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Waste Management Announces Second Quarter Earnings

July 31, 2014



ENP Newswire - 31 July 2014

Release date- 30072014 - Houston - Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: WM) today announced financial results for its quarter ended June 30, 2014.

Revenues for the second quarter of 2014 were $3.56 billion compared with $3.53 billion for the same 2013 period. Net income (a) for the quarter was $210 million, or $0.45 per diluted share, compared with $244 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2013. Results in the second quarter of 2014 included approximately $69 million of after-tax charges primarily related to the divestiture of operations in Puerto Rico. Excluding these impacts, net income would have been $279 million, or $0.60 per diluted share, compared to adjusted earnings per diluted share of $0.54 in 2013.

'Our strong yield and cost controls delivered growth in income from operations, operating EBITDA, and adjusted earnings per share when compared to second quarter 2013 results,' commented David P. Steiner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Waste Management. 'We saw an increase of 40 basis points in our income from operations margin, and 120 basis points on an adjusted basis.

Our yield was 2.3%, marking the fifth consecutive quarter exceeding both 2.0% and CPI. Our cost of operations improved by $10 million, driven by improvement in our recycling operations, and SG&A costs notched down to 9.9% of revenue. All of this resulted in an improvement in both our net cash provided by operations and our free cash flow, which were $555 million and $447 million. Given this strong cash flow performance, we recently entered into an accelerated share repurchase program to return $600 million of our cash flow to our shareholders through share repurchases.'

Key Highlights for the SECOND Quarter 2014

Revenue increased by 1.0%, or $35 million; excluding a negative $14 million in foreign currency translation, revenue would have increased 1.4%.

Internal revenue growth from yield for collection and disposal operations was 2.3%.

Core price, which consists of price increases and fees, other than the Company's fuel surcharge, net of rollbacks, was 3.9%, up from 3.8% in the second quarter of 2013.

Internal revenue growth from volume was negative 1.4%, a 40 basis point sequential improvement from the first quarter of 2014. The loss of several low-margin national accounts represented more than half of the decline.

Earnings from the Company's waste-to-energy operations were relatively flat when compared to the prior year period.

Recycling operations positively affected earnings by approximately $0.01 per diluted share when compared to the prior year period as the Company improved its enforcement of restrictions on contaminated loads and continued to modify the methods for calculating rebates to its customers. This improvement overcame lower average recycling commodity prices of approximately 2.1% compared with the prior year period.

Operating expenses as a percent of revenue were 64.6% in the second quarter of 2014, as compared to 65.5% in the second quarter of 2013, an improvement of 90 basis points. Overall operating expenses improved by $10 million compared to the prior year period, primarily driven by improvements in the Company's recycling operations.

SG&A expenses as a percent of revenue were below 10% for the quarter, at 9.9%.

Net cash provided by operating activities was $555 million. Capital expenditures were $208 million.

Free cash flow increased $100 million to $447 million, despite an increase of more than $70 million in cash taxes. Excluding divestiture proceeds, free cash flow increased $37 million from the prior year to $347 million. The Company had $100 million of divestiture proceeds in the quarter, primarily related to the sale of its Puerto Rico operations, but taxes on the repatriation of cash from Puerto Rico reduced the cash benefit to the Company.

The Company returned $175 million in dividends to shareholders.

The effective tax rate was approximately 44.7%, compared to 33.2% in the second quarter of 2013. The rate was higher than the Company's expected rate of 35% primarily due to accumulated cash that was repatriated to the U.S. upon divestiture of its Puerto Rico operations.

Steiner concluded, 'Our first half performance shows the strength of our business, and we expect that momentum to continue into the second half. This will lead to strong free cash flow generation, which we intend to use to strengthen our core business and to return cash to our shareholders.

During the first half of the year we suspended share repurchases while negotiations to sell Wheelabrator were ongoing, but with the proposed sale now announced, we have entered into an accelerated share repurchase program to spend the full amount of our previously announced $600 million authorization on share repurchases over a maximum term of approximately six months.

'We still anticipate that our full-year yield will be greater than 2.0%, compensating for negative volumes in the second half of 2014. We also expect to see continued improvement from our cost control programs in 2014. Our strong performance on these metrics makes us confident that we will meet or exceed our full-year adjusted earnings per share guidance of between $2.30 and $2.35.

These metrics also drive free cash flow, and when we add our discipline on working capital and capital expenditures, we now expect to meet or exceed the high end of our full-year free cash flow target of between $1.4 and $1.5 billion. Our guidance does not take into account the potential divestiture of our waste-to-energy operations that we announced today.'

This press release includes adjusted net income, adjusted earnings per diluted share and adjusted income from operations margin, which are non-GAAP measures as defined in Regulation G of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.

The Company reports its financial results in compliance with GAAP, but believes that also discussing non-GAAP measures provides investors with (i) additional, meaningful comparisons of current results to prior periods' results by excluding items that the Company does not believe reflect its fundamental business performance and are not representative or indicative of our results of operations and (ii) financial measures the Company uses in the management of its business.

The Company's projected full year 2014 earnings per diluted share are not based on GAAP net earnings per diluted share and are anticipated to be adjusted to exclude items noted in this press release and the effects of other events or circumstances in 2014 that are not representative or indicative of the Company's results of operations.

Projected GAAP earnings per diluted share for the full year would require estimation of the impact of future excluded items, including items that are not currently determinable, but may be significant, such as asset impairments and one-time items, charges, gains or losses from divestitures or litigation, or other items. Due to the uncertainty of the likelihood, amount and timing of any such items, the Company does not have information available to provide a quantitative reconciliation of adjusted projected full year earnings per diluted share to a GAAP earnings per diluted share projection.

The Company also discusses free cash flow and provides a projection of free cash flow, which is a non-GAAP measure, because it believes that it is indicative of our ability to pay our quarterly dividends, repurchase common stock, fund acquisitions and other investments and, in the absence of refinancings, to repay our debt obligations. Free cash flow is not intended to replace 'Net cash provided by operating activities,' which is the most comparable U.S. GAAP measure. However, the Company believes free cash flow gives investors useful insight into how the Company views its liquidity.

Nevertheless, the use of free cash flow as a liquidity measure has material limitations because it excludes certain expenditures that are required or that the Company has committed to, such as declared dividend payments and debt service requirements. The Company's definition of free cash flow may not be comparable to similarly titled measures presented by other companies, and therefore is not subject to comparison. The Company defines free cash flow as:

Net cash provided by operating activities

Less, capital expenditures

Plus, proceeds from divestitures of businesses and other assets (net of cash divested).

The quantitative reconciliations of free cash flow for the quarter and net income, earnings per diluted share, and income from operations margin adjusted in this press release to the most comparable GAAP measures are included in the accompanying schedules. Non-GAAP measures should not be considered a substitute for financial measures presented in accordance with GAAP, and investors are urged to take into account GAAP measures as well as non-GAAP measures in evaluating the Company. Operating EBITDA, as referred to herein, is GAAP income from operations before depreciation and amortization.

The Company, from time to time, provides estimates of financial and other data, comments on expectations relating to future periods and makes statements of opinion, view or belief about current and future events.

This press release contains a number of such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to statements regarding, 2014 earnings per diluted share; 2014 free cash flow; amount and timing of future share repurchases; strength of the business and free cash flow; returning cash to shareholders; improvement in recycling operations; achievement of full-year targets; volume estimates; divestiture activity and future results from pricing and cost control initiatives.

You should view these statements with caution. They are based on the facts and circumstances known to the Company as of the date the statements are made.

These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to be materially different from those set forth in such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to, increased competition; pricing actions; failure to implement our optimization, growth, and cost savings initiatives and overall business strategy; environmental and other regulations; commodity price fluctuations; disposal alternatives and waste diversion; declining waste volumes; failure to develop and protect new technology; significant environmental or other incidents resulting in liabilities and brand damage; weakness in economic conditions; failure to obtain and maintain necessary permits; labor disruptions; impairment charges and negative outcomes of litigation or governmental proceedings.

Please also see the Company's filings with the SEC, including Part I, Item 1A of the Company's most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K, for additional information regarding these and other risks and uncertainties applicable to our business. The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, including financial estimates and forecasts, whether as a result of future events, circumstances or developments or otherwise.

About waste management

Waste Management, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company's customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America.

Media Contact:

Tel: 713.394.5093

Investor Contact:

Tel: 713.265.1656


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Source: ENP Newswire


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