Houston-based Waste Management Inc. (WM) has announced fourth quarter and year-end 2016 revenue and net income figures that were higher than the comparable figures from 2015.
WM says its revenue in the fourth quarter of 2016 was $3.46 billion, up by 6.4 percent from the $3.25 billion taken in during the same 2015 period. Net income for the quarter was $335 million, or 75 cents per diluted share, up by 22.7 percent from net income of $273 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, when the company earned 61 cents per diluted share.
Among the factors WM cites for its improved fourth quarter profitability was that “average recycling commodity prices at the company’s recycling facilities were approximately 31.6 percent higher in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared with the prior year period.”
For all of 2016, WM says, average recycling commodity prices at the company’s recycling facilities were approximately 8.6 percent higher and volumes increased by 0.8 percent. “These revenue increases, combined with reduced operating costs at the company’s recycling facilities, drove almost a 9-cent increase in the company’s earnings per diluted share,” WM says.
Regarding its overall 2016 year-end results, WM has reported revenue of $13.6 billion, up by 4.6 percent compared with the $13 billion realized in 2015. Earnings per diluted share were $2.65 for 2016, an increase of 60.6 percent compared with $1.65 earned in 2015.
“In 2016 we continued our focus on core price, disciplined volume growth, and cost control,” says Jim Fish, president and CEO of WM. “Our results in each of these areas exceeded our expectations, which led to operating EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) growth of 8.1 percent on an as-adjusted basis,” he adds.
Regarding the most recent quarter and the near-term future, Fish adds, “The fourth quarter saw internal revenue growth from each of yield and total company volume achieve 2 percent or greater. This is the first time we have achieved this result in over a decade. This revenue growth drove significant increases in net cash provided by operating activities and free cash flow. We will maintain our focus on driving core price, growing high margin volumes and controlling costs, positioning us for strong earnings and cash generation in 2017.”
In a news release addressing its outlook, WM says it expects its annual earnings per share figure to increase to between $3.14 and $3.18 in 2017. WM also says, “Capital expenditures are expected to be in the range of $1.4 to $1.5 billion [in 2017],” and “the company expects to spend between $100 and $200 million for tuck-in acquisitions during 2017.”