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Casella Waste Posts Smaller Loss in First Period

Casella Waste Systems Inc. reported a smaller loss and higher revenue for its first quarter.

For the period ended March 31, the Rutland, Vt.-based Casella Waste posted a net loss of $7.96 million, or 23 cents per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $13.6 million, or 34 cents per diluted share, in the 2014 period.

Revenue increased 3 percent to $116.6 million from $113.2 million, according to a news release.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) climbed 7.9 percent to $14.5 million.

Higher solid waste disposal and recycling volumes, higher solid waste collection pricing and customer solutions growth spurred the revenue increase, which was partially offset by lower recycling commodity and energy pricing.

"We continued to execute well against our key management strategies during the first quarter despite one of the worst winters on record in the Northeast and lower recycling commodity prices," said John Casella, chairman and CEO of Casella Waste. "Our teams responded well to this prolonged operational challenge, and we remain on track to achieve our financial targets in 2015."

The company affirmed its guidance for the year, with adjusted EBITDA between $103 million and $107 million and revenue between $520 million and $530 million.

In 2014 Casella Waste posted a larger net loss but increased revenues for its eight-month transition period to a traditional calendar fiscal year. Casella reported a net loss of $5.81 million compared with a net loss of $4.08 million in 2013.

While it has been struggling financially Casella Waste has kept active. In February the company partnered with Aria Energy to establish a landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) operation at the Juniper Ridge Landfill that Casella operates in Old Town, Maine.

Casella’s 2015 results missed Wall Street expectations, according to the Associated Press. The average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 21 cents per share.

Leone Young, columnist for Waste360’s Business Insights, devoted a recent column to an interview with John Casella and Chief Financial Officer Ned Coletta. The two discussed the difficulties of the solid waste market in the past five years in the Northeast, where Casella Waste operates. Overcapacity and competitive prices have been two of the biggest challenges.

But the two executives expressed optimism that the market is changing for the better, with more leverage returning to disposal facility owners like Casella Waste.

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