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Covanta Holding's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Tony Orlando

Thanks, Alan. Good morning, everyone. Let's begin with a quick summary of 2011. For those of you using the web deck, please turn to slide three. We executed on our plan and came in at the midpoint of our guidance. That's a very good performance in the midst of some market ups and downs. Compared to 2010, revenue was up 4%, adjusted EBITDA was up 5%, free cash flow was down 12% and adjusted EPS was up 24%.

I am pleased with these financial results as well as our operating performance, and our disciplined capital allocation. However, I must say, I am not satisfied with the fact that our efforts have not yet rewarded our shareholders. I assure you, our management team is completely focused on the things we can do to create value and provide investors with transparency, so that you can more easily understand the value that we see in the business.

For us, it all starts with world-class facility operations benefit our clients and the communities we serve. Our team is tireless in pursuing innovation that continues improvement. As a result, in 2011, we've recorded our best ever safety record and our highest boiler availability.

That strong performance continued to fill confidence in our clients. That is evidenced by our numerous contract extensions, including several in the last couple of months. In addition, our newest clients Durham and York, in Ontario, demonstrated their confidence in Covanta last year, when they issued us the Notice to Proceed with construction of their showcase energy-from-waste facility.

The combination of our long-term client relationship and our stellar operational performance supports continued earnings growth and predictable cash flow generation, which we're utilizing to deliver on our commitment to return capital to shareholders. We established a regular quarterly dividend and continued to actively repurchase stock. Since the program began in 2010, we have repurchased approximately 14% of the shares outstanding.

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