Casella Waste Systems, Inc. Announces First Quarter Fiscal Year 2006 Results

Casella provides solid waste management services consisting of collection, transfer, disposal, and recycling services in the northeastern United States.

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Casella Waste Systems, Inc. Announces First Quarter Fiscal Year 2006 Results

September 7, 2005
Casella Waste Systems, Inc. Announces First Quarter Fiscal Year 2006 Results

RUTLAND, VERMONT (September 7, 2005)-Casella Waste Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CWST), a regional, non-hazardous solid waste services company, today reported financial results for the first quarter of its 2006 fiscal year.

First Quarter Results

For the quarter ended July 31, 2005, the company reported revenues of $132.0 million. The company's net income per common share was $0.09. Operating income for the quarter was $13.1 million. Cash provided by operating activities in the quarter was $22.6 million. The company's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was $29.2 million*. As of July 31, 2005, the company had cash on hand of $6.8 million, and had an outstanding total debt level of $386.5 million.

Highlights of the Quarter

"Our most significant accomplishment in the first quarter was the 14-0 vote of the Chemung County Legislature to enter into an operating agreement with the company for the operation of the county's Subtitle D landfill," John W. Casella, chairman and chief executive officer, said. "Once again, we've been able to apply our unique public/private partnership model to the successful development of disposal capacity, one of our highest ongoing strategic priorities.

"Our EBITDA* numbers were impacted in the areas of fuel and third-party transportation as volumes increased at our disposal facilities," Casella said.

"Our Central region saw its tonnages impacted by the disruption of business resulting from a fire at our Glens Falls-area transfer station, which was not able to accept any waste for several weeks while it underwent repairs," Casella said. "We were also impacted by expenses surrounding the successful effort to defend our permit at our Wellsboro, Penn. transfer station. The impact from these two events was approximately $825,000, or 2 cents per share."

"We also saw increased costs from Sarbannes-Oxley requirements on a year-over-year basis," Casella said.

"On the positive side, we saw healthy price and volume growth both in our solid waste and recycling operations, and realized a nearly one hundred basis point reduction in labor costs as a percent of revenue, the result of our successful efforts in continuous improvement," Casella said.

Company Reaffirms Fiscal Year 2006 Guidance

The company reaffirmed that it believes its results for fiscal year 2006 will be in the following ranges:

  • Revenues between $500.0 million and $520.0 million;
  • EBITDA between $112.0 million and $116.0 million;
  • Non-growth maintenance capital expenditures between $57.0 million and $61.0 million; facility capital expenditures of $6.0 million; and landfill development capital expenditures of $32.0 million (in conjunction with the addition of 52 million tons of total company-wide disposal capacity since year-end 2003), for a total of expected capital expenditures between $95.0 million and $99.0 million; and
  • Free cash flow between $(13.0) million and $(9.0) million.

*Non-GAAP Financial Measures

In addition to disclosing financial results prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), we also disclose free cash flow and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), 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 in the solid waste industry, and assist investors in measuring our ability to meet capital expenditure and working capital requirements. For these reasons we utilize these non-GAAP metrics to measure our performance at all levels. These measures do not represent, and should not be considered as alternatives to cash provided by operating activities as determined in accordance with GAAP. Moreover, these measures do not necessarily indicate whether cash flow will be sufficient for such items as working capital 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.

More detailed financial results are contained in the tables accompanying this release.

Casella Waste Systems, headquartered in Rutland, Vermont, provides collection, transfer, disposal and recycling services primarily in the northeastern United States.

For further information, contact Richard Norris, chief financial officer; or Joseph Fusco, vice president; at (802) 775-0325, 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 8, 2005 at 10:00 a.m. ET. Individuals interested in participating in the call should dial (913) 981-5571 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 by calling 719-457-0820 (conference code #9089324) before 11:59 p.m. ET, Thursday, September 15, 2005, or by visiting the company's website.

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," "anticipates," "expects" or words of similar import. Similarly, statements that describe the Company's future plans, objectives or goals are forward-looking statements. 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 make acquisitions and otherwise develop additional disposal capacity; continuing weakness in general economic conditions may affect our revenues; increasing fuel costs may affect our cost of operations; we may be required to incur capital expenditures in excess of our estimates; and fluctuations in the commodity pricing of our recyclables may make it more difficult for us to predict our results of operations. Other factors which could materially affect such forward-looking statements can be found in our periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including certain factors which could affect future operating results detailed in the Management's Discussion and Analysis section in our Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2005.