Recycling commodity prices impact WM earnings

Recycling commodity prices impact WM earnings

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Waste Management saw a decline in revenue during the third quarter of 2012, which occurred partially because of a drop in recycling commodity prices.

During Q3, revenues for the company were $3.46 billion compared to $3.52 billion for the same period last year. During the same period, recycling commodity prices decreased revenues by $176 million for the Houston-based company. Net income for the quarter was $214 million, compared with $272 million for the third quarter of 2011.

According to Waste Management, net income would have been higher, at $285 million, but the company went through an organizational restructuring and a labor dispute. Additionally, the company's income was affect by "impairments of investments in unconsolidated entities and related assets."

Revenue from solid waste collection and disposal operations for Waste Management increased $115 million during Q3. However, that revenue was offset by a $176 million decline from commodities prices. Average recycling commodity prices were approximately 40 percent lower in the third quarter of 2012 compared with the prior year period.

Although Waste Management was adversely affected by low prices in commodity sales, the company reports that recycling commodity prices have moved up modestly in the past few weeks and expects prices to stabilize in 2013.

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