reported a 1.4% fall in profits for the first quarter, as operating margin dropped.
The waste management company earned $64.6 million, or 46 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $65.5 million, or 43 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 45 cents a share.
First-quarter revenue rose 8.9% from a year ago to $737.5 million as against analysts' expectation of $714.25 million. Revenue from their collection segment increased 10.5% to $561.2 million.
Operating profit increased 2.4% to $122.4 million while operating margin fell 105 basis points to 16.6%.
"We experienced a solid first quarter thanks to a strong economy which contributed to strong internal growth for the Company," the company said. "Additionally, our field organization did a fine job managing costs and implementing our broad-based pricing initiative. Throughout the year, pricing will remain a primary focus as we continue to work to recover higher costs and improve returns on existing assets."
The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company declared a regular quarterly dividend of 14 cents a share.
During the quarter, it paid $140.6 million to repurchase 3.6 million shares. As of March 31, the company was authorized to repurchase up to an additional $350.6 million under its existing stock repurchase program.
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