Weekly News Bulletin: Oct. 24-30, 2012


Waste Connections' Third Quarter Revenue Higher on Acquisitions and Pricing

Waste Connections, Inc. (The Woodlands, TX) said third quarter earnings rose by 7 percent on higher revenue from higher construction related volumes and recent acquisitions which offset negative recycled commodity pricing and lower disposal volumes. Net income rose to $49.4 million or $0.40 per share from $46.3 million or $0.41 per share a year ago. This year's earnings per share were diluted by 10 million more shares than that of a year ago. Revenue increased by 5.4 percent to $425.7 million from $404.0 million in the year ago period. The company said core pricing growth of 2.9 percent was offset by a 3.4 percent decline in volumes, and a 2.2 percent decline in recycling revenue. Intermodal and other services and surcharges were flat. Most of the volume decline resulted from turning away lower-priced volumes at the company's Chiquita Canyon landfill, and declines in special waste volume following record levels last year. On the other hand, construction related volumes rose 13 percent, and oilwaste activity increased 55 percent year-over-year. That helps to explain the company's announcement last month to buy oilfield waste services company R360 Environmental Solutions for $1.3 billion. That brings in $300 million in annualized revenue that is expected to grow rapidly inline with the domestic energy industry. The deal is expected to add more than 4 percent to Waste Connections' profit margins as measured by consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization...Read More »



EPA Not Likely to Issue Coal Ash Rule Until 2014

The EPA is now saying that it cannot rule on how it will regulate coal ash until at least 2014 and that it will take that long to take comment and review recent data. That is according to recent testimony in a case where environmental groups are seeking a six-month deadline. EPA is also arguing in Appalachian Voices, et al., v. EPA, a case pending before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, that the scope of the review will require "substantial additional time" to conduct the actual rulemaking. The agency is seeking a dismissal of the suit on the grounds that there is no statutory requirement for it to even revise the rules in the first place...Read More »



Covanta Third Quarter Hurt by Lower Metals Prices

Covanta Holding Corp. (Morristown, NJ) reported sharply lower third quarter earnings hurt by lower construction revenues, declining metals prices, reduced debt service revenue and waste contract transitions. Net income declined to $26 million or $0.19 per share, compared to $42 million or $0.30 per share a year ago. Revenues dropped to $412 million from $432 million in the comparable quarter last year. Construction revenue alone was down $15 million, largely due to completion of its Honolulu expansion project earlier this month. Revenue from metals recovery declined to $17 million from $20 million last year as prices have dropped by 15 percent. Other factors include reduced debt service revenue, waste contract transitions including the expiration of the Hartford operating contract and slightly lower tipping fee volume. Consequently, the company narrowed its guidance for the full year 2012 to a range of $0.55-$0.60 from a previously announced range of $0.55 to $0.65 per share...Read More »



Veolia and Suez Environnement Discussed Merger

The world's two largest water and waste utilities companies, Veolia Environnement SA and Suez Environnement SA, explored a merger that would have created an industry giant with $58.6 billion in combined revenue. According to the Wall Street Journal, talks between the two, which have been ongoing since August, broke down about two weeks ago. Both companies subsequently released statements denying any current discussions. The WSJ said sources indicated that Suez made the initial approach to Veolia. Other WSJ sources said the deal would have been hard to pull off due to antitrust issues. Moreover, job losses related to any required divestitures would have been politically unfavorable, especially in France where both companies have a huge presence. WSJ said that exploration of the merger underscored the pressure on water and waste companies increase profit amid a sagging economy...Read More »



SWANA Discusses Court's Injunction on Dallas Flow Control Law

In response to a federal judge's injunction against the City of Dallas' flow control law, an industry trade association commented on how it interprets the decision. Specifically, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) wanted to reassure local governments that the decision should not discourage them from pursuing their own flow control ordinances as is their constitutional right to do so. The US Supreme Court's 2007 ruling in the United Haulers case affirmed this right. SWANA explains that the Dallas decision was more about a violation of the plaintiffs' franchise rights and less about flow control per se. "The judge's ruling is based on how he interprets the hauler franchise agreements at question in this case as well as state and city law issues. Therefore it's hard to say how the decision might resonate elsewhere in Texas, not to mention other parts of the country. The Dallas decision does emphasize that when local governments institute flow control ordinances they need tobe vigilant in observing state and local legal requirements and existing franchise agreements."...Read More »



Shareholders File Class-Action Lawsuit against Swisher Hygiene

Shareholders of Swisher Hygiene (Charlotte, NC) have filed a class-action lawsuit accusing the company of manipulating the stock price by filing misleading financial reports. According to the Charlotte Observer, a federal judge has now named lead plaintiffs in the case. The issue is further complicated by the company having funded many of its acquisitions using some portion of equity. The company bought more than 50 businesses last year alone. At issue is an announcement made last May in which the company said an audit revealed a potential $3.8 million increase to net losses incurred in 2011 because of how it accounted for its acquisitions and allowances for doubtful accounts. Last month the Nasdaq warned that the company was in danger of being delisted from the exchange...Read More »



Republic Services Invests $25 Million in CNG Fleet for St. Louis Area

Republic Services (Phoenix, AZ) is investing $25 million to purchase 72 compressed natural gas (CNG) collection vehicles to service its 227,000 customers in the St. Louis, MO region. "While there is a significant upfront financial commitment involved in our switch to compressed natural gas, the long-term environmental and economic benefits merit the change," said Tim Trost, area president, Republic Services. The company is planning to continue to build its alternative-fuel fleet and expects to operate nearly 80 CNG-fueled trucks in the St. Louis area by the end of 2012.

On a nationwide basis, Republic renewed its commitment to improving the environment in 2012 by dedicating 68 percent of its new truck purchases to natural gas vehicles (NGVs). At its current rate of conversion, Republic plans to have more than 3,100 trucks nationwide running on natural gas and other alternative fuels by the end of 2015...Read More »



Waste Plastic-to-Resin Processor to Build $10 Million Plant in Arkansas

NextLife Asset Recovery, a company that recycles post-consumer plastics into resin, plans to invest more than $10 million in a new processing facility in Rogers, AR. The processing facility will employ 350 people at the location which will also serve as the company's new headquarters. NextLife Asset Recovery is a fully-owned subsidiary of NextLife Enterprise, LLC (Boca Raton, FL). The company says its resin can be customized for use in a wide variety of applications, including consumer products and food packaging and that it has a 70 percent lower carbon footprint than that of virgin resin, making it particularly appealing to manufacturers with sustainability goals...Read More »



Clean Harbors to Report Third Quarter Results on Nov. 7

Clean Harbors, Inc. (Norwell, MA) plans to report third quarter financial results during a company-hosted conference call on Wednesday, November 7 at 9 a.m. (Eastern)...Read More »


Sign up to receive our free Weekly News Bulletin