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Nine Takeaways from Covanta’s Third Quarter Results

Waste-to-energy (WTE) firm Covanta Holding Corp. posted a big jump in net earnings and an increase in revenue for its third quarter, aided by its contract with New York City and its acquisitions.

Here are nine highlights regarding the Morristown, N.J.-based company’s latest financial results, for the period ended Sept. 30.

  1. Net income for Covanta increased fivefold to $34 million, or 25 cents per share, compared with $7 million, or 5 cents per share, in the 2014 period.
  2. Revenue increased 1.9 percent to $422 million from $414 million a year earlier. It rose primarily because of Covanta’s contract for the New York City Marine Transfer Station, as well as two environmental service acquisitions, according to a news release.
  3. Same-store North American WTE revenue declined by $10 million, hurt by lower recycled metals pricing and lower energy market prices. Meanwhile, non-WTE waste and service revenue increased by $27 million.
  4. The take from Stephen Jones, Covanta president and CEO: "We had another strong operational quarter, maximizing plant production and continuing to execute on our strategic initiatives … In terms of growth, the acquisitions in the Environmental Solutions group allow us to further expand our suite of service offerings to our clients and increase the value of the waste we bring into our facilities. In addition, our new regional metal processing facility will help us to produce a higher value product while giving us new options for marketing and transporting material in response to very difficult market conditions."
  5. For the nine-month period, Covanta posted a $9 million loss in 2015, or 7 cents per share, compared with a $3 million profit, or 2 cents per share, in 2014.
  6. Revenue slipped 2.7 percent to $1.21 billion from $1.25 billion a year earlier.
  7. Covanta affirmed its guidance for 2015, which set adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of between $420 million to $460 million. Actual EBITDA is 2014 was $474 million.
  8. Covanta’s earnings per share beat the analyst consensus estimate by 1 cent, according to Money Flow Index. Revenue beat analyst expectations of $405.2 million.
  9. During the quarter Covanta Environmental Solutions acquired Waste Recovery Solutions Inc. (WRS) and Chesapeake Waste Solutions, two privately held environmental services companies located in Pennsylvania. And it began operations at a new metal recycling operation in Fairless Hills, Pa.
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