Casella Waste Systems, Inc. Announces First Quarter Fiscal Year 2008 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 2008 Results

September 5, 2007

RUTLAND, Vt., Sep 5, 2007 (PrimeNewswire via COMTEX News Network) --

Casella Waste Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CWST), a regional, non-hazardous solid waste and recycling services company, today reported financial results for the first quarter of its 2008 fiscal year. Highlights of the Company's performance include:



 -- First quarter 2008 operating income up $3.9 million or 44.8 percent
    over the same quarter last year;
 -- First quarter 2008 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation
    and amortization (EBITDA)* up $6.2 million or 23.3 percent over the
    same quarter last year;
 -- EBITDA margin up 260 basis points over the same quarter last year,
    driven by cost reductions and positive pricing; and
 -- Free cash flow for the quarter up $10.7 million over the same
    quarter last year.

First Quarter Results

For the quarter ended July 31, 2007, the Company reported revenues of $152.4 million, up $11.6 million, or 8.3 percent over the same quarter last year. The Company's net income per common share was $0.07, compared to net loss of $0.04 per share in the same quarter last year. Operating income for the quarter was $12.6 million, up $3.9 million or 44.8 percent over the same quarter last year. Cash provided by operating activities in the quarter was $20.3 million, up $1.3 million, or 6.8 percent compared to the same quarter last year. The Company's EBITDA was $32.8 million, up $6.2 million, or 23.3 percent from the same quarter last year. In the first quarter 2008, the Company settled the Maine Energy Recovery dispute and recognized other income in the amount of $2.1 million related to the reversal of excess accruals originally established in connection with waste handling agreement disputes with fifteen municipalities which were party to the agreements. The after-tax impact of this settlement was $1.3 million, or $0.05 per common share.

Highlights of the Quarter

"From an operating perspective, this was a solid quarter," John W. Casella, chairman and chief executive officer, said. "We laid out a clear plan last quarter; a plan that focuses on cost reductions and profitable revenue growth to increase shareholder returns and repay debt. I am pleased with the progress we made this quarter and our team is focused on executing against this plan to harvest cash flows from landfill conversions and expansions and to reduce costs through increased productivity, realigning markets, and more efficient purchasing."

"Regional economic conditions have improved over last year, however the northeastern U.S. economy still remains challenged. In addition, our GreenFiber unit continues to be materially impacted by the general slowdown in the housing market."

Collaboration with Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc. for the production of liquid biofuels

In other developments, the Company entered into an agreement with Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc. to collaborate in the design, construction and operation of clean waste-to-fuels production facilities in New England and New York.

Fulcrum BioEnergy, a privately held company, is focused on developing projects utilizing both existing and new technologies to convert various waste streams, including municipal solid waste, into a waste-derived feedstock for the production of liquid biofuels. Fulcrum BioEnergy plans to finance, permit, construct, own and operate the facilities, while the Company will provide expertise in the development and operation of the waste-derived fuel processing plants and supply solid waste as a feedstock. Permitting is expected to begin on the first three facilities in the northeastern U.S. during the next twelve months.

"Our collaboration with Fulcrum BioEnergy is an important step forward in our long-term strategy to create additional value from the waste stream beyond the traditional consumption model," John W. Casella, chairman and chief executive officer, said.

"We remain strongly focused on harvesting value from our traditional landfill and solid waste services assets, while leveraging this foundation to create additional value in the near- and long-term through innovation and technology," Casella said.

*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 companies in 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.

Casella Waste Systems, headquartered in Rutland, Vermont, provides solid waste management services consisting of collection, transfer, disposal, and recycling services primarily in the eastern United States.

For further information, contact Richard Norris, chief financial officer; Ned Coletta, director of investor relations; 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 6, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. ET. Individuals interested in participating in the call should dial (719) 457-2698 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 #5076475) before 11:59 p.m. ET, Thursday, September 13, 2007, 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," "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 sufficiently to achieve estimated EBITDA and other targets; anticipated revenue may not materialize; continuing weakness in general economic conditions and poor weather conditions may affect our revenues; 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 or meet our estimates. 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 risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, those detailed in Item 1A, "Risk Factors" in our Form 10-K for the year ended April 30, 2007. We do not necessarily intend to update publicly any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.



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


                                                   Three Months Ended
                                                ----------------------
                                                 July 31,     July 31,
                                                  2006          2007
                                                --------      --------
 Revenues                                       $140,757      $152,433

 Operating expenses:
   Cost of operations (1)                         93,537       101,308
   General and administration (1)                 20,624        18,328
   Depreciation and amortization                  17,891        20,176
                                                --------      --------
                                                 132,052       139,812
                                                --------      --------

 Operating income                                  8,705        12,621

 Other expense/(income), net:
   Interest expense, net (2)                       9,312        11,081
   Loss (income) from equity method
    investments                                     (123)        2,151
   Other income                                      (55)       (3,134)
                                                --------      --------
                                                   9,134        10,098
                                                --------      --------
 Income (loss) from continuing
  operations before income taxes
  and discontinued operations                       (429)        2,523
 Provision (benefit) for income
  taxes                                             (518)          780
                                                --------      --------
 Income from continuing operations
  before discontinued operations                      89         1,743

 Discontinued Operations:
  Loss from discontinued operations,
   net of income taxes (3)                          (142)           --
                                                --------      --------
 Net income (loss)                                   (53)        1,743

 Preferred stock dividend                            881            --
                                                --------      --------
 Net income (loss) available to
  common stockholders                           $   (934)     $  1,743
                                                ========      ========

 Common stock and common stock
  equivalent shares outstanding,
  assuming full dilution                          25,236        25,442
                                                ========      ========
 Net income (loss) per common share             $  (0.04)     $   0.07
                                                ========      ========



 EBITDA (4)                                     $ 26,596      $ 32,797
                                                ========      ========


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

                                                April 30,     July 31,
              ASSETS                              2007          2007
                                                --------      --------
 CURRENT ASSETS:
  Cash and cash equivalents                     $ 12,363      $  4,378
  Restricted cash                                     73            94
  Accounts receivable - trade, net
   of allowance for doubtful
   accounts                                       62,044        65,047
  Other current assets                            20,320        26,153
                                                --------      --------
 Total current assets                             94,800        95,672

 Property, plant and equipment,
  net of accumulated depreciation                487,621       488,289
 Goodwill                                        173,350       172,885
 Intangible assets, net                            2,217         2,067
 Restricted cash                                  12,734        12,855
 Investments in unconsolidated
  entities                                        49,969        47,850
 Other non-current assets                         13,402        12,021


 Total assets                                   $834,093      $831,639
                                                ========      ========

            LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

 CURRENT LIABILITIES:
  Current maturities of long-term
   debt                                         $  1,215      $  2,070
  Current maturities of capital
   lease obligations                               1,104         1,009
  Series A redeemable, convertible
   preferred stock (2)                            74,018        74,944
  Accounts payable                                52,371        48,700
  Other accrued liabilities                       59,444        63,294
                                                --------      --------
 Total current liabilities                       188,152       190,017

 Long-term debt, less current
  maturities                                     476,225       469,246
 Capital lease obligations, less
  current maturities                                 650           472
 Other long-term liabilities                      39,570        39,265

 Stockholders' equity                            129,496       132,639
                                                --------      --------


 Total liabilities and stockholders'
  equity                                        $834,093      $831,639
                                                ========      ========


       CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
       CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
                          Unaudited
                        (In thousands)

                                                  Three Months Ended
                                                ----------------------
                                                July 31,      July 31,
                                                  2006          2007
                                                --------      --------
 Cash Flows from Operating Activities:
 Net income (loss)                                $ (53)      $ 1,743
 Loss from discontinued operations,
  net                                               142            --
 Adjustments to reconcile net
  income (loss) to net cash
  provided by operating activities -
   Depreciation and amortization                 17,891        20,176
   Depletion of landfill operating
    lease obligations                             1,924         1,857
   Preferred stock dividend                          --           925
   Maine Energy settlement                           --        (2,142)
   Loss (income) from equity method
    investments                                    (123)        2,151
   Gain on sale of equipment                       (256)         (241)
   Stock-based compensation                         134           216
   Excess tax benefit on the
    exercise of stock options                      (141)           --
   Deferred income taxes                         (1,135)          856
   Changes in assets and liabilities,
    net of effects of acquisitions
    and divestitures                                578        (5,245)
                                               --------      --------
                                                 18,872        18,553
                                               --------      --------
   Net Cash Provided by Operating
    Activities                                   18,961        20,296
                                               --------      --------
 Cash Flows from Investing Activities:
  Acquisitions, net of cash acquired               (632)          (10)
  Additions to property, plant and
   equipment - growth                            (8,487)       (6,630)
            - maintenance                       (23,587)      (15,731)
  Payments on landfill operating
   lease contracts                                 (618)         (474)
  Restricted cash from revenue bond
   issuance                                       4,419            --
  Other                                             456           796
                                                --------      --------
   Net Cash Used In Investing
    Activities                                  (28,449)      (22,049)
                                                --------      --------
 Cash Flows from Financing Activities:
  Proceeds from long-term
   borrowings                                   139,200       112,075
  Principal payments on long-term
   debt                                        (130,751)     (118,472)
  Proceeds from exercise of stock
   options                                          900           165
  Excess tax benefit on the
   exercise of stock options                        141            --
                                               --------      --------

 Net Cash (Used in) Provided by
  Financing Activities                            9,490        (6,232)
                                               --------      --------
 Cash Used in Discontinued
  Operations                                       (765)           --
                                               --------      --------
 Net increase in cash and cash
  equivalents                                      (763)       (7,985)
 Cash and cash equivalents,
  beginning of period                             7,429        12,363
                                               --------      --------
 Cash and cash equivalents, end
  of period                                    $  6,666      $  4,378
                                               ========      ========


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

Note 1: The Company has made reclassifications in the Company's Statements of Operations to conform prior year information with the Company's current period presentation. During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2007, the Company began recording personnel costs associated with engineering and permitting activities as a cost of operations where previously these costs had been recorded as general and administration. This resulted in costs reclassified amounting to $466 for the three months ended July 31, 2006.

Note 2: The Company's Series A redeemable, convertible preferred stock ("Series A preferred") contained a mandatory redemption provision effective August 11, 2007. As the Company did not anticipate that the Series A preferred would be converted to Class A Common Stock by the redemption date, the Company reflected the redemption value of the Series A preferred as a current liability at April 30, 2007 and July 31, 2007. Consistent with this presentation, the Company has recorded the Series A preferred dividend as interest expense in the quarter ended July 31, 2007. The Series A preferred was redeemed effective August 11, 2007 at an aggregate redemption price of $75,057.

Note 3: The company divested the assets of the Holliston Transfer Station ("Holliston Transfer") during the quarter ended April 30, 2007. The transaction required discontinued operations treatment under SFAS No. 144, therefore the operating results of Holliston Transfer have been reclassified from continuing to discontinued operations for the quarter ended July 31, 2006.

Note 4: Non - GAAP Financial Measures

In addition to disclosing financial results prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), we also disclose EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation and amortization) 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 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 net 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.



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

                                                 Three Months Ended
                                                ---------------------
                                                 July 31,    July 31,
                                                   2006        2007
                                                --------     --------

 Net Cash Provided by Operating
  Activities                                    $ 18,961     $ 20,296

 Changes in assets and liabilities,
  net of effects of acquisitions
  and divestitures                                  (578)       5,245
 Deferred income taxes                             1,135         (856)
 Stock-based compensation                           (134)        (216)
 Excess tax benefit on the
  exercise of stock options                          141           --
 Provision for income taxes                         (518)         780
 Interest expense, net                             9,312       11,081
 Preferred stock dividend                             --         (925)
 Depletion of landfill operating
  lease obligations                               (1,924)      (1,857)
 Gain on sale of equipment                           256          241
 Other income                                        (55)        (992)
                                                --------     --------
 EBITDA                                         $ 26,596     $ 32,797
                                                ========     ========


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

                                                   Three Months Ended
                                                ---------------------
                                                 July 31,    July 31,
                                                  2006         2007
                                                --------     --------

 EBITDA                                         $ 26,596     $ 32,797
  Add (deduct): Cash interest                     (3,440)      (5,150)
                 Capital expenditures            (32,074)     (22,361)
                 Cash taxes                         (656)        (311)
                 Depletion of
                  landfill
                  operating lease
                  obligations                      1,924        1,857
                 Change in working
                  capital, adjusted
                  for non-cash
                  items                           (4,131)      (7,929)
                                                --------     --------

 FREE CASH FLOW                                  (11,781)      (1,097)

 Add (deduct):        Capital
                       expenditures               32,074       22,361
                      Other                       (1,332)        (968)
                                                --------     --------
 Net Cash Provided by Operating
  Activities                                    $ 18,961     $ 20,296
                                                ========     ========

           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,
                                        --------------------------
                                           2006 (1)      2007
                                        -----------   ------------

 Collection                                $ 70,141       $ 71,008
 Landfill / disposal facilities              28,376         29,202
 Transfer                                     7,903          7,881
 Recycling                                   34,337         44,342
                                        -----------   ------------
 Total revenues                           $ 140,757      $ 152,433
                                        ===========   ============

Note 1: Revenue attributable to services provided for the three months ended July 31, 2006 has been revised to conform with the classification of revenue attributable to services provided in the current fiscal year.



 Components of revenue growth for the three months ended July 31, 2007
 compared to the three months ended July 31, 2006:

                                                            Percentage
                                                            ----------
 Solid Waste Operations (1) Price                              1.3%
              Volume                                           0.7%
              Solid waste commodity price and volume           0.4%
                                                            ----------

 Total growth - Solid Waste Operations                         2.4%
                                                            ==========


 FCR Operations (1)    Price                                  23.8%
                       Volume                                  4.0%
                                                            ----------
 Total growth - FCR Operations                                27.8%
                                                            ==========

 Rollover effect of acquisitions (as a percentage
  of total revenues)                                           0.4%

 Total revenue growth                                          8.3%

 Note 1:  Calculated as a percentage of segment revenues.

 Solid Waste Internalization Rates by Region:

                                           Three Months Ended July 31,
                                           ---------------------------
                                              2006 (1)       2007
                                           ---------------------------
 North Eastern region                          57.4%        55.8%
 South Eastern region                          27.3%        26.3%
 Central region                                79.0%        75.2%
 Western region                                50.3%        57.6%
 Solid Waste Internalization                   56.1%        57.1%

Note 1: Internalization rates for the three months ended July 31, 2006 have been revised to exclude the activity associated with the Holliston Transfer Station. The Company divested the assets of this facility during the quarter ended April 30, 2007.



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

 US GreenFiber (50% owned) Financial Statistics:

                                           Three Months Ended July 31,
                                           ---------------------------
                                               2006          2007
                                           -----------    ------------
 Revenues                                    $ 44,396       $ 33,499
 Net income (loss)                                515         (3,593)
 Cash flow from operations                      8,179          2,149
 Net working capital changes                    5,480          2,898
 EBITDA                                      $  2,699        $  (749)

 As a percentage of revenue:
 Net income (loss)                                1.2%         -10.7%
 EBITDA                                           6.1%          -2.2%

 Components of Growth versus Maintenance Capital Expenditures (1):

                                           Three Months Ended July 31,
                                           --------------------------
                                               2006          2007
                                           -----------    -----------
 Growth Capital Expenditures:
  Landfill Development                        $ 6,022        $ 5,124
  Boston MRF Building                              --             --
  MRF Equipment Upgrades                          845            134
  Other                                         1,620          1,372
                                           -----------    -----------
  Total Growth Capital Expenditures             8,487          6,630
                                           -----------    -----------
  Maintenance Capital Expenditures:
   Vehicles, Machinery / Equipment
     and Cons                                  13,830          4,679
   Landfill Construction & Equipment            8,077          9,356
   Facilities                                   1,039          1,313
   Other                                          641            383
                                           -----------    -----------

  Total Maintenance Capital
   Expenditures                                23,587         15,731
                                           -----------    -----------
  Total Capital Expenditures                 $ 32,074       $ 22,361
                                           ===========    ===========

Note 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.



              CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
                       SUPPLEMENTAL DATA TABLES
                              (Unaudited)
               (In thousands, except for per share data)

     The Company is providing below quarterly financial statements for
     fiscal year 2007 reflecting reclassified amounts associated with
     the discontinued operations treatment resulting from the
     divestiture of Holliston Transfer.

                                        Three Months Ended
                             -----------------------------------------
                              July 31,  Oct. 31,   Jan. 31,   April 30,
                               2006       2006       2007       2007
                             --------   --------   --------   --------
 Revenues                    $140,757   $144,940   $131,038   $130,255

 Operating expenses:
  Cost of operations           93,537     92,057     87,968     87,090
  General and
   administration              20,624     19,155     17,076     18,000
  Depreciation and
   amortization                17,891     19,246     17,171     17,431
  Hardwick impairment
   and closing charge              --         --         --     26,892
  Development project
   charges                         --         --         --        752
                             --------   --------   --------   --------
                              132,052    130,458    122,215    150,165
                             --------   --------   --------   --------

 Operating (loss) income        8,705     14,482      8,823    (19,910)

 Other expense/(income),
  net:
 Interest expense,
  net                           9,312      9,610      9,803     10,135
 Loss (income) from
  equity method
  investments                    (123)      (867)      (988)       927
 Other income                     (55)      (248)       (49)      (221)
                             --------   --------   --------   --------
                                9,134      8,495      8,766     10,841
                             --------   --------   --------   --------

 (Loss) income from
  continuing
  operations before
  income taxes and
  discontinued
  operations                     (429)     5,987         57    (30,751)
 (Benefit) provision
  for income taxes               (518)     3,543        771    (12,324)
                             --------   --------   --------   --------

 (Loss) income from
  continuing
  operations before
  discontinued
  operations                       89      2,444       (714)   (18,427)

 Discontinued Operations:
  Loss from
   discontinued
   operations, net of
   income taxes                  (142)       (54)      (131)      (230)
  Loss on disposal of
   discontinued
   operations, net of
   income taxes                    --         --         --       (717)
                             --------   --------   --------   --------

 Net (loss) income                (53)     2,390       (845)   (19,374)

 Preferred stock
  dividend                        881        892        902        914
                             --------   --------   --------   --------
 Net (loss) income
  available to common
  stockholders                 $ (934)   $ 1,498   $ (1,747)  $(20,288)
                             ========   ========   ========   ========

 Common stock and
  common stock
  equivalent shares
  outstanding,
  assuming full
  dilution                     25,236     25,510     25,273     25,318
                             ========   ========   ========   ========

 Net (loss) income
  per common share           $  (0.04)  $   0.06   $  (0.07)  $  (0.80)
                             ========   ========   ========   ========

 EBITDA                      $ 26,596   $ 33,728   $ 25,994   $ 25,165
                             ========   ========   ========   ========

This news release was distributed by PrimeNewswire, www.primenewswire.com

SOURCE: Casella Waste Systems, Inc

Casella Waste Systems, Inc.
          Richard Norris, Chief Financial Officer
          Ned Coletta, Director of Investor Relations
          Joseph Fusco, Vice President 
          (802) 775-0325 
          http://www.casella.com.

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