SOURCE: Casella Waste Systems, Inc.

Casella Waste Systems, Inc.

September 02, 2009 16:05 ET

Casella Waste Systems, Inc. Announces First Quarter Fiscal Year 2010 Results

RUTLAND, VT--(Marketwire - September 2, 2009) - Casella Waste Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CWST), a regional solid waste, recycling and resource management services company, today reported financial results for the first quarter of its 2010 fiscal year.

Highlights of the quarter include:

  • Free cash flow* for the quarter was $5.1 million, up $12.7 million from the same quarter last year;
  • Adjusted EBITDA* for the quarter was $31.4 million; and
  • Solid waste operations continue to produce strong cash flows through the economic slowdown; slowly rebounding commodity prices help the Recycling group.

"Our business continues to perform well through the economic downturn; the solid waste group is generating strong cash flows and the recycling group is benefiting from a moderate strengthening in commodity prices," John W. Casella, chairman and CEO of Casella Waste Systems, said.

"The solid waste business experienced normal sequential seasonal revenue growth in our first quarter compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2009; however, economically sensitive volumes were down again year-over-year against a tough first half year-over-year comparison, with notable weakness in both roll-off pulls and construction and demolition waste," Casella said. "Commodity prices have rebounded from January lows, the result of robust export markets mainly driven by the replenishment of depleted raw material inventories and the improving global economy. On average, commodity prices are up approximately 34 percent from the third quarter of our fiscal year 2009, but are still down approximately 47 percent from the first quarter of our fiscal year 2009."

First Quarter Financial Results

For the quarter ended July 31, 2009, the Company reported revenues of $135.9 million, down $22.0 million or 14.0 percent from the same quarter last year. Approximately 63 percent of the decline was due to a drop in processing and recycling revenues, down $13.8 million from the same quarter last year primarily as the result of lower commodity prices.

Solid waste revenues were down $14.0 million or 11.9 percent over the same quarter last year with price up 1.8 percent, fuel and oil recovery fees down 3.2 percent, volume down 9.0 percent, and commodity price and volume down 1.8 percent. Solid waste volume was down 6.3 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, NH landfill in early August 2008; and the idling of a C&D processing facility in October 2008. FCR revenues were down $9.0 million or 28.8 percent over the same quarter last year with price down 24.3 percent and volume down 4.5 percent.

The Company's net loss applicable to common shareholders was ($2.8) million, or ($0.11) per common share in the quarter, compared to net income of $2.2 million, or $0.08 per share for the same quarter last year.

With the successful refinancing of the Company's senior secured credit facility in early July, the Company incurred a loss on debt modification of $0.5 million or $0.02 per common share for the write-off of unamortized financing costs associated with the former senior credit facility.

Net cash provided by operating activities in the quarter was $24.7 million, up $4.9 million from the same quarter last year. The Company's Adjusted EBITDA* was $31.4 million for the quarter, down $6.1 million from the same quarter last year. The Company's free cash flow* in the quarter was $5.1 million, up $12.7 million from the same quarter last year.

"Our strong cash flow performance in the quarter is the result of the steps we took to improve operations and cash flows during the last year," Casella said. "Our team is building on this momentum by improving pricing, enhancing fleet efficiency through route optimization and front-load conversions, optimizing the long-haul transfer of waste, and consolidating functional areas to reduce costs and improve service."

"With the successful refinancing of our senior secured credit facility in early July with a senior secured first lien credit facility and senior second lien notes, our next significant debt maturity is now in December 2012," Casella said. "We have a capital structure in place that allows us to execute our intermediate strategy to reduce debt leverage and increase shareholder returns by further enhancing operating efficiencies, increasing pricing and profitably growing revenues, divesting non-core assets, and selectively investing in resource optimization solutions."

Fiscal 2010 Outlook

The Company reconfirms its June 15, 2009 estimated guidance ranges for revenues, free cash flow, and capital expenditures. To reflect changes in the definition of Adjusted EBITDA, which more fully captures the major components of the Company's senior secured credit facility debt covenants, EBITDA guidance will be replaced with Adjusted EBITDA guidance for the fiscal year.

Adjusted EBITDA guidance is estimated between $120.0 million and $126.0 million, reflecting the non-cash add-back of approximately $9.0 million of accretion and depletion of landfill operating leases to the original EBITDA guidance range of $111.0 million to $117.0 million.

*Non-GAAP Financial Measures

In addition to disclosing financial results prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), we also disclose earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), adjusted for accretion, depletion of landfill operating lease obligations, severance and reorganization charges, goodwill impairment, environmental remediation charge, and development project charges (Adjusted EBITDA) and free cash flow, which are non-GAAP measures. In the future we may modify items considered in defining free cash flow and adjusted EBITDA if we believe it will help the understanding of our financial performance.

These measures are provided because we understand that certain investors use this information when analyzing the financial position of companies in the solid waste industry, including us. Historically, these measures have been key in comparing the operating efficiency of publicly traded companies in the solid waste industry, and assist investors in measuring our ability to meet capital expenditures, payments on landfill operating lease contracts, and working capital requirements. For these reasons we utilize these non-GAAP metrics to measure our performance at all levels. Free cash flow, EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are not intended to replace "Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities," which is the most comparable GAAP financial measure. Moreover, these measures do not necessarily indicate whether cash flow will be sufficient for such items as capital expenditures, payments on landfill operating lease contracts, or working capital, or to react to changes in our industry or to the economy generally. Because these measures are not calculated by all companies in the same fashion, they may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies.

For further information, contact Ned Coletta, director of investor relations at (802) 772-2239, or visit the Company's website at http://www.casella.com.

The Company will host a conference call to discuss these results on Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. ET. Individuals interested in participating in the call should dial (877) 874-1588 at least 10 minutes before start time. The call will also be webcast; to listen, participants should visit Casella Waste Systems' website at http://www.casella.com and follow the appropriate link to the webcast. A replay of the call will be available on the Company's website, or by calling 719-457-0820 or 888-203-1112 (conference code #1549034), until 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, September 10, 2009.

Safe Harbor Statement

Certain matters discussed in this press release are "forward-looking statements" intended to qualify for the safe harbors from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can generally be identified as such by the context of the statements, including words such as the Company "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "plans," "may," "will," "would," "intends," "estimates" and other similar expressions, whether in the negative or affirmative. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about the industry and markets in which we operate and management's beliefs and assumptions. We cannot guarantee that we actually will achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in the forward-looking statements made. Such forward-looking statements, and all phases of our operations, involve a number of risks and uncertainties, any one or more of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in our forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include or relate to, among other things: we may be unable to reduce costs or increase revenues sufficiently to achieve estimated Adjusted EBITDA and other targets; landfill operations and permit status may be affected by factors outside our control; we may be required to incur capital expenditures in excess of our estimates; fluctuations in the commodity pricing of our recyclables may make it more difficult for us to predict our results of operations or meet our estimates; and we may incur environmental charges or asset impairments in the future. There are a number of other important risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. These additional risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, those detailed in Item 1A, "Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K/A for the year ended April 30, 2009. We undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

               CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
                  CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
                                Unaudited
                 (In thousands, except amounts per share)


                                                       Three Months Ended
                                                      --------------------
                                                      July 31,   July 31,
                                                        2008       2009
                                                      ---------  ---------

Revenues                                              $ 157,904  $ 135,861

Operating expenses:
   Cost of operations                                   104,442     90,646
   General and administration                            18,440     16,288
   Depreciation and amortization                         19,470     19,530
                                                      ---------  ---------
                                                        142,352    126,464
                                                      ---------  ---------

Operating income                                         15,552      9,397

Other expense/(income), net:
   Interest expense, net                                  9,973      9,814
   Loss on debt modification                                  -        511
   Loss from equity method investments                    1,129      1,219
   Other income                                             (88)       (46)
                                                      ---------  ---------
                                                         11,014     11,498
                                                      ---------  ---------

(Loss) income from continuing operations before
 income taxes and discontinued operations                 4,538     (2,101)
Provision for income taxes                                2,317        677
                                                      ---------  ---------

(Loss) income from continuing operations before
 discontinued operations                                  2,221     (2,778)

Discontinued Operations:
   Loss from discontinued operations, net of income
    taxes (1)                                               (11)         -
   Loss on disposal of discontinued operations, net
    of income taxes (1)                                     (34)         -
                                                      ---------  ---------

Net (loss) income available to common stockholders    $   2,176  $  (2,778)
                                                      =========  =========

Common stock and common stock equivalent shares
 outstanding, assuming full dilution                     25,683     25,688
                                                      =========  =========

Net (loss) income per common share                    $    0.08  $   (0.11)
                                                      =========  =========

Adjusted EBITDA (2)                                   $  37,523  $  31,406
                                                      =========  =========





               CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
                  CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
                                Unaudited
                              (In thousands)


                                                        April 30,  July 31,
                         ASSETS                           2009       2009
                                                        --------- ---------

CURRENT ASSETS:
   Cash and cash equivalents                            $   1,838 $   1,637
   Restricted cash                                            508        76
   Accounts receivable - trade, net of allowance for
    doubtful accounts                                      51,296    56,136
   Other current assets                                    23,093    20,201
                                                        --------- ---------
Total current assets                                       76,735    78,050

Property, plant and equipment, net of accumulated
 depreciation                                             490,360   489,814
Goodwill                                                  125,709   125,709
Intangible assets, net                                      2,635     2,505
Restricted cash                                               127       133
Investments in unconsolidated entities                     41,798    41,227
Other non-current assets                                   13,598    24,433
                                                        --------- ---------

Total assets                                            $ 750,962 $ 761,871
                                                        ========= =========

           LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

CURRENT LIABILITIES:
   Current maturities of long-term debt and capital
    leases                                              $   1,718 $   2,186
   Current maturities of financing lease obligations        1,344     1,369
   Accounts payable                                        34,623    35,268
   Other accrued liabilities                               39,350    44,728
                                                        --------- ---------
Total current liabilities                                  77,035    83,551

Long-term debt and capital leases, less current
 maturities                                               547,145   554,790
Financing lease obligations, less current maturities       12,281    11,929
Other long-term liabilities                                48,191    49,184

Stockholders' equity                                       66,310    62,417
                                                        --------- ---------

Total liabilities and stockholders' equity              $ 750,962 $ 761,871
                                                        ========= =========





              CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
                                Unaudited
                              (In thousands)


                                                        Three Months Ended
                                                        ------------------
                                                        July 31,  July 31,
                                                          2008      2009
                                                        --------  --------
Cash Flows from Operating Activities:
Net (loss) income                                       $  2,176  $ (2,778)
Loss from discontinued operations, net                        11         -
Loss on disposal of discontinued operations, net              34         -
Adjustments to reconcile net (loss) income
 to net cash provided by operating activities -
    Gain on sale of equipment                               (284)     (428)
    Depreciation and amortization                         19,470    19,530
    Depletion of landfill operating lease obligations      1,723     1,520
    Interest accretion on landfill and environmental
     remediation liabilities                                 778       959
    Income from assets under contractual obligation          (89)      (69)
    Amortization of premium on senior notes                 (164)     (176)
    Amortization of discount on term loan and second
     lien notes                                                -       122
    Loss from equity method investments                    1,129     1,219
    Loss on debt modification                                  -       511
    Stock-based compensation                                 389       530
    Excess tax benefit on the exercise of stock options      (31)        -
    Deferred income taxes                                  2,435       620
    Changes in assets and liabilities, net of
      effects of acquisitions and divestitures            (7,790)    3,141
                                                        --------  --------
                                                          17,566    27,479
                                                        --------  --------
       Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities          19,787    24,701
                                                        --------  --------
Cash Flows from Investing Activities:
    Acquisitions, net of cash acquired                       (70)        -
    Additions to property, plant and equipment
                                          - growth        (4,723)     (841)
                                          - maintenance  (17,705)  (17,405)
    Payments on landfill operating lease contracts          (452)   (1,327)
    Proceeds from divestitures                               670         -
    Other                                                    637       652
                                                        --------  --------
       Net Cash Used In Investing Activities             (21,643)  (18,921)
                                                        --------  --------
Cash Flows from Financing Activities:
    Proceeds from long-term borrowings                    22,700   374,044
    Principal payments on long-term debt                 (21,447) (366,204)
    Payment of financing costs                                 -   (13,906)
    Proceeds from exercise of stock options                  496        85
    Excess tax benefit on the exercise of stock options       31         -
                                                        --------  --------
       Net Cash (Used in) Provided by Financing
        Activities                                         1,780    (5,981)
                                                        --------  --------
Cash Provided by Discontinued Operations                      47         -
                                                        --------  --------
Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents                    (29)     (201)
Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period             2,814     1,838
                                                        --------  --------
Cash and cash equivalents, end of period                $  2,785  $  1,637
                                                        ========  ========
Supplemental Disclosures:
Cash interest                                           $  5,845  $  3,983
Cash taxes, net of refunds                              $    245  $    (54)




               CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
                NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
                                Unaudited
                              (In thousands)

Note 1: The Company completed the divestiture of its FCR Greenville operation in the quarter ended July 31, 2008 for cash proceeds of $670. The company recorded a loss on disposal of discontinued operations (net of tax) of $34. The operating results of this operation for the three months ended July 31, 2008 have been reclassified from continuing to discontinued operations in the accompanying consolidated financial statements. Revenues and loss attributable to discontinued operations for the three months ended July 31, 2008 were $282 and $11 (net of tax), respectively.

Note 2: Non - GAAP Financial Measures

In addition to disclosing financial results prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), we also disclose earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), adjusted for accretion, depletion of landfill operating lease obligations, severance and reorganization charges, goodwill impairment charge, environmental remediation charge as well as development project charges (Adjusted EBITDA) and free cash flow, which are non-GAAP measures.

These measures are provided because we understand that certain investors use this information when analyzing the financial position of the solid waste industry, including us. Historically, these measures have been key in comparing operating efficiency of publicly traded companies within the industry, and assist investors in measuring our ability to meet capital expenditures, payments on landfill operating lease contracts and working capital requirements. For these reasons, we utilize these non-GAAP metrics to measure our performance at all levels. EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow are not intended to replace "Net cash provided by operating activities", which is the most comparable GAAP financial measure. Moreover, these measures do not necessarily indicate whether cash flow will be sufficient for such items as working capital, payments on landfill operating lease contracts or capital expenditures, or to react to changes in our industry or to the economy generally. Because these measures are not calculated by all companies in the same fashion, they may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies.

Following is a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA and EBITDA to Net Cash
Provided by Operating Activities:



                                                        Three Months Ended
                                                        ------------------
                                                        July 31,  July 31,
                                                          2008      2009
                                                        --------  --------
Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities               $ 19,787  $ 24,701
Changes in assets and liabilities, net of effects of
 acquisitions and divestitures                             7,790    (3,141)
Stock-based compensation, net of excess tax benefit on
 exercise of options                                        (358)     (530)
Provision for income taxes, net of deferred taxes           (118)       57
Net interest expense plus amortization of
 premium/discount                                         10,137     9,868
Gain on sale of equipment and other                          285       451
                                                        --------  --------
Adjusted EBITDA (2)                                       37,523    31,406
Accretion                                                   (778)     (959)
Depletion of landfill lease obligations                   (1,723)   (1,520)
                                                        --------  --------
EBITDA (2)                                              $ 35,022  $ 28,927
                                                        ========  ========


Following is a reconciliation of Free Cash Flow to Net Cash Provided by
Operating Activities:


                                                        Three Months Ended
                                                        ------------------
                                                        July 31,  July 31,
                                                          2008      2009
                                                        --------  --------
Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities               $ 19,787  $ 24,701
Capital expenditures                                     (22,428)  (18,246)
Payments on landfill operating leases                       (452)   (1,327)
Assets acquired through financing leases                  (4,453)        -
                                                        --------  --------
Free Cash Flow                                          $ (7,546) $  5,128
                                                        ========  ========




               CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
                         SUPPLEMENTAL DATA TABLES
                               (Unaudited)
                              (In thousands)


Amounts of the Company's total revenues attributable to services provided
 are as follows:



                                   Three Months Ended July 31,
                                   ---------------------------
                                       2008           2009
                                   -------------  ------------
Collection                         $      58,282  $     52,197
Disposal                                  32,360        29,742
Power/LFGTE                                6,869         6,369
Processing and recycling                  20,233        15,450
                                   -------------  ------------
Solid waste operations                   117,744       103,758
Major accounts                             8,812         9,791
FCR recycling                             31,348        22,312
                                   -------------  ------------
Total revenues                     $     157,904  $    135,861
                                   =============  ============

Components of revenue growth for the three months ended July 31, 2009
 compared to the three months ended July 31, 2008:

Solid waste operations (1)         Core price                         1.8%
                                   Fuel recovery fee                 -3.2%
                                   Volume                            -9.0%
                                   Commodity price and volume        -1.8%
                                                                    -----
Total growth - Solid waste operations                               -12.2%
                                                                    =====

FCR  operations (1)                Price                            -24.3%
                                   Volume                            -4.5%
                                                                    -----
Total growth - FCR operations                                       -28.8%
                                                                    =====

Acquisitions                                                          0.3%
Divestitures                                                         -0.1%
Total revenue growth (2)                                            -14.0%

(1) - Calculated as a percentage of segment revenues.
(2) - Calculated as a percentage of total revenues.

Solid Waste Internalization Rates by Region (1):

                                   Three Months Ended July 31,
                                   ---------------------------
                                       2008           2009
                                   -------------  ------------
Eastern region                              58.5%         54.4%
Central region                              83.8%         86.1%
Western region                              58.6%         62.6%
Solid waste internalization                 66.2%         68.5%

(1)  In the quarter ended July 31, 2009, the Company revised its
internalization rate calulation to include third party waste received at
its transfer facilities and disposed at its own landfills. The prior year
internalization rates have been revised accordingly.




               CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
                         SUPPLEMENTAL DATA TABLES
                               (Unaudited)
                              (In thousands)


GreenFiber Financial Statistics - as reported (1):

                                              Three Months Ended July 31,
                                              ----------------------------
                                                  2008           2009
                                              -------------  -------------
Revenues                                      $      30,233  $      21,119
Net loss                                             (2,258)        (2,437)
Cash flow from operations                             2,678          2,895
Net working capital changes                           2,002          2,061
Adjusted EBITDA                               $         676  $         834

As a percentage of revenue:

Net loss                                               -7.5%         -11.5%
Adjusted EBITDA                                         2.2%           3.9%

(1)  The Company holds 50% interest in US Green Fiber, LLC ("GreenFiber"),
a joint venture that manufactures, markets and sells cellulose insulation
made from recycled fiber.



Components of Growth and Maintenance Capital Expenditures (1):

                                                Three Months Ended July 31,
                                                ---------------------------
                                                    2008          2009
                                                ------------- -------------
Growth Capital Expenditures:
 Landfill Development                           $       3,819 $         225
 MRF Equipment Upgrades                                   454             -
 Other                                                    450           616
                                                ------------- -------------
Total Growth Capital Expenditures                       4,723           841
                                                ------------- -------------

Maintenance Capital Expenditures:
 Vehicles, Machinery / Equipment and Containers         5,307         5,400
 Landfill Construction & Equipment                     11,453        11,066
 Facilities                                               754           728
 Other                                                    191           211
                                                ------------- -------------
Total Maintenance Capital Expenditures                 17,705        17,405
                                                ------------- -------------

Total Capital Expenditures                      $      22,428 $      18,246
                                                ============= =============

(1) The Company's capital expenditures are broadly defined as pertaining to
either growth or maintenance activities.  Growth capital expenditures are
defined as costs related to development of new airspace, permit expansions,
new recycling contracts along with incremental costs of equipment and
infrastructure added to further such activities.  Growth capital
expenditures include the cost of equipment added directly as a result of
new business as well as expenditures associated with increasing
infrastructure to increase throughput at transfer stations and recycling
facilities.  Growth capital expenditures also include those outlays
associated with acquiring landfill operating leases, which do not meet the
operating lease payment definition, but which were included as a commitment
in the successful bid.  Maintenance capital expenditures are defined as
landfill cell construction costs not related to expansion airspace, costs
for normal permit renewals and replacement costs for equipment due to age
or obsolescence.

Contact Information

  • For further information, contact:
    Ned Coletta
    Director of Investor Relations
    (802) 772-2239
    http://www.casella.com