Republic Services Inc. (RSG - Free Report) reported mixed first-quarter 2019 results wherein earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate but revenues lagged the same.
Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of 73 cents outpaced the consensus mark by a penny but were marginally lower than the year-ago quarter attributable to a 1 cent headwind due to the timing of tax-related expenses.
So far this year, shares of Republic Services have gained 10.3% compared with 19% rise of the industry it belongs to and 16.3% rise of the Zacks S&P 500 Composite.
Quarterly revenues of $2.47 billion lagged the consensus estimate by $19.9 million but increased 1.8% year over year, driven by strong pricing across the company’s collection, disposal and recycling processing businesses. The top-line growth also includes a positive impact of 1.3% internal growth and 50 basis points impact of acquisitions.
Revenues in the Collection segment totaled $1.88 billion, up 2.9% year over year. It contributed 76% to total revenues.
Transfer segment revenues of $122.9 million increased 3.9% year over year. It accounted for 5% of total revenues.
Landfill segment revenues of $296.8 million decreased 3.2% year over year. It contributed 12% to total revenues.
Energy services segment revenues of $45.0 million declined 5.9% year over year. It accounted for 1.8% of total revenues.
Other segment revenues of $129.1 million decreased 0.9% year over year. It contributed 5.2% to total revenues.
Adjusted EBITDA came in at $699 million and adjusted EBITDA margin was 28.3%.
Operating income was $422.8 million compared with $404.2 million in the year-ago quarter. Operating margin rose to 17.1% from 16.7% in the year-ago quarter. Total selling, general and administrative expenses were $266.4 million compared with $261.2 million in the year-ago quarter.
Balance Sheet and Cash Flow
Republic Services exited first-quarter 2019 with cash and cash equivalents of $68 million compared with $70.5 million at the end of the prior quarter. Long-term debt was $6.80 billion compared with $7.65 billion at the end of the prior quarter.
The company generated $553.7 million of cash from operating activities and spent $212.4 million in capex in the reported quarter. Adjusted free cash flow was $348.7 million. The company spent $86 million on acquisitions during the reported quarter and an additional $56 million in April 2019.
Share Repurchase and Dividend Payout
Republic Services returned $233 million to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases during the reported quarter.
During the reported quarter, the company repurchased 1.5 million shares at an aggregate cost of $111.5 million and at average cost of $74.76 per share. As of Mar 31, 2019, the company had $1.0 billion available under its share repurchase authorization.
In January 2019, the company paid $121.0 million of cash dividend to shareholders of record as of Jan 2, 2019. As of Mar 31, 2019, the company’s quarterly dividend payable was $120.7 million to shareholders of record as of Apr 1, 2019. The dividend was paid on Apr 15, 2019.
Concurrent with the earnings release, the company’s board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of 37.5 cents per share for shareholders of record as of Jul 1, 2019. The dividend will be paid on Jul 15, 2019.
Republic Services reaffirmed its 2019 guidance for adjusted EPS and adjusted free cash flow, despite a continued decline in recycled commodity prices. The company continues to anticipate adjusted EPS in the range of $3.23-$3.28. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.23 is in line with the lower end of the guided range.
Adjusted free cash flow is anticipated in the range of $1,125-$1,175 million. Effective tax rate is expected to be approximately 24%. The company now plans to invest approximately $300 million for acquisitions compared with $200 million guided earlier.
Zacks Rank & Upcoming Releases
Currently, Republic Services carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Investors interested in the broader Zacks Business Services sector are awaiting first-quarter 2019 earnings reports of key players like Avis Budget (CAR - Free Report) , Clean Harbors (CLH - Free Report) and IQVIA Holdings (IQV - Free Report) . All of them are slated to report on May 1.
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