Waste Management Records Big Loss for Fourth Quarter

Waste Management Records Big Loss for Fourth Quarter

Waste Management Inc. posted a large net loss for its fourth quarter and substantially reduced net earnings for its year, hurt by its waste-to-energy and recycling businesses.

The net loss for the Houston-based Waste Management for the quarter ended Dec. 31 totaled $605 million, or $1.29 per diluted share, compared with net income of $224 million, or 48 cents per diluted share, in 2012.

Revenue for the period rose 2 percent to $3.50 billion from $3.43 billion in 2012, according to a news release.

For the year, net income dropped to $98 million, or 21 cents per diluted share, compared with $817 million, or $1.76 per diluted share in the 2012. Revenue increased 2.9 percent to nearly $14 billion from $13.6 billion.

The company had negative impact of $1.85 per diluted share from impairments related primarily to goodwill in the waste-to-energy business, as well as certain post-collection assets and impairments. It resulted in a $483 million impairment charge.

Also, Waste Management did an asset rationalization analysis and decided to mothball or shut down several post-collection facilities, deciding that the volumes currently available could be handled at other company locations.

The company’s traditional solid waste business increased well throughout the year, said David Steiner, president and CEO. “We met our adjusted full-year earnings per share and free cash flow targets, despite much stronger than expected headwinds from our recycling and waste-to-energy businesses,” he said.

Looking ahead, Steiner said, “We expect 2014 to show solid earnings and cash flow driven by increased yield and continued cost controls.”

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