Weekly News Bulletin: Feb. 15-21, 2011


Republic Services' 4Q Profit Surges on Modestly Better Revenue

Republic Services (Phoenix, AZ) posted a fourth quarter profit that quadrupled from last year's period when the company took charges for paying down debt. Net income for the quarter rose to $147.6 million, or 38 cents a share, up from $35.6 million, or 9 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding debt-extinguishment losses, earnings rose to 42 cents a share from 33 cents. Revenue rose 1.1% to $2.02 billion having benefited from core price increases of 1%, commodity prices that rose 1.4% and fuel charges that rose 0.3%. That was enough to offset volume that slid in each quarter of 2010, including a 1.1% decline in the fourth quarter, and ended the year down 3.5%. However, that represents a significant improvement from 2009 when volume fell 9.5%.

Net income for the year rose to $506.5 million or $1.32 per share, from $495.0 million or $1.30 per share for the full year 2009. Revenue for the year 2010 declined to $8.11 billion from $8.20 billion the prior year. The company forecast 2011 earnings of $1.86-$1.89 a share, slightly lower than analysts' expectation of $1.91.

Republic Chief Executive Donald W. Slager said one of the company's goals for the new year is to expand business both through acquisitions and internal growth. In the economic downturn, Republic fought slumping demand by cutting costs through acquisitions and by keeping prices steady. "Our objectives for 2011 are to grow the business both internally and through selective acquisitions, control costs, and expand margins and free cash flow while enhancing stockholder value with dividends and share repurchases," Slager said in a statement. "We remain committed to continuing our broad-based pricing program across all lines of business to recover increasing costs and to earn an appropriate return on our invested capital," he said...Read More »



Industry Pioneer Wayne Huizenga Getting Back into Waste Business in a $92 Million Deal

Billionaire H. Wayne Huizenga is getting back into the waste business while further consolidating the commercial cleaning industry as chairman of Swisher Hygiene Inc., which is buying Choice Environmental Services Inc. in a deal valued at $92 million. Choice Environmental is a Fort Lauderdale, FL-based residential and commercial solid waste services company. Charlotte, NC-based Swisher will issue 9.2 million shares of common stock valued at $50.1 million and assume about $41.5 million in debt as part of the deal. Huizenga recently brought Swisher public by merging it with CoolBrands International Inc., which provides cleaning services for restaurants in a $100 million deal last August.

"We have been looking closely for strong companies that will complement our current hygiene and sanitary business and products, and the acquisition of Choice Environmental is a perfect fit for Swisher Hygiene as we transform our company into a true full-service provider," said Steven Berrard, CEO of Swisher and a long-time business partner with Huizenga.

Huizenga used the same industry consolidation model employed with Waste Management to make multi-billion dollar companies out of Blockbuster Video, Auto Nation, Extended Stay America and others. In 1994, he took a big position in Republic Waste (now Republic Services); helping it to grow into the number two $8 billion company it is today...Read More »



Covanta Q4 Profit Improves on 14% Jump in Revenue

Covanta Holding Corp. (Morristown, NJ) reported improved fourth-quarter net income that, excluding special items, rose to $41 million or $0.27 per share, from $27 million or $0.17 per share in the prior year quarter. Fourth quarter revenue increased 14% to $419 million, due to the acquisition of Veolia's assets and increases in construction revenues, metal prices, and service-fee prices. Special items for the quarter totaled $16 million most of which resulted from the extinguishment of debt. The company continues to return money to shareholders by repurchasing its stock. During the quarter, the company repurchased $58 million in common stock, or 3.6 million shares (2.4% of our outstanding shares), bringing the total amount of stock repurchased in 2010 to $95 million (6.1 million shares) and the total amount of capital returned to shareholders to $328 million...Read More »



Waste Management and Genomatica in Deal to Make Chemicals from Waste

Waste Management Inc. (Houston, TX) and chemical company Genomatica Inc. (San Diego, CA) formed a strategic joint agreement to research and develop Genomatica's technology to produce chemicals from syngas, which will in turn, come from solid waste. As part of the agreement, Genomatica will create organisms and manufacturing processes that will convert syngas into chemical products. The syngas will be produced by or for Waste Management through anaerobic digestion, gasification and landfill gas. Waste Management has made recent investments in a number of such ventures to derive value from the wastes it collects. "Waste Management wants to maximize the value of the materials it manages", said Tim Cesarek, managing director of Organic Growth at Waste Management. "Genomatica's technology complements Waste Management's advancement of thermo-chemical conversion and fermentation technology platforms."...Read More »



INEOS New Planet Begins Constructing $130 million Waste-to-Fuel Facility in Florida

INEOS New Planet BioEnergy, a joint venture between New Planet Energy and INEOS Bio has started the construction of its first US-based commercial scale plant to generate sophisticated biofuels from waste. Once complete in mid 2012, the $130 million Indian River BioEnergy Center in Vero Beach, FL will produce 8 million gallons of ethanol per year together with 6 megawatts of renewable power from biomass including yard, vegetative and wood wastes and municipal solid wastes (MSW). It is the first project to use INEOS Bio's patented technology that employs naturally existing bacteria to convert gases released directly from biomass (syngas) into bioethanol. Last month, the joint venture received a $75 million loan guarantee for the Indian River project from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 9003 Biorefinery Assistance Program...Read More »



WCA Waste Has Option to Buy Boston Recycling Facility

WCA Waste Corp. (Houston, TX) said it entered an operating agreement with Stoughton Recycling Technologies (SRT) (Stoughton, MA) with an option to ultimately buy the company. SRT owns a 44,000 square-foot state-of-the-art construction & demolition (C&D) recycling facility and transfer station located just three miles from WCA's Champion City Recovery (CCR) transfer station, both of which are about 25 miles south of Boston. WCA expects the deal to maximize its recycling efficiencies and improve its local capacity. "CCR will continue to handle the post-processed residual material which is rail hauled to WCA owned Sunny Farms landfill in Ohio," the company said. WCA bought the CCR facility and the Sunny Farms Landfill as part of a $43.4 million purchase of assets from Live Earth LLC in December 2009...Read More »



RI Resource Recovery Invests $17 Million in Single-Stream Recycling

The Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corp., which operates the giant Central Landfill in Johnston, RI, has approved plans to install a $17 million sorting machine at its recycling facility. As reported in The Providence Journal, RIRRC recycling coordinator Sarah Kite estimates that the conversion to single-stream recycling enabled by the new system will boost recycling by 20 to 40 percent. She hopes that the system built by Van Dyke Baler Corp. will be operational by the spring of 2012...Read More »



Veolia Expands in Georgia by Buying Guy's Waste Services Near Macon

Veolia ES Solid Waste, Inc. (Milwaukee, WI) has bought of a small waste firm based in Byron, GA, near Macon called Guy's Waste Services. Guy's currently serves about 1,200 customers in five surrounding counties which represents new territory for Veolia and the ability to internalize those volumes into Veolia's nearby Taylor County Landfill. The acquisition includes a transfer station, commercial hauling equipment and real property in Byron. Financial details were not disclosed. "We view this acquisition as a true investment in the local community," Jim Long, president and CEO of Veolia, stated in the news release. "Our aim is to grow this business so that it will eventually lead to more jobs and partnerships within the Macon community."...Read More »



Sims Recycling Opens New E-Waste Recycling Facility in Ontario

Sims Recycling Solutions announced the opening of a new 287,000 square-foot e-waste recycling plant in Mississauga, ON. The new facility will process up to 100,000 metric tons of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) per year by employing several advanced separation technologies, including magnets, a plastics separator, an x-ray sensor, an optical sorter, and a glass cleaner. Sims Recycling developed much of the technology itself according to Cindy Coutts, president of Sims Recycling Solutions Canada. She said the facility recovers glass, iron, aluminum, copper, and plastics from e-waste, including CRT monitors, TVs, PCs, and other electronics gadgets, such as digital music players and mobile phones. Ontario and other Canadian provinces mandate e-waste recycling and collect fees from manufacturers to fund recycling efforts...Read More »



Bioenergy Industry to Demand 19 Million Tons of Wood Biomass by 2015

A new report by economists at RISI projects Bioenergy Industry demand for North American woody biomass to reach 19 million tons by 2015. This figure was actually revised downward from RISI's 2008 report owing to the effects of the recession that has hurt renewable energy providers and suppliers' ability to obtain funding for projects, and a continuously changing policy and regulatory environment that has created uncertainty among industry investors.

The study also explores how international trade of biomass will affect North American biomass demand over the next five years and includes chapters on technology and production economics and industry structure that explore the structural developments within each of the key market segments: wood pellets, biomass power and biofuels...Read More »



Clean Harbors to Report 4th Quarter Results on Feb. 23

Clean Harbors (Norwell, MA) plans to announce fourth quarter and full-year financial results during its conference call with investors on Wednesday, February 23 at 9 am (ET)...Read More »



Casella to Report Fiscal 3rd Quarter Results on Mar. 1

Casella Waste Systems (Rutland, VT) plans to release its fiscal third quarter (period ending Jan. 31) financial results after the close of the market on Tuesday, March 1. The company will host a conference call the following day at 10 am (ET) to discuss its results...Read More »



Veolia Environmental Strikes Deal with Recycler of Haz. Refining Waste

Veolia Environmental Services (Chicago, IL) announced a marketing agreement with Oklahoma Materials Recycling (OMR) (Atoka, OK) which recycles spent hydrotreating catalysts used in petroleum refining. The spent catalysts are listed by the US EPA as hazardous wastes, from which OMR recovers aluminum oxides and the valuable base metal molybdenum (Mo) using a proprietary process. Molybdenum is important in the manufacture of many things from rifle barrels to filaments, chemicals and lubricants. Under the agreement, Veolia will be the exclusive seller and marketer of OMR's catalyst recycling plant. OMR's plant produces no liquid discharges and uses very little water which mitigates its effect on the environment, especially compared to competing technologies...Read More »


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