Continued Strong Earnings Growth Driven by Revenue Expansion and Cost Control
Company Increases Full-Year 2016 Cash Flow and EPS Guidance
HOUSTON — July 27, 2016— Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: WM) today announced financial results for its quarter ended June 30, 2016. Revenues for the second quarter of 2016 were $3.43 billion compared with $3.32 billion for the same 2015 period. Net income for the quarter was $287 million, or $0.64 per diluted share, compared with net income of $274 million, or $0.60 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2015.(a) On an as-adjusted basis, excluding certain items, net income was $329 million, or $0.74 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2016 compared with $306 million, or $0.67 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2015.(b)
The Company’s as-adjusted second quarter 2016 results exclude $0.10 per diluted share of non-cash charges related to the write-down of investments in waste diversion technology companies to their fair value.
David P. Steiner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Waste Management, commented, “Our second quarter results mirrored the strong first quarter trends, as we again exceeded our revenue, earnings, and margin targets. In the second quarter, our revenue continued to see benefits from core price, volumes, and acquisitions. Core price was 4.9% and traditional solid waste volumes were positive 0.8%. Importantly, our commercial collection volumes turned positive for the first time since 2005. We also continued to make progress in our cost programs, as operating costs as a percent of revenue improved 300 basis points, or 140 basis points on an as-adjusted basis. The combined revenue growth and cost improvement led to strong growth in operating EBITDA, which increased $127 million, to $951 million.”(c)(d)
KEY HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE SECOND QUARTER 2016
- Overall revenue increased by 3.3%, or $110 million. The revenue increase was driven by positive yield and volume in the Company’s collection and disposal business of $98 million. Acquisitions, net of divestitures, also contributed $52 million of revenue growth to the current quarter. These increases were partially offset by $24 million in lower fuel surcharge revenue, $10 million in foreign currency fluctuations, and $5 million in lower recycling revenues.
- Core price, which consists of price increases net of rollbacks and fees, other than the Company’s fuel surcharge, was 4.9%, up from 4.1% in the second quarter of 2015.(c)
- Internal revenue growth from yield for collection and disposal operations was 2.6%, up 90 basis points from the second quarter of 2015.
- Traditional solid waste business internal revenue growth from volume was positive 0.8% in the second quarter of 2016. Total Company internal revenue growth from volume was 0.4% in the second quarter, with lower recycling volumes accounting for the 40 basis point difference.
- Average recycling commodity prices increased 2.3% in the second quarter of 2016 from the prior year period. Recycling volumes declined 2.9% in the second quarter. Results in the Company’s recycling line of business improved by more than $0.01 per diluted share when compared to the prior year period.
- As a percent of revenue, operating expenses were 62.2% in the second quarter of 2016, as compared to 65.2% in the second quarter of 2015, an improvement of 300 basis points. After adjusting the second quarter of 2015 for pension charges, operating expenses improved 140 basis points.(b)
- As a percent of revenue, SG&A expenses were 9.9% in the second quarter of 2016, compared to 9.7% in the second quarter of 2015. Incentive compensation accruals from the Company’s stock-based plans account for the slight increase.
- Net cash provided by operating activities was $748 million, compared to $816 million in the second quarter of 2015. Growth in earnings from the Company’s core operations drove a year-over-year increase in operating EBITDA of $127 million, or $76 million on an as-adjusted basis.(b)(d) Net cash provided by operating activities declined year over year because of the impact of timing differences in cash tax payments and working capital changes.
- Capital expenditures for the quarter were $312 million, an increase of $16 million compared to 2015. The Company now expects full-year capital expenditures to be between $1.4 and $1.45 billion, of which about $100 million relates to one-time capital expenditure items.
- The Company had $11 million of proceeds from the sale of assets and businesses in the quarter, $48 million less than in the second quarter of 2015.
- Free cash flow was $447 million in the second quarter of 2016.(b) The Company now expects its full-year free cash flow to be between $1.6 and $1.7 billion.
- The Company returned $431 million to shareholders during the second quarter, paying $181 million in dividends and repurchasing $250 million of its common stock.
- The effective tax rate was 37.6%. Adjusting for the items excluded from the Company’s as-reported results, the tax rate was 34.7%. The Company still expects its full year as-adjusted tax rate to be approximately 35%.(b)
Steiner continued, “All of our employees worked hard to deliver strong results by focusing on disciplined pricing, improved customer service, targeted sales growth and cost management. These efforts have driven yield, volume, and cost performance in the first half of 2016 to exceed our plan and position us to increase our adjusted earnings per diluted share guidance to between $2.83 and $2.86 for the full year, a $0.09 to $0.12 increase from the low end of our previous guidance. More importantly, we have raised our free cash flow guidance for 2016 to between $1.6 and $1.7 billion, a $100 to $200 million increase from the low end of our previous guidance.”(b)
Steiner concluded, “With solid momentum in our business, and the continued strong performance of our teams, we expect that our earnings will continue to show improvement in 2016 and beyond, and those earnings will continue to drive solid cash flow that we can deploy to benefit our shareholders.”
(a) For purposes of this press release, all references to “Net income” refer to the financial statement line items “Net income attributable to Waste Management, Inc.”.
(b) This press release contains a discussion of non-GAAP measures, as defined in Regulation G of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The Company reports its financial results in compliance with GAAP, but believes that also discussing non-GAAP measures provides investors with (i) additional, meaningful comparisons of current results to prior periods’ results by excluding items that the Company does not believe reflect its fundamental business performance and are not representative or indicative of its results of operations and (ii) financial measures the Company uses in the management of its business. Accordingly, net income, earnings per diluted share, operating expenses, operating EBITDA, and tax rate have been presented in certain instances excluding items identified in the reconciliations provided.
The Company’s projected full year 2016 earnings per diluted share and full year expected adjusted tax rate are not based on GAAP calculations and are anticipated to be adjusted to exclude the effects of events or circumstances in 2016 that are not representative or indicative of the Company’s results of operations, including the items excluded from our as-adjusted second quarter results. Projected GAAP earnings per diluted share and effective tax rate for the full year would require inclusion of the projected impact of future excluded items, including items that are not currently determinable, but may be significant, such as asset impairments and one-time items, charges, gains or losses from divestitures or litigation, or other items. Due to the uncertainty of the likelihood, amount and timing of any such items, the Company does not have information available to provide a quantitative reconciliation of adjusted projected full year earnings per diluted share or expected tax rate to a GAAP projection.
The Company also discusses free cash flow and provides a projection of free cash flow. Free cash flow is a non-GAAP measure. The company discusses free cash flow because the Company believes that it is indicative of its ability to pay its quarterly dividends, repurchase common stock, fund acquisitions and other investments and, in the absence of refinancings, to repay its debt obligations. Free cash flow is not intended to replace “Net cash provided by operating activities,” which is the most comparable U.S. GAAP measure. However, the Company believes free cash flow gives investors useful insight into how the Company views its liquidity. Nevertheless, the use of free cash flow as a liquidity measure has material limitations because it excludes certain expenditures that are required or that the Company has committed to, such as declared dividend payments and debt service requirements. The Company defines free cash flow as:
• Net cash provided by operating activities
• Less, capital expenditures
• Plus, proceeds from divestitures of businesses (net of cash divested) and other sales of assets.
The Company’s definition of free cash flow may not be comparable to similarly titled measures presented by other companies, and therefore is not subject to comparison.
The quantitative reconciliations of non-GAAP measures used herein to the most comparable GAAP measures are included in the accompanying schedules, with the exception of projected earnings per diluted share and expected tax rate. Non-GAAP measures should not be considered a substitute for financial measures presented in accordance with GAAP, and investors are urged to take into account GAAP measures as well as non-GAAP measures in evaluating the Company.
(c) Core price is a performance metric used by management to evaluate the effectiveness of our pricing strategies; it is not derived from our financial statements and may not be comparable to measures presented by other companies. Core price is based on certain historical assumptions, which may differ from actual results, to allow for comparability between reporting periods and to reveal trends in results over time.
(d) Management defines operating EBITDA as GAAP income from operations before depreciation and amortization; this measure may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies.
The Company will host a conference call at 10:00 AM (Eastern) today to discuss the second quarter 2016 results. Information contained within this press release will be referenced and should be considered in conjunction with the call.
The conference call will be webcast live from the Investor Relations section of Waste Management’s website www.wm.com. To access the conference call by telephone, please dial (877) 710-6139 approximately 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the call. If you are calling from outside of the United States or Canada, please dial (706) 643-7398. Please utilize conference ID number 43986112 when prompted by the conference call operator.
A replay of the conference call will be available on the Company’s website www.wm.com and by telephone from approximately 1:00 PM (Eastern) Wednesday, July 27, 2016 through 5:00 PM (Eastern) on Wednesday, August 11, 2016. To access the replay telephonically, please dial (855) 859-2056, or from outside of the United States or Canada dial (404) 537-3406, and use the replay conference ID number 43986112.
The Company, from time to time, provides estimates of financial and other data, comments on expectations relating to future periods and makes statements of opinion, view or belief about current and future events. This press release contains a number of such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to statements regarding 2016 earnings per diluted share; 2016 free cash flow; 2016 capital expenditures, 2016 adjusted tax rate; future earnings improvement and cash flow; and future volume trends and improvements. You should view these statements with caution. They are based on the facts and circumstances known to the Company as of the date the statements are made. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to be materially different from those set forth in such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to, increased competition; pricing actions; failure to implement our optimization, growth, and cost savings initiatives and overall business strategy; failure to identify acquisition targets and negotiate attractive terms; failure to consummate or integrate such acquisitions; failure to obtain the results anticipated from acquisitions; environmental and other regulations; commodity price fluctuations; disposal alternatives and waste diversion; declining waste volumes; failure to develop and protect new technology; significant environmental or other incidents resulting in liabilities and brand damage; weakness in economic conditions; failure to obtain and maintain necessary permits; labor disruptions; impairment charges; and negative outcomes of litigation or governmental proceedings. Please also see the Company’s filings with the SEC, including Part I, Item 1A of the Company’s most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K, for additional information regarding these and other risks and uncertainties applicable to our business. The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, including financial estimates and forecasts, whether as a result of future events, circumstances or developments or otherwise.
ABOUT WASTE MANAGEMENT
Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more information about Waste Management, visit www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com.
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Source: Waste Management, Inc.
Ed Egl, 713.265.1656