Key Takeaways from Casella’s Q4 2015 Earnings

Key Takeaways from Casella’s Q4 2015 Earnings

Rutland, Vt.-based Casella Waste Systems posted year-over-year revenue gains in the fourth quarter and for the full year in earnings reported last night.

"During fiscal year 2015, we continued to execute well against our key strategies of increasing landfill returns, improving collection route profitability, creating incremental value through resource solutions, reducing financial and operational risks, and improving our balance sheet," John W. Casella, chairman and CEO of Casella Waste Systems, said in a statement. "I am very pleased with our financial and operational performance during the year, and I believe that we are well positioned to continue to execute in fiscal year 2016 and beyond."

"From an operating standpoint, our solid waste pricing programs continued to outpace inflation with overall solid waste pricing up 3.6 percent in the quarter, driven by strong residential and commercial pricing, which were up 5.6 percent, and higher pricing in the disposal line-of-business," Casella said in a statement. "These strong pricing gains were complemented by further improvements in our operating efficiency programs with our fleet and routing programs driving lower costs."

Here are the key highlights from the company’s results:

 

  • Revenues were $140.0 million for the quarter, up $6.5 million, or 4.9 percent, from the same period in 2014. Revenues were $546.5 million for the fiscal year, up $20.6 million, or 3.9 percent, from the same period in 2014.
  • Adjusted EBITDA was $27.8 million for the quarter, up $3.4 million, or 13.8 percent, from the same period in 2014. Adjusted EBITDA was $106.1 million for the fiscal year, up $9.2 million, or 9.5 percent, from the same period in 2014.
  • Operating income was $4.7 million for the quarter, down $1.0 million from the same period in 2014. Net loss attributable to common stockholders was ($7.0) million, or ($0.17) per common share for the quarter, compared to a net loss of ($6.4) million, or ($0.16) per common share for the same period in 2014. Operating income was $31.9 million for the fiscal year, up $19.7 million from the same period in 2014
  • Adjusted operating income for the quarter was $8.1 million, up $2.0 million, or 31.8 percent, from the same period in 2014. Adjusted operating income was $30.5 million for the fiscal year, up $9.2 million, or 43.1 percent, from the same period in 2014.
  • Free cash flow for the quarter was $8.7 million, up $10.2 million from the same period in 2014. Free cash flow was $20.2 million for the fiscal year, up $29.9 million from the same period in 2014.
  • In terms of recycling, the firm experienced an $8.8 million decline in revenues. "We have offset this decline in recycling commodity revenues through a combination of our newly implemented Sustainability/Recycling Adjustment fee applied to residential and commercial hauling customers, lower rebates or higher tipping fees to recycling processing customers, and efforts to reduce operating costs at our materials processing facilities,” Casella said in a statement. “Through these efforts, we offset nearly all of this commodity price headwind and held operating income flat in the recycling line-of-business. This was a great achievement for the team."
  • Net cash provided by operating activities was $70.5 million in the fiscal year, up $8.3 million from the same period in 2014, whereas Free Cash Flow was $20.2 million in the fiscal year, up $29.9 million from the same period in 2014. Normalized Free Cash Flow* was $18.6 million in the fiscal year, up $9.3 million from the same period in 2014.
  • Overall solid waste pricing for the quarter was up 3.6 percent, mainly driven by strong residential and commercial collection pricing up 5.6 percent. It increased average price per ton by 3.7 percent at its landfills.
  • For 2016, it the company is estimating Revenues between $550 million and $560 million; adjusted EBITDA between $111 million and $115 million and free cash flow between $20 million and $24 million. It also expecting revenue growth of between 2.0 percent and 3.5 percent, with price growth from 2.0 percent to 2.5 percent. In the recycling business, it expects overall revenue declines of between (7.0 percent) and (2.0 percent), driven by lower commodity price, partially offset by higher volumes.
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