Covanta Holding Corporation
) incurred a loss per share of 3 cents in the first quarter of
2014, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 14
cents as well as the prior-year loss of 19 cents per share.
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The better-than-expected performance was driven mainly by higher
energy prices in its service territories due to a severe winter.
Total revenue was $401.0 million in the quarter, surpassing the
Zacks Consensus Estimate of $383.0 million by 4.7%. The top line
increased 7.8% from the year-ago figure of $372.0 million.
The improved results were attributable to higher waste tons
processed and higher energy pricing at both energy-from-waste and
biomass facilities plus a favorable outcome from the Camden
acquisition in 2013. However, this was partially offset by lower
revenue contribution from construction and debt services.
Operating expenses in the first quarter were $386.0 million, up
3.2% from the year-ago quarter primarily due to higher plant
Covanta Holding clocked an operating income of $15.0 million in
the reported quarter as against a loss of $2.0 million a year
Cash and cash equivalents as of Mar 31, 2014, were $389.0
million, up from $198.0 million as of Dec 31, 2013.
Long-term debts as of Mar 31, 2014, were $1,754.0 million versus
$1,557.0 million as of Dec 31, 2013.
Cash flow from operating activities in the first quarter of 2014
was $102.0 million compared with $64.0 million in the first
quarter of 2013.
Covanta Holding has an impressive dividend payout track record.
In Feb 2014, the company increased the quarterly dividend rate by
9.0% to 18 cents from 16.5 cents per share, raising the
annualized payout to 72.0 cents per share.
Covanta Holding reaffirmed its outlook for 2014. It expects
adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
amortization in the $470.0-$500.0 million range and free cash
flow within $170.0-$210.0 million. The company expects earnings
per share to come in between 35 cents to 50 cents for the year.
Other Upcoming Releases
Pattern Energy Group Inc.
) is scheduled to release its fourth quarter earnings on May 2.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate is currently at 11 cents.
AGL Resources Inc.
) is scheduled to release its fourth quarter earnings on Apr 29.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate is currently at $1.85 per share.
Ormat Technologies Inc.
) is expected to release its fourth quarter earnings on May 6.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate is currently at 25 cents.
Covanta Holding currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).