Folsom, Calif.-based Waste Connections reported $262.7 million in revenue for the first quarter, an increase of 4.9 percent from the $250.3 million the firm collected in the same period in 2008. Net income did drop slightly, from $22.5 million in first-quarter 2008 to $22 million this past quarter.
“We are extremely pleased with our results in the quarter and are off to a good start for the year,” said Ronald J. Mittelstaedt, chairman and CEO of Waste Connections, in a press release. “A weakened economy has impacted revenue, but operational improvements and cost controls have enabled us to exceed our outlook for operating income before depreciation and amortization in the quarter and increase free cash flow more than 28 percent year-over-year. More encouraging though, is that the pace of volume deceleration appears to be slowing such that we may be close to finding bottom.”
In the first quarter, Waste Connections agreed to buy assets from Phoenix-based Republic Services, assets that the federal government had ordered Republic to sell following its recent merger with Allied Waste Services.
Included in the assets were the Potrero Hills Landfill in Suisun City, Calif., as well as landfills, collection operations and transfer stations in Southern California; Charlotte, N.C.; Denver; Flint, Mich.; Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C.; Houston; and Lubbock, Texas. The sales are expected to close in the second quarter.
“The announced acquisitions of certain divested assets from Republic Services have already produced a record amount of acquired revenue this year and finally deployed the excess capital raised last year,” Mittelstaedt added. “With three quarters of the year ahead of us, still one of the strongest balance sheets in our sector, and a broader strategic footprint, we remain well positioned to pursue additional growth opportunities and further increase our potential upside once the economy begins to improve.”