Casella Waste Systems reported strong earnings for the first quarter of 2016 —with increased revenues (7.6%) and increased adjusted EBITDA (33.1%) year-over-year. These gains were offset by a net loss of $7.6 million. First-quarter operating income was down, whereas adjusted operating income was up while normalized free cash flow declined.
Overall solid waste pricing fared well, driven by strong collection fees, which rose 6.7%, representing the highest pricing growth in over 10 years.
In its guidance for the year ending Dec. 31, 2016 Casella estimates revenues between $550 million and $560 million (revenues so far the first quarter were $125.4 million, up $8.9 million from the same period in 2015). And the company estimates an adjusted EBITDA between $111 million and $115 million (EDITDA was $19.3 million for the first quarter, up $4.8 million from last year).
The Rutland, VT-based company saw disruption in 2015, with an attempted leadership takeover and charges the company needed to dramatically improve revenue and protect shareholders.
But Casella Chairman and CEO John W. Casella pointed to more than 40% growth that year, and 2016 guidance suggests a continued growth pattern. First-quarter results are overall positive too, with Casella claiming strong pricing and operating efficiency programs enabled the company to outpace inflation, to drive disposal pricing and capitalize on the tightening disposal markets.
If collections and disposal pricing and landfill volumes remain healthy, and the upturn in the regional economy continues, 2016 could be a productive year.