Republic Services Inc. posted a sharp drop in its fourth quarter net earnings, hurt largely by a charge for future remediation of its Bridgeton, Mo., landfill.
For the quarter ended Dec. 31, the Phoenix-based Republic reported a 78.7 percent decline in net profits to $50.3 million, or 14 cents per diluted share, compared with $236.6 million, or 65 cents per diluted share, a year earlier. The results included a charge of 32 cents per diluted share for an up-front charge for remediation at the Bridgeton landfill, which suffered an underground fire.
With that charge and other one-time charges, net income would have totaled $178.4 million in 2014 compared with $193.1 million in 2013, according to a news release.
Revenue for the fourth quarter rose 3.9 percent to $2.23 billion from $2.14 billion.
For the year, net profits dipped 7 percent to $547.6 million, or $1.53 per diluted share, compared with $588.9 million, or $1.62 per diluted share, in 2013.
Revenue increased 4.4 percent to $8.79 billion from $8.42 billion a year earlier.
"We executed our strategy to profitably grow the business, launched tools and programs to differentiate our service offering, continued to implement fleet-based productivity initiatives and delivered industry-leading total shareholder return," said Donald Slager, president and CEO.
For its 2015 guidance, Republic forecast an increase in revenue of 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent, and diluted earnings per share in the range of $1.98 to $2.04.
"During 2015, we will remain focused on improving the areas of our business we can control, and delivering on the promises we make to our customers, communities, employees and shareholders,” Slager said. “We are encouraged by the strength of our core business, and remain well-positioned for future success as we continue to execute our strategy to profitably grow our business, generate consistent earnings and cash flow growth, improve return on invested capital and increase cash returns to shareholders."