Weekly News Bulletin: Feb. 8-14, 2012


Waste Connections' 4th Quarter Helped by Pricing and Volume Growth

Texas-bound Waste Connections (The Woodlands, TX) reported better-than-expected year-end and fourth quarter results, helped by strong pricing, higher special waste volumes which together with tight cost controls, offset declines in recycled commodity values. Net income rose to $38.8 million, or $0.35 per share, up from $36.7 million or $0.32 per share in the fourth quarter last year. Revenue rose 13 percent to $379.75 million from $335.96 million in the year ago period. Company chairman and chief executive Ron Mittelstaedt said "Continued strength in core pricing growth, relative stability in municipal solid waste volumes, and recent modest increases in recycled fiber values should provide a good springboard into 2012."

Mittelstaedt added, "In 2011, we signed or completed acquisitions with approximately $200 million in total annualized revenue, a record amount for us that surpassed previous highs in 2009 and 2008. We believe acquisition activity could remain strong over the next few years due to increasing capital requirements in many markets to further segment the waste stream, seller concerns regarding wealth preservation, and recently announced divestitures. Our focus on exclusive and secondary markets and our disciplined deployment of capital will continue to guide us in navigating through these potential opportunities."

In December he expressed his company's interest in buying the US waste business Veolia ES Solid Waste Inc. (Milwaukee, WI) which was put up for sale in November by its French corporate parent Veolia Environnement. He said a deal would depend on how it is structured. "We could do up to a couple billion dollars right now, no problem, with our existing credit capacity," Mittelstaedt told Waste & Recycling News on December 28. "There are certainly large pieces of it that are very attractive to us," he remarked.

Last August, the company announced it was moving its headquarters from Folsom, CA to the Woodlands, TX, a suburb of Houston, citing the need for a more centralized and easier access point to service its expanding geographic footprint. CEO Ron Mittelstaedt said that "The Woodlands offers our employees an attractive, lower cost, and more centrally located community well serviced by two major airports."...Read More »



Covanta Holding 4th Quarter Up on Pricing and Recovered Metals

Covanta Holding Corporation (Morristown, NJ) posted positive revenue and income growth for its fourth quarter and year, helped by higher waste volume, pricing and sales of recycled metals. Consequently, revenue for the quarter increased $11 million, or 3%, to $430 million. It was up 4 percent for the year to $1.65 billion. Service fee contract escalations and increased construction revenue also helped but was offset by lower production at certain biomass facilities and lower energy pricing. Net income for the quarter rose by 13 percent to $26 million, or $0.19 per share, up from $23 million, or $0.15 per share, a year ago. Adjusted earnings were $0.26 per share, or a 37 percent increase compared to $0.19 per share a year ago, helped by higher operating income and a lower number of shares outstanding due to the company's stock buyback program, partially offset by a higher effective tax rate and increased interest expense...Read More »



EPA Delays Finalizing Boiler and Incinerator Rule Revisions to May

The US EPA will likely issue final revised air rules for boilers and incinerators in May rather than April, as originally planned after a federal district court vacated the agency's stay of the rules last month. In response to industry criticisms, EPA is reconsidering several provisions of its boiler air toxics rule and a related emissions rule for incinerators. The agency stayed its existing boiler and incinerator rules while it reviews them but the stay was challenged in court by Sierra Club and others who argued that EPA lacked the authority to do so...Read More »



Waste-to-Fuel Company Enerkem Files for $125 Million IPO

Waste-to-biofuels and chemicals company Enerkem Inc. (Montreal, QC) has filed plans for an initial public offering of up to $125 million in common stock to help fund the development of its planned commercial facilities. Enerkem, which employs a gasifier to convert mixed wastes and residues into a pure synthesis gas (or syngas) that can then be converted into chemicals or biofuels using chemical catalysts, broke ground last October in Edmonton, AB on its first full-scale commercial facility. The Edmonton facility is one of two plants that will produce 10 million gallons of biofuel per year; a second similar facility is being developed in Pontotoc, MS. In its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, the company said it would use proceeds from the offering to fund these facilities and future projects as well as for research and development activities, working capital and other general corporate purposes. The company has formed strategic partnerships with Waste Management and Valero Energy Corp. which are also investors among others including Rho Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures and Cycle Capital...Read More »



Stericycle 4th Quarter Earnings Up 30%

Medical waste solutions company Stericycle reported fourth quarter adjusted earnings that were up nearly 30 percent over last year's, helped by continued growth from acquisitions. Earnings included one-time acquisition and some restructuring costs. Unadjusted net income rose to $0.74 per share, up from $0.57 per share last year. Revenue increased 13.5 percent to $446.6 million, aided by $48.9 million from acquisitions in the last twelve months. Total revenue in 2011 increased 16.4 percent year over year to $1.7 billion. Acquisitions less than twelve months contributed $158.2 million...Read More »



WM to Build $30 Million State-of-the-Art Recycling Facility in Ontario

Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, TX) is investing $30 million to construct a single-stream recycling facility in Cambridge, Ont. The 126,000-squate-foot plant will process up to 550,000 tonnes of material a year making it the largest private-sector recycling facility in Ontario. The new facility has been designed to handle residential and commercial recyclables, construction and demolition wastes, scrap electronics (e-waste), CFL lights and batteries. Single-stream recycling, which allows customers to comingle their recyclable materials in one bin, simplifies collection and lowers costs while boosting participation. The company says it generally sees average volume increases of 20 percent and 30 percent under single-stream. As a company, Waste Management hopes to triple the volume of recyclable materials being processed by 2020...Read More »



RailAmerica Buys Waste-by-Rail Company

A Jacksonville, Florida-based operator of short line railroads has bought a majority stake in a company that operates performs transload, storage, and other value-added services for customers in the energy and waste management industries. RailAmerica Inc. agreed to buy a seventy-percent interest in the Wellsboro and Corning Railroad (WCOR) and Industrial Waste Group (IWG) from Myles Group for $18 million. IWG operates four transloading facilities located in Wellsboro, PA; Corning, NY; Toledo, OH; and Amelia, VA. The WCOR operates 38 miles of track running from Wellsboro, PA to Corning, NY handling a variety of industrial products primarily used in the natural resources industry. Both WCOR and IWG have established relationships and contracts with leading companies in the energy and related industries...Read More »



Covanta Signs New Deal with Alexandria and Arlington VA

Covanta Energy (Morristown, NJ), said its Covanta Alexandria/Arlington subsidiary in Virginia struck a deal to extend its contract with the City of Alexandria and Arlington County to continue accepting their waste through 2018, with an option to extend it until 2038. Under the new agreement, the tipping fee or gate rate for the plant in Alexandria will be cut from $84.58 per ton to $42 per ton, increasing 2.75 percent per year thereafter. Covanta Alexandria/Arlington, which has owned and operated the plant for nearly 25 years since it was built in 1988, has had a strong relationship with its municipal partners and been a showpiece project with an exemplary record. Since 1988, the facility has converted about 8 million tons of municipal solid waste into over 4 million megawatt hours of electricity, offset 8 million tons of greenhouse gases, and recycled 36,000 tons of ferrous metal...Read More »



Waste Management Buys Kansas Waste Company

Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, TX) has bought a small Wichita, Kansas-based waste company called Lies Trash Service LLC for an undisclosed amount. Lies services more than 42,000 residential and light industrial customers in the Wichita area. Waste Management plans to keep as many Lies employees as possible and maintain existing services and routes. "Waste Management of Kansas will carry on the Lies tradition of excellent customer service in Wichita," said Gary Black, district manager for Waste Management of Wichita...Read More »



Clean Harbors to Report 4th Quarter Results on Feb. 22

Clean Harbors, Inc. (Norwell, MA) will host a conference call to announce its fourth quarter and full-year financial results and to answer investor questions on Wednesday, February 22 during company-hosted conference call at 9 a.m. (Eastern)...Read More »


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