- Houston, TX-based Waste Management has reported strong 2016 Q1 earnings: Revenues were $3.2 billion compared with $3 billion for the same period in 2015, while net income was $258 million, compared with a net loss of $129 million for the same period in 2015.
- An overall revenue increase was driven by collections and disposal, and acquisitions net of divestitures. The company experienced both traditional solid waste business internal revenue growth from volume and total company internal revenue growth from volume. However, revenues from fuel surcharges and recycling were down.
- Other highlights include: $706 million net cash from operating activities compared to $499 million in Q1 2015; $13 million of proceeds from business and assets sales ($6 million decrease from Q1 2015); and $433 million to shareholders, paying $183 million in dividends.
Waste Management president and CEO David Steiner said in the earnings conference call, "We achieved strong first quarter results and exceeded our internal targets in virtually every metric, including revenue, earnings, margins and cash flow...Our pricing programs resulted in core price of 5.3%...and we achieved increased price in each line of business."
Overall it was a good quarter compared to the same period in 2015, marked by revenue growth from both yield and volume, and a healthy share return. In the first few months of the year the company had also made several purchases, including Colorado-based Baker Sanitation and several Florida properties.
While average recycling commodity prices are still low—down 12.0% from last year’s first quarter—recycling volumes did increase 3.1%, and the overall recycling business improved slightly. This pattern reasserts that while the niche has not regained muster, overall it is holding its own, making an argument for sticking with this business line.
Steiner concluded, "The year is off to a strong start driven by the collaboration of our corporate and field teams to drive our initiatives. We expect the momentum to continue through 2016."