Casella Waste Systems Shows Strong Start in Q1 2024

April 26, 2024

4 Min Read
Casella Waste

RUTLAND, Vt., --  Casella Waste Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CWST), a regional solid waste, recycling and resource management services company, today reported its financial results for the three-month period ended March 31, 2024.

“We had a strong start to the year, driven by the continued execution of our core operating strategies and pricing programs and the successful integration of the acquisitions we completed in 2023,” said John W. Casella, Chairman and CEO of Casella Waste Systems, Inc. “Our first quarter results demonstrated the dedication of our team and success of our growth strategy and set us up well for the rest of the year.”

“Our business is performing at a high level and delivered meaningful year-over-year Adjusted EBITDA margin improvement of 150 basis points,” Casella said. “From a core operations standpoint, our investments in fleet automation, route optimization, and onboard computers have allowed us to be more efficient, productive, and safer in our collection line of business while maintaining our high customer service standards. Our customer focus also extends into recycling where we have made meaningful investments in our processing facilities to meet customer demand for diversion and sustainability services. Our upgraded Boston recycling facility continues to perform very well, and we are excited to begin the upgrade of our Willimantic recycling facility later this year.”

“We remain focused on pricing our services appropriately and strengthening the quality of our revenue, with overall solid waste pricing up 5.5%, collection pricing up 6.2% and the average price per ton at our landfills up 13.3% in the quarter. Solid waste volumes were down year-over-year, as expected; however, this net trade-off improved margins,” Casella said.

“The integration of our 2023 acquisitions is advancing well and we are realizing planned synergies,” Casella said. “While our recent focus has been on ensuring a smooth transition for our new employees and customers, looking forward our acquisition pipeline remains robust with a number of quality companies across our footprint.”

For the quarter, revenues were $341.0 million, up $78.4 million, or up 29.9%, from the same period in 2023, with revenue growth mainly driven by: the rollover contribution from acquisitions closed in 2023; strong collection and disposal pricing; and higher recycling commodity prices.

Operating income was $6.8 million for the quarter, down $(3.4) million from the same period in 2023, mainly due to higher depreciation and amortization expense related to acquisition growth and higher expenses from acquisition activities.

Net loss was $(4.1) million for the quarter, or $(0.07) per diluted common share, as compared to net income of $3.5 million, or $0.07 per diluted common share, for the same period in 2023 driven by the factors impacting operating income as well as higher interest expense. Adjusted Net Loss, a non-GAAP measure, was $(0.8) million for the quarter, or $(0.01) Adjusted Diluted Loss Per Common Share, a non-GAAP measure, as compared to Adjusted Net Income of $5.3 million, or $0.10 Adjusted Diluted Earnings Per Common Share, for the same period in 2023. Adjusted EBITDA was $71.0 million for the quarter, up $20.4 million, or up 40.2%, from the same period in 2023, driven by acquisition rollover and 8.8% organic growth.

Please refer to "Non-GAAP Performance Measures" included in "Unaudited Reconciliation of Certain Non-GAAP Measures" below for additional information and reconciliations of Adjusted Net (Loss) Income, Adjusted Diluted (Loss) Earnings Per Common Share, Adjusted EBITDA and other non-GAAP performance measures to their most directly comparable GAAP measures.

Net cash provided by operating activities was $7.7 million for the quarter, as compared to $16.1 million for the same period in 2023, driven by higher cash interest payments and changes in working capital, and Adjusted Free Cash Flow was $(2.4) million for the quarter, as compared to $2.2 million for the same period in 2023, with the year-over-year variance further driven by higher capital expenditures.

Please refer to “Non-GAAP Liquidity Measures” included in “Unaudited Reconciliation of Certain Non-GAAP Measures” below for additional information and reconciliation of Adjusted Free Cash Flow to its most directly comparable GAAP measure.

Fiscal Year 2024 Outlook

“Given the continued strength of our solid waste and Resource Solutions operations, together with the rollover contribution from closed acquisitions, we are reaffirming our revenue, net income, Adjusted EBITDA, net cash provided by operating activities, and Adjusted Free Cash Flow ranges for fiscal year 2024,” Casella said. “The business is operating in line with plan, and our outlook for our markets and the economy has not materially changed.”

The Company reaffirmed guidance for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2024 (“fiscal year 2024”) by estimating results in the following ranges:

  • Revenues between $1.480 billion and $1.510 billion.

  • Net income between $35 million and $45 million.

  • Adjusted EBITDA between $350 million and $360 million.

  • Net cash provided by operating activities between $260 million and $270 million.

  • Adjusted Free Cash Flow between $140 million and $150 million.

The guidance ranges do not include the impact of any acquisitions that have not been completed. Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Free Cash Flow related to fiscal year 2024 are described in the Unaudited Reconciliation of Fiscal Year 2024 Outlook Non-GAAP Measures section of this press release. Net income and Net cash provided by operating activities are provided as the most directly comparable GAAP measures to Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Free Cash Flow, respectively, however these forward-looking estimates for fiscal year 2024 do not contemplate any unanticipated impacts.

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