Casella Waste posts heavy fourth quarter losses

Casella Waste Systems, Inc. reported financial results for the fourth quarter and 2009 fiscal year. The company’s recycling revenue slipped to $30.2 million from $45.6 million in 2008.

For the quarter ended April 30, 2009, the company reported revenues of $117.6 million, down $22.0 million or 15.7 percent over the same quarter last year. Approximately fifty three percent of the decline was due to a drop in recycling revenues, down $11.6 million over the same quarter last year primarily as the result of lower commodity prices.

Solid waste revenues including the company’s major accounts programs were down approximately 11.0 percent from the same quarter last year. Excluding fuel, oil and environmental recovery fees, pricing was up 3.4 percent, and volumes were down 5.9 percent (excluding revenue losses due to the planned end-of-life decline of landfill volumes at the Pine Tree landfill in Hampden, Maine; the planned closure of the Colebrook landfill; and the idling of a C&D processing facility in October 2008).

The company’s net loss applicable to common shareholders was $68.5 million, or $2.67 per common share, compared to a net loss of $7.8 million last year.

“In spite of the collapse of the global recycling commodity markets mid-way through our 2009 fiscal year and an extended economic contraction, our team executed well against the factors within our control to meet our original free cash flow goals,” John W. Casella, chairman and CEO of Casella Waste Systems, said.

“During the third and fourth quarters we experienced significant declines in commodity pricing and lower solid waste volumes in more economically sensitive markets,” Casella said. “To meet our free cash flow target, we acted swiftly and thoughtfully to improve all aspects of our operating structure and daily business practices, and we successfully implemented programs that reduced costs and improved asset utilization.