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Waste Management (WM) Beats on Q1 Earnings, View Intact

Waste Management, Inc. WM reported strong first-quarter 2016 net income of $258 million or 58 cents per share, reversing the net loss of $129 million or 28 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. The turnaround was attributable to the increase in revenues during the reported quarter and loss related to early extinguishment of debt in the year-earlier quarter. The company’s earnings comfortably beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3 cents.

Quarter in Details

Revenues for the reported quarter were $3,176 million compared with $3,040 million in the year-ago quarter. Reported revenues also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,076 million. The year-over-year rise in revenues was driven by accretive acquisitions net of divestitures, and an increase in volume and yield in its collection and disposal business.

Internal revenue growth from yield (for collection and disposal operations) was 2.6% in the reported quarter. Core price (including price increases and fees, other than the company’s fuel surcharge, net of rollbacks) was 5.3% in the reported quarter. Average recycling commodity prices were down 12% year over year, while recycling volumes increased 3.1%. 

Revenues from the company’s Collection business increased to $2,113 million in the reported quarter from $2,017 million in the year-ago quarter. Landfill revenues improved to $707 million from $635 million in the prior-year quarter. Recycling revenues declined to $268 million from $282 million, while Transfer revenues were up by $38 million to $346 million.

Operating expenses in the reported quarter increased to $2,668 million from $2,600 million in the year-ago quarter.

Balance Sheet & Cash Flow

Cash and cash equivalents were $104 million as of Mar 31, 2016 versus $39 million as of Dec 31, 2015. Long-term debt (less current portion) was $9,072 million versus $8,676 as of Dec 31, 2015.

Net cash from operating activities for the quarter was $706million compared with $499 million in the year-ago period. Capital expenditures in the first quarter were $317 million versus $233 million in the year-ago period.

Free cash flow was $402 million in first-quarter 2016, which showed an increase of $117 million from the year-earlier quarter.

During the first quarter, the company returned $433 million to its shareholders, comprising $183 million of dividends and $250 million of share repurchases.

Reaffirms Outlook

For 2016, the company maintained its adjusted earnings per share guidance in the range of $2.74 to $2.79. Free cash flow is expected between $1.5 billion and $1.6 billion.

Waste Management currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some of the other favorably ranked stocks in the industry include Quest Resource Holding Corporation QRHC, Republic Services, Inc. RSG and Nuverra Environmental Solutions, Inc. NESC, each carrying the same Zacks Rank as Waste Management.

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WASTE MGMT-NEW (WM): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
REPUBLIC SVCS (RSG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
QUEST RES HLDG (QRHC): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
NUVERRA ENV SOL (NESC): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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