Refuse hauling giant Waste Management (WM) posted increased profits, both for the fourth quarter of 2002 and for the year, largely as a result of cost-cutting efforts implemented three years ago.
However, the trash-hauling company is cutting 700 full-time jobs and 270 contract positions as it reduces operations in North America.
Houston-based WM reported net income of $236 million on revenues of $2.81 billion in the fourth quarter of 2002, up from net income of $158 million on revenues of $2.79 billion. For the year, WM said net income topped $822 million on revenues of $11.1 billion, up from net income of $503 million on revenues of $11.3 billion.
President & CEO A. Maurice Myers said that the company bought back $1 billion or 6% of its outstanding stock in 2002.
"For the foreseeable future, and at current stock price levels, we continue to believe this is the best way to return value to our shareholders," he added.
For 2003, the company expects revenue to reach $11.6 billion, even though it is not projecting a rebound in the U.S. economy this year.
WM said it expects that there will be little or no improvement in commercial and industrial waste volumes in 2003, so its revenue growth will largely come from acquisitions, including those related to the Company's Recycle America Alliance.