Weekly News Bulletin: May 3-9, 2011


Waste Management First Quarter Revenue Helped by Higher Prices

Waste Management Inc. (Houston, TX) reported first quarter profits that were 2 percent higher than those a year ago on revenue that was 5.7 percent higher. The company said it benefitted from higher prices in its collection and disposal business, and from higher commodity prices paid for the materials it recycles. Net income rose to $186 million, or 39 cents per share, for the three months ended march 31 from $182 million, or 37 cents per share, a year ago. The year-ago results reflected a charge of $17 million for partially withdrawing from a pension plan. Revenue rose 5.7 percent to $3.1 billion from $2.93 billion a year earlier. CEO David P. Steiner said recycling "continued to be a significant contributor to earnings." Recycling commodity prices rose 18 percent from a year earlier, adding 3 cents per share to earnings. And, while fuel costs rose by $27 million for the quarter, fuel surcharges offset that increase. The company said it expects waste volumes to continue increasing while commodity prices remain high while its own cost-cutting initiatives will help the company achieve its expectation of earning $2.24 to $2.30 per share for the full year...Read More »



Republic Services Reports Higher First Quarter Profits

Republic Services, Inc. (Phoenix, AZ) said first quarter profits nearly doubled on revenue that increased slightly. "Our performance in the first quarter is a direct result of the organization's continued focus on pricing, productivity improvements and customer service," CEO Donald W. Slager said. "This is the fourth quarter in a row we have seen sequential improvement in our collection volumes." For the quarter, the company earned $158.2 million, or $0.41 per share, up 143 percent from the $65 million, or $0.17 per share last year. Revenue remained essentially flat for the quarter, rising only very slightly to $1.965 billion from $1.958 billion a year ago. The company said that waste volumes, which had been down sharply in earlier periods as a result of the economy, have now stabilized and are expected to improve going forward. Rising commodity prices paid for the materials the company recycles is also helping. Rising fuel costs, up 27 percent over the quarter, could decrease earnings estimates for the year by 5 cents, said company chief financial officer Tod Holmes. However, those charges could be mitigated by higher fuel surcharges borne by the customer...Read More »



IESI-BFC Ltd. Changes its Name to Progressive Waste Solutions

To the relief of many, IESI-BFC (Toronto, ON), has changed its name to Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd., and in the process greatly simplified its telephone greeting. It will still trade under the ticker BIN. "Progressive Waste Solutions marks a new era for our operating brands BFI Canada, IESI and Waste Services. Over the years, as we have grown organically and through acquisition, we have worked hard to bring our operations and employees together as one integrated company. I am very proud today to be announcing the launch of a new corporate name and brand identity that will unify all of our brands in North America and speak to the promise we make to our valued customers," said Keith Carrigan, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Progressive Waste Solutions is more than just a name it embodies our mission to be a truly innovative leader in the communities we serve."...Read More »



IESI-BFC First Quarter Revenue Up By 38%, Helped by Acquisition

IESI-BFC Ltd. (now Progressive Waste Solutions, Ltd.) (Toronto, ON) said first quarter profit jumped by 38 percent, primarily the result of its recent acquisition of Waste Services Inc. that was completed in July 2010. Net income rose to $23.1 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with $16.7 million, or 18 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue for the quarter rose 60 percent to $422.9 million from $264 million a year ago. "We overcame a number of headwinds in the quarter to achieve revenue growth of 60.1% and consolidated organic gross revenue growth of 3.9%," CEO Keith Carrigan said...Read More »



WCA Waste's First Quarter Revenue Rise Narrows its Loss

WCA Waste Corp. (Houston, TX) posted first quarter revenue growth of nearly 11 percent, helped by organic growth and recent acquisitions that helped the company narrow its loss from a year ago. Its net loss, which included some unusual expenses, still declined to $1.7 million, ($0.07) per share, from a net loss of $1.9 million, or ($0.08) per share, last year. Revenue grew to $58 million from $52.3 million in the first quarter last year. "Even factoring in the weather disruptions, the solid waste operations produced organic growth with positive price and [municipal solid waste] volumes," said Tom Fatjo Jr., chairman and CEO of WCA Waste, in a statement. "Also, special waste activity remains strong, providing further evidence that the economy, while slow growing, appears to be stable."

The company said there were a number of unusual items that affected earnings, including $1.2 million in higher fuel costs, $400,000 in legal and accounting fees related to the acquisitions of Emerald Waste Services in central Florida, and of a construction and demolition debris recycling facility and transfer station in Massachusetts; $300,000 in integration costs stemming from the acquisitions; and service interruptions caused by severe winter weather. "We are excited to have completed the [Massachusetts] and Emerald Waste-central Florida transactions during the quarter," Fatjo added in his statement. "We are confident that once our integration is completed, these transactions will strengthen our operations in the Boston area and further expand our presence in the Florida markets." The company reaffirmed its 2011 revenue and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) goals of $270 million and $61 million, respectively...Read More »



Industry Groups Petition EPA to Postpone Boiler Rules, Legal Actions Considered

A group of industry trade associations is asking EPA to immediately and indefinitely postpone the May 20 effective date for the agency's contested emissions rules for industrial boilers and incinerators, while many of the groups consider various legal and administrative challenges to aspects of the rules. In an April 27 petition, 19 industry groups cite "significant, irreparable harm" that would result from immediate enforcement of the rules without further modification or time for industry to make adjustments. Under a court-ordered deadline EPA in February released the rules, as well as a waste-definition rule determining which facilities would be subject to the strict incinerator rules or the less stringent boiler air toxics rules. The agency had asked the court for an eighteen month extension to study a torrent of public comments and address industry concerns that the rules as first proposed in June 2010 would be largely unachievable. Industry submitted a massive amount of data that the agency said warranted the extra time in order to revise several provisions in the rule, but the request was denied and EPA issued the rules earlier this year.

According to the petition, "there is substantial uncertainty as to the applicability of the final rules (especially as to the fundamental question of what is a 'fuel' versus what is a 'waste'), key elements of the final rules are not supported by the underlying data, and several of the emissions standards are so stringent that companies predict that no viable means of complying with them will be devised."...Read More »



Waste Management Invests in Large Mid Atlantic Compost Operation

Waste Management Inc. (Houston, TX) announced its investment in the Peninsula Compost Company LLC (PCC), which owns and operates the 300 ton-per-day Wilmington Organic Recycling Center (WORC). The company says that WORC is the only fully operational and permitted in-vessel organics processing center in the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia area. It is currently permitted for up to 600 tons per day (200,000 tons per year), making it the largest such facility in the eastern US. The investment in PCC follows the company's purchase of Garick LLC (Cleveland, OH) in September last year, which added more than 1 million tons of processing capacity as well as a portfolio of commercial and consumer organic products. The move expands Waste Management's organic recycling business to more than 1.7 million tons annually and compliments other similar investments in Terrebon LLC and Harvest Power Inc. Over the last year or so, Waste Management through its Organic Growth Group has been making strategic investments in a number of renewable energy and diversion technologies as it seeks to derive more value from the waste stream while serving a broader array of its clients' needs. Organic compost is considered a part of the green retail market, which has been growing at 20% annually...Read More »



T. Boone Pickens is Featured Speaker at Waste Expo

Famous Texas oil man turned renewable energy man T. Boone Pickens will once again regale the waste industry with his insights into America's energy future. On May 11 he will address Waste Expo, this year in Dallas, TX, on the topic "Solving Our Costly and Dangerous Dependence on OPEC Oil." Pickens, founder of Mesa Petroleum, BP Capital and Clean Energy, is author of the "Pickens Plan" to promote alternative energy as a means to decrease our dangerous dependence on foreign oil through increased use of more "patriotic" domestic sources of energy that includes natural gas, biomass, geothermal, wind and solar. Not coincidentally, Mr. Pickens's plan aligns with his own business interests. His company Clean Energy for example, supplies fuel for natural gas vehicles.

As the waste industry through economic incentives and government programs increasingly utilizes waste as a resource rather than an environmental burden, investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, companies, and governmental agencies are applying both capital and brainpower to harnessing its potential as an energy source and for other beneficial reuse. If Mr. Pickens has his way, he is likely to play a key role in this evolution...Read More »



Ameresco and City of Dallas Open 4.3 MW Wastewater Biogas-to-Energy Facility

Ameresco, Inc. (Framingham, MA) and the City of Dallas, TX unveiled a new 4.3 megawatt biogas energy recovery facility. Ameresco built and will operate the new wastewater biogas capture and refining facility which will generate electricity and heat to power Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) operations. That will reduce the power DWU otherwise draws from the grid by 60 percent and thus help the city save an estimated $1.5 million per year. "We are happy to be working with the City of Dallas on this important project," said Michael T. Bakas, Senior Vice President, Ameresco. "The exceptional aspect of this project is the ability to capture waste heat and utilize it, thereby efficiently making use of this renewable resource." DWU is a not-for-profit department of the City of Dallas providing water and wastewater services to about 2.5 million people in Dallas and 27 nearby communities...Read More »



KiOR Signs Renewable Fuel Offtake Agreement with Catchlight Energy

Biofuel company KiOR Inc. (Pasadena, TX) said it has signed an energy offtake agreement with Catchlight Energy LLC, which has agreed to buy fuels produced by KiOR's first-of-its-kind biomass-to-renewable fuel facility in Columbus, MS. The Columbus facility is expected to process 500 tons per day of woody biomass into more than 11 million gallons of fuel per year, once production begins later in 2012. Catchlight Energy is a 50-50 joint venture between subsidiaries of Chevron Corp. and Weyerhaeuser to provide liquid transportation fuels from sustainable forest-based resources. "This offtake agreement is the latest development in KiOR's progress to commercialize renewable transportation fuels," said Fred Cannon, President and CEO of KiOR. CLE's purchase of products is contingent on, among other things, satisfaction of product specification criteria and RIN certification of the products as cellulosic biofuels under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard. KiOR signed a similar offtake agreement for its Columbus facility with Hunt Refining Company in March...Read More »



Stericycle Reports Solid First-Quarter Results Helped by HWS Acquisition

Stericycle Inc. (Lake Forest, IL) posted first quarter earnings that grew 16 percent, driven by acquisitions and continued upselling of multiple services to existing customers. Net income rose to $55.67 million, or $0.64 per share, from $48.12 million, or $0.56 per share, in last year's first quarter. Revenue increased 19 percent to $398 million compared to the year-ago quarter of $335.18 million. During the quarter, Stericycle completed 9 acquisitions 3 domestic and 6 international which combined with the recent completion on April 18, 2011 of Healthcare Waste Solutions (originally announced in September 2010) adds combined annualized revenues of $57 million. Management stated that the acquisition pipeline continues to sit at roughly $100 million in potential revenue opportunities. For the year, the company said it expects to earn between $2.79 and $2.82 per share on revenues of between $1.61 billion and $1.64 billion...Read More »



Industrial Services of America Posts First Quarter Revenue up 43%

Industrial Services of America Inc. (Louisville, KY) said first quarter earnings increased 23 percent on revenue that climbed by 43 percent, largely as a result of higher commodity prices but also on unit volume that was up 37% over the first quarter of 2010. Net income rose to $2.17 million, or $0.31 per share, from $1.76 million, or $0.27 per share a year ago. Revenue increased to $106.2 million from $74.2 million last year. Chairman of the Board Harry Kletter commented that ISA posted another record quarter that is especially impressive given that it surpasses the record results posted in the first quarter of last year...Read More »



US Ecology's First Quarter Profit Up by 82%

Hazardous waste company US Ecology Inc., formerly known as American Ecology, said net income in the first quarter jumped 82 percent to $3.3 million, or $0.18 per share, from $1.8 million, or $0.10 per share last year. Similarly, revenue for the quarter was up 75 percent to $34.1 million from $19.5 million last year, helped by the company's recent acquisition of Stablex Canada Inc. ("Stablex"), acquired on October 31, 2010, which contributed $9 million of revenue in the quarter. Nonetheless, base business, excluding Stablex, grew by 29 percent during the period. "Improved market conditions and the acquisition of Stablex led to solid growth in both our Base and Event Business revenue during the quarter," said Vice President and CFO, Jeff Feeler. "This strong revenue growth was seen across all areas of our business, driving double digit gains in operating income and earnings." Management said it continues to expect earnings of between $0.75 and $0.85 per share for the year...Read More »


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