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July 20, 2011 8:30 a.m. ET
Ron Mittelstaedt - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Worthing Jackman - Chief Financial Officer
Hamzah Mazari – Credit Suisse
Scott Levine – JP Morgan
Michael E. Hoffman – Wunderlich Securities, Inc.
Al Kaschalk - Wedbush
William Fisher – Raymond James
Corey Greendale – First Analysis
Good day ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the second quarter 2011 Waste Connections Incorporated earnings conference call. [Operator instructions.] At this time I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Ron Mittelstaedt, chairman and CEO. Please proceed.
Thank you operator, and good morning. I'd like to welcome everyone to our conference call to discuss our second quarter 2011 results and provide a detailed outlook for the third quarter. I'm joined this morning by Steve Bouck, our president; Worthing Jackman, our CFO; and several other members of our senior management team.
Our second quarter results were strong by almost any measure - revenue, margins, earnings per share, and free cash flow all exceeded the upper end of our expectations. Strong pricing, record recycling commodity values, and increasing disposal volumes, as well as improving roll off activity drove solid organic growth in the period, which was supplemented by better than expected contributions from recently closed acquisitions.
Margins in the quarter expanded year over year despite a 100 basis point increase in fuel expense as a percentage of revenue. Adjusted earnings per share grew almost 22%, compared to Q2 2010 and free cash flow through the first 6 months of 2011 was more than 20% of revenue, up 42% over the prior year period on a dollar basis. And, we returned about $30 million to stockholders through share repurchases and dividends.