Waste Connections, Inc. (WCN) Q2 2012 Earnings Call July 24, 2012 8:30 a.m. ET Executives Ronald J. Mittelstaedt - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Worthing F. Jackman - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Analysts Scott Levine - JPMorgan Chase Justin Maurer – Lord Abbett Hamzah Mazari - Credit Suisse Joe Ritchie - Goldman Sachs Michael E. Hoffman - Wunderlich Securities Adam R . Thalhimer - BB&T Capital Markets Al Kaschalk – Wedbush Securities Corey Greendale - First Analysis Securities Tony Bancroft – Gabelli & Company Presentation Operator
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Year-over-year margin comparisons are difficult. As expected due primarily to decreases in recycled commodity values and our decision to turn away lower price disposal volumes at our Chiquita Canyon landfill. And as we've been communicating for the past several months, these negative comparisons should be most pronounced during the third quarter.Likewise, year-over-year EPS comparisons are impacted by the negative drag from the increase share count resulting from our equity offering earlier this year. This drive will continue until that capital is deployed. With this year fairly well dialed in, we are focusing on the unknown. More specifically, to what extent, to a tepid economy, and further decreases in commodity values cause additional margin and volume headwind and what might be the timing of our capital deployment for acquisitions or share repurchases. Industry and investor dialogue more recently has focused on a volume-less recovery and potential increasing price competitive emphasis and churn rate, especially in urban markets. We believe our results in this environment once again highlight the benefits of our differentiated strategy and disciplined deployment of capital. Before we get into much more detail let me turn the call over to Worthing for our forward-looking disclaimer as well as other housekeeping items. Worthing F. Jackman Thank you, Ron, and good morning. We must inform everyone listening that certain matters discussed in this conference call are forward-looking statements intended to qualify for the Safe Harbors from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements related to expected volume and pricing trends, recycled commodity values, expectations regarding period-to-period comparisons, potential acquisition activity, share repurchases, the impact of the relocation of the Company's corporate headquarters from California to Texas, comparative results among our regions, and our third quarter and full year outlook for financial results. Such forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated. These risks and uncertainties are set forth in the Company's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Stockholders, potential investors and other participants are urged to consider these factors carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statements and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements made herein are made only as of the date of this conference call, and the company undertakes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.
On the call, we will discuss non-GAAP measures, such as adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization, adjusted net income and adjust net income per diluted share, adjusted free cash flow. Please refer to our earnings release for a reconciliation of such non-GAAP measures to the most comparable GAAP measure. Management uses certain non-GAAP measures to evaluate and monitor the ongoing financial performance of our operations. Other companies may calculate these non-GAAP measures differently. Now I'll turn the call back over to Ron.Ronald J. Mittelstaedt Okay. Thank you, Worthing. As noted earlier, revenue in the second quarter slightly exceeded our expectations. Revenue was $410.7 million, up 5.3% over the prior-year period. Internal growth in the quarter was a -0.2%, broken down as follows: +3.0% from core price; -2.2% volumes; -1% from recycling, intermodal and other services; and surcharges were flat. With the vast majority of price increases already implemented core price for the balance of the year should remain around 3%, and surcharges should be flat at current fuel prices. This strong core pricing has thus far offset the dollar impact from year-over-year declines in recycled commodity values, and our turning away of lower priced disposal volumes at Chiquita Canyon. Volume growth in Q2 was -2.2%, or slightly ahead of the midpoint of our -2%-2.5% outlook for the quarter, due to nominally better-than-expected special waste and exploration and production, or E&P disposal volumes. As expected the negative volumes were due primarily to three factors, which accounted for over half of this volume loss. Our decision to turn away lower price volumes at our Chiquita Canyon landfill, tougher year-over-year comps for special waste jobs, and increasing competitiveness within our more urban-like markets of Denver and Houston. This third factor while only affecting a small percentage of our markets reminds us of the benefits of our exclusive and our secondary market focus. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com