combined to produce record first-half performance," said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Romano. Waste-disposal sites in Idaho, Nevada and Texas disposed of 325,000 tons of waste in the second quarter, up 18 percent...Read More »



Big Second Quarter for Industrial Services of America

Louisville, KY-based waste handling and logistics company Industrial Services of America Inc. reported second quarter profits that doubled those of last year on higher revenue from product sales and increased shipment of ferrous and non-ferrous metals. The company reported net income of $1.66 million, or $0.46 per share, for the quarter, 102% higher than $0.82 million, or $0.22 per share, reported for the corresponding quarter last year. The company attributed 67% rise in shipment of non-ferrous materials and 32% rise in shipment of ferrous materials as primary reasons for the doubling of profit in the latest quarter. Total revenues increased by 77% to $34.51 million from $19.52 million reported in the corresponding period last year. Revenues from product sales increased by 92 percent while management services revenue increased 10 percent to $4 million...Read More »



EnergySolutions to Announce Second Quarter on August 11

EnergySolutions, Inc. said that it will announce second quarter financial results on August 11 prior to the opening of the market. The company will also host a conference call that day at 12 p.m. (Eastern) to discuss those results...Read More »


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