Waste Management's Fourth-Quarter Earnings Rise

Waste Management ( WMI) saw an increase in fourth-quarter net income and beat analyst expectations, but the company said profits were still hurt by a weaker economy.

On a pro forma basis, the garbage collector earned $198 million, or 31 cents a share, up from $181 million, or 29 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Wall Street had been expecting 25 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

Using generally accepted accounting principles, the company earned $158 million, or 25 cents a share, up from $39 million, or 6 cents a share, last year. This year's results include a $16 million charge related to contracts with Enron.

Revenue for the quarter dropped to $2.79 billion from $2.88 billion a year ago, due in part to a $14 million revenue reduction relating to Enron's bankruptcy filings.

For 2002, the company sees revenue of $11.4 billion to $11.5 billion. Analysts were expecting $11.590 billion, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

Shares of Waste Management were recently up 2.3% to $25.80 in Instinet premarket trading after closing at $25.23 Monday.

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