Casella reports Q2 increase in revenues

first_img CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (In thousands) October 31, April 30, ASSETS 2011 2011 ————— —————CURRENT ASSETS: Cash and cash equivalents $ 4,421 $ 1,817 Restricted cash 76 76 Accounts receivable – trade, net of allowance for doubtful accounts 56,984 54,914 Other current assets 14,989 15,598 ————— —————Total current assets 76,470 72,405Property, plant and equipment, net of accumulated depreciation 461,359 453,361Goodwill 101,329 101,204Intangible assets, net 2,468 2,455Restricted assets 403 334Notes receivable – related party/employee 720 1,297Investments in unconsolidated entities 34,906 38,263Other non-current assets 20,285 21,262 ————— —————Total assets $ 697,940 $ 690,581 =============== =============== LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY CURRENT LIABILITIES: Current maturities of long-term debt and capital leases $ 1,297 $ 1,217 Current maturities of financing lease obligations 327 316 Accounts payable 51,758 42,499 Other accrued liabilities 41,047 39,889 ————— —————Total current liabilities 94,429 83,921Long-term debt and capital leases, less current maturities 461,915 461,418Financing lease obligations, less current maturities 1,989 2,156Other long-term liabilities 47,012 49,099 Total Casella Waste Systems, Inc. and Subsidiaries stockholders’ equity 91,325 93,987 Noncontrolling interest 1,270 – ————— —————Total stockholders’ equity 92,595 93,987Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity $ 697,940 $ 690,581 =============== =============== Solid Waste Internalization Rates by Region: Three Months Ended Six Months Ended October 31, October 31, ——————– ——————– 2011 2010 2011 2010 ——— ——— ——— ———Eastern region 59.7% 54.9% 56.9% 52.8%Western region 77.0% 75.1% 76.6% 75.7%Solid waste internalization 68.9% 66.1% 67.3% 65.1% CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (In thousands, except amounts per share) Three Months Ended Six Months Ended ———————— ———————— October 31, October 31, October 31, October 31, 2011 2010 2011 2010 ———– ———– ———– ———– Revenues $ 129,866 $ 122,895 $ 257,059 $ 244,887 Operating expenses: Cost of operations 86,627 79,313 171,851 160,652 General and administration 16,062 15,696 32,268 31,613 Depreciation and amortization 15,061 15,620 29,567 31,203 Legal settlement 359 – 1,359 – Development project charge 131 – 131 – Gain on sale of assets – – – (3,502) ———– ———– ———– ———– 118,240 110,629 235,176 219,966 ———– ———– ———– ———– Operating income 11,626 12,266 21,883 24,921 Other expense/(income), net: Interest expense, net 11,207 11,619 22,357 23,384 Loss from equity method investments 1,523 506 3,781 2,638 Other income (327) (317) (432) (412) ———– ———– ———– ———– 12,403 11,808 25,706 25,610 ———– ———– ———– ———– (Loss) income from continuing operations before income taxes and discontinued operations (777) 458 (3,823) (689)Provision for income taxes 67 281 728 1,060 ———– ———– ———– ———– (Loss) income from continuing operations before discontinued operations (844) 177 (4,551) (1,749)Discontinued operations: Loss from discontinued operations, net of income taxes (1) – (767) – (1,692) Gain (loss) on disposal of discontinued operations, net of income taxes (1) 79 (564) 725 (615) ———– ———– ———– ———– Net loss attributable to common stockholders $ (765) $ (1,154) $ (3,826) $ (4,056) =========== =========== =========== =========== Common stock and common stock equivalent shares outstanding, assuming full dilution 26,759 26,788 26,661 25,981 =========== =========== =========== =========== Net loss per common share attributable to common stockholders $ (0.03) $ (0.04) $ (0.14) $ (0.16) =========== =========== =========== =========== Adjusted EBITDA (2) $ 30,532 $ 30,804 $ 59,194 $ 58,577 =========== =========== =========== =========== Following is a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to Net Loss Attributable to Common Stockholders: Three Months Ended Six Months Ended ———————— ———————— October 31, October 31, October 31, October 31, 2011 2010 2011 2010 ———– ———– ———– ———– Net Loss Attributable to Common Stockholders $ (765) $ (1,154) $ (3,826) $ (4,056) Loss from discontinued operations, net of income taxes – 767 – 1,692 (Gain) loss on disposal of discontinued operations, net of income taxes (79) 564 (725) 615 Provision for income taxes 67 281 728 1,060 Interest expense, net 11,207 11,619 22,357 23,384 Depreciation and amortization 15,061 15,620 29,567 31,203 Other expense, net 1,196 189 3,349 2,226 Legal settlement 359 – 1,359 – Development project charge 131 – 131 – Gain on sale of assets – – – (3,502) Depletion of landfill operating lease obligations 2,484 2,107 4,514 4,299 Interest accretion on landfill and environmental remediation liabilities 871 811 1,740 1,656 ———– ———– ———– ———–Adjusted EBITDA (2) $ 30,532 $ 30,804 $ 59,194 $ 58,577 =========== =========== =========== =========== Revenues between $475.0 million and $487.0 million.Adjusted EBITDA* between $105.0 million and $110.0 million.Free Cash Flow* between $2.0 million and $7.0 million.*Non-GAAP Financial MeasuresIn addition to disclosing financial results prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in the United States (GAAP), the company also discloses earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, adjusted for accretion, depletion of landfill operating lease obligations, gain on sale of assets, development project charge write-off, as well as legal settlement charge (Adjusted EBITDA) which is a non-GAAP measure. The company also discloses Free Cash Flow, which is defined as net cash provided by operating activities, less capital expenditures, less payments on landfill operating leases, less assets acquired through financing leases, plus proceeds from the sales of assets and property and equipment, which is a non-GAAP measure. Adjusted EBITDA is reconciled to net income (loss), while Free Cash Flow is reconciled to Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities.The company presents Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow because it considers them important supplemental measures of its performance and believes they are frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties in the evaluation of the company’s results. Management uses these non-GAAP measures to further understand the company’s “core operating performance.” The company believes its “core operating performance” represents its on-going performance in the ordinary course of operations. The company believes that providing Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow to investors, in addition to corresponding income statement and cash flow statement measures, affords investors the benefit of viewing its performance using the same financial metrics that the management team uses in making many key decisions and understanding how the core business and its results of operations may look in the future. The company further believes that providing this information allows it s investors greater transparency and a better understanding of its core financial performance. In addition, the instruments governing the company’s indebtedness use EBITDA (with additional adjustments) to measure its compliance with covenants such as interest coverage, leverage and debt incurrence.Non-GAAP financial measures are not in accordance with, or an alternative for, GAAP Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow should not be considered in isolation from or as a substitute for financial information presented in accordance with GAAP, and may be different from Adjusted EBITDA or Free Cash Flow presented by other companies.About Casella Waste Systems, Inc.Casella Waste Systems, Inc., headquartered in Rutland, Vermont, provides solid waste management services consisting of collection, transfer, disposal, and recycling services in the northeastern United States. For further information, contact Ned Coletta, vice president of finance and investor relations at (802) 772-2239, or Ed Johnson, chief financial officer at (802) 772-2241, or visit the company’s website at http://www.casella.com(link is external).Conference call to discuss quarterThe Company will host a conference call to discuss these results on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. ET. Individuals interested in participating in the call should dial (877) 548-9590 or (720) 545-0037 at least 10 minutes before start time. The call will also be webcast; to listen, participants should visit Casella Waste Systems’ website at http://ir.casella.com(link is external) and follow the appropriate link to the webcast. A replay of the call will be available on the company’s website, or by calling (855) 859-2056 or (404) 537-3406 (Conference ID 22675023) until 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 8, 2011.Safe Harbor StatementCertain matters discussed in this press release are “forward-looking statements” intended to qualify for the safe harbors from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can generally be identified as such by the context of the statements, including words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “may,” “will,” “would,” “intend,” “estimate,” “guidance” and other similar expressions, whether in the negative or affirmative. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about the industry and markets in which we operate and management’s beliefs and assumptions. We cannot guarantee that we actually will achieve the plans, intentions, expectations or guidance disclosed in the forward-looking statements made. Such forward-looking statements, and all phases of our operations, involve a number of risks and uncertainties, any one or more of which cou ld cause actual results to differ materially from those described in our forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include or relate to, among other things: current economic conditions that have adversely affected and may continue to adversely affect our revenues and our operating margin; we may be unable to reduce costs or increase pricing or volumes sufficiently to achieve estimated Adjusted EBITDA and other targets; landfill operations and permit status may be affected by factors outside our control; we may be required to incur capital expenditures in excess of our estimates; fluctuations in the commodity pricing of our recyclables may make it more difficult for us to predict our results of operations or meet our estimates; and we may incur environmental charges or asset impairments in the future. There are a number of other important risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-lookin g statements. These additional risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, those detailed in Item 1A, “Risk Factors” in our Form 10-K for the year ended April 30, 2011.We undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES SUPPLEMENTAL DATA TABLES (Unaudited) (In thousands) Amounts of our total revenues attributable to services provided for the three and six months ended October 31, 2011 and 2010 are as follows: Three Months Ended October 31, ———————————————– % of Total % of Total 2011 Revenue 2010 Revenue ———– ———- ———– ———-Collection $ 54,764 42.2% $ 52,058 42.4%Disposal 31,104 24.0% 31,075 25.3%Power generation 6,340 4.9% 6,273 5.1%Processing and organics 13,992 10.8% 12,972 10.6% ———– ———- ———– ———- Solid waste operations 106,200 81.9% 102,378 83.4%Major accounts 9,847 7.5% 10,140 8.2%Recycling 13,819 10.6% 10,377 8.4% ———– ———- ———– ———-Total revenues $ 129,866 100.0% $ 122,895 100.0% =========== ========== =========== ========== Six Months Ended October 31, ———————————————– % of Total % of Total 2011 Revenue 2010 Revenue ———– ———- ———– ———-Collection $ 108,390 42.2% $ 104,560 42.7%Disposal 60,422 23.5% 60,630 24.8%Power generation 12,237 4.8% 11,986 4.9%Processing and organics 28,730 11.2% 26,220 10.7% ———– ———- ———– ———- Solid waste operations 209,779 81.7% 203,396 83.1%Major accounts 20,557 7.9% 20,540 8.3%Recycling 26,723 10.4% 20,951 8.6% ———– ———- ———– ———-Total revenues $ 257,059 100.0% $ 244,887 100.0% =========== ========== =========== ========== Casella Waste Systems Inc,Casella Waste Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CWST), a regional vertically-integrated solid waste, recycling and resource management services company, has reported financial results for its second quarter fiscal year 2012, and provided updated guidance for its 2012 fiscal year.Highlights for the quarter included: Revenue growth of 5.7 percent over the same quarter last year.Overall solid waste pricing growth of 1.6 percent was primarily driven by strong collection pricing growth of 3.4 percent as a percentage of collection revenues.Adjusted EBITDA* was $30.5 million for the quarter, down $0.3 million from same quarter last year.Free cash flow* was $6.0 million for the quarter and $3.4 million year-to-date.Company reaffirms Revenue, Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow guidance ranges for fiscal year 2012.For the quarter ended October 31, 2011, revenues were $129.9 million, up $7.0 million or 5.7 percent from the same quarter last year. Operating income was $11.6 million for the quarter, down $0.7 million from the same quarter last year. Excluding the non-recurring $0.4 million legal settlement charge and the $0.1 million development project charge in the current quarter, operating income was down $0.2 million from the same quarter last year.The company’s net loss attributable to common shareholders was ($0.8) million, or ($0.03) per common share for the quarter, compared to a net loss of ($1.2) million, or ($0.04) per share for the same quarter last year.”We continued to make great progress during the second quarter improving the fundamentals of our core business,” said John W. Casella, chairman and CEO of Casella Waste Systems. “Collection price was up 3.4 percent from the same quarter last year, a big improvement from the muted pricing we realized last year. The strong pricing is a reflection of the hard work by our divisional teams to move pricing from an annual event to a core process, their efforts to intelligently manage yield in their markets through the use of the customer profitability analytics, and our constant drive to create value for our customers through resource solutions.””We are also driving increased collection volumes through our ability to differentiate our service offerings with resource solutions, such as Zero-Sort® Recycling, and our heightened focus on customer care,” Casella said. “In spite of the stagnant economic environment, MSW and C&D landfill volumes were up for the quarter, while historically lumpy special waste volumes were down this quarter at most of our sites.””In late August and early September, the Northeast was hit with two major storms, Irene and Lee, that destroyed local roads and bridges and devastated hundreds of homes and businesses,” Casella said. “Our people were prepared for the storms, and with their foresight we avoided major damage to our facilities and equipment. In fact, we were able to get our customer care center operational and our trucks running the day after the storms to meet the needs of our customers and our communities. As a result of the storm clean-up, we realized higher roll-off pulls and landfill volumes at several sites; however much of this benefit was offset by increased operating costs due to the storms.”Fiscal 2012 OutlookThe company reaffirmed its fiscal year guidance in the following categories: Following is a reconciliation of Free Cash Flow to Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities: Three Months Ended Six Months Ended ———————— ———————— October 31, October 31, October 31, October 31, 2011 2010 2011 2010 ———– ———– ———– ———–Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities $ 27,538 $ 22,793 $ 41,478 $ 34,156Capital expenditures (21,102) (15,902) (35,970) (30,769)Payments on landfill operating lease contracts (1,456) (1,461) (3,314) (2,250)Proceeds from sale of assets and property and equipment 971 247 1,170 8,088 ———– ———– ———– ———–Free Cash Flow (2) $ 5,951 $ 5,677 $ 3,364 $ 9,225 =========== =========== =========== =========== Components of Growth and Maintenance Capital Expenditures (1): Three Months Ended Six Months Ended October 31, October 31, ——————— ——————— 2011 2010 2011 2010 ———- ———- ———- ———-Growth capital expenditures: Landfill development $ 203 $ – $ 244 $ 227 Landfill gas to energy project 792 – 1,159 – MRF equipment upgrades 2,498 – 3,007 – Other 1,774 108 2,000 763 ———- ———- ———- ———-Total Growth Capital Expenditures 5,267 108 6,410 990 ———- ———- ———- ———-Maintenance capital expenditures: Vehicles, machinery / equipment and containers $ 3,901 $ 3,930 $ 10,341 $ 10,332 Landfill construction & equipment 9,907 10,778 16,904 17,830 Facilities 1,815 976 1,990 1,148 Other 212 110 325 469 ———- ———- ———- ———-Total Maintenance Capital Expenditures 15,835 15,794 29,560 29,779 ———- ———- ———- ———-Total Capital Expenditures $ 21,102 $ 15,902 $ 35,970 $ 30,769 ========== ========== ========== ==========(1) Our capital expenditures are broadly defined as pertaining to eithergrowth or maintenance activities. Growth capital expenditures are definedas costs related to development of new airspace, permit expansions, and newrecycling contracts along with incremental costs of equipment andinfrastructure added to further such activities. Growth capitalexpenditures include the cost of equipment added directly as a result of newbusiness as well as expenditures associated with increasing infrastructureto increase throughput at transfer stations and recycling facilities.Maintenance capital expenditures are defined as landfill cell constructioncosts not related to expansion airspace, costs for normal permit renewals,and replacement costs for equipment due to age or obsolescence.   RUTLAND, VT–(Marketwire – November 30, 2011) CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS (In thousands) Six Months Ended ——————————– October 31, October 31, 2011 2010 ————— —————Cash Flows from Operating Activities:Net loss attributable to common stockholders $ (3,826) $ (4,056)Loss from discontinued operations, net of income taxes – 1,692(Gain) loss on disposal of discontinued operations, net of income taxes (725) 615Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cashprovided by operating activities – Gain on sale of assets – (3,502) Gain on sale of property and equipment (754) (302) Depreciation and amortization 29,567 31,203 Depletion of landfill operating lease obligations 4,514 4,299 Interest accretion on landfill and environmental remediation liabilities 1,740 1,656 Development project charge 131 – Amortization of premium on senior subordinated notes – (386) Amortization of discount on term loan and second lien notes 467 450 Loss from equity method investments 3,781 2,638 Stock-based compensation 1,366 1,347 Excess tax benefit on the vesting of share based awards (219) (117) Deferred income taxes 1,008 1,185 Changes in assets and liabilities, net of effects of acquisitions and divestitures 4,428 (2,566) ————— ————— 46,029 35,905 ————— ————— Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities 41,478 34,156 ————— —————Cash Flows from Investing Activities: Acquisitions, net of cash acquired (715) – Additions to property, plant and equipment – growth (6,410) (990) – maintenance (29,560) (29,779) Payments on landfill operating lease contracts (3,314) (2,250) Proceeds from sale of assets – 7,533 Proceeds from sale of property and equipment 1,170 555 Investments in unconsolidated entities (935) – ————— ————— Net Cash Used In Investing Activities (39,764) (24,931) ————— —————Cash Flows from Financing Activities: Proceeds from long-term borrowings 82,100 76,900 Principal payments on long-term debt (82,146) (83,966) Payments of financing costs (184) (357) Proceeds from exercise of share based awards 176 160 Excess tax benefit on the vesting of share based awards 219 117 ————— ————— Net Cash Provided By (Used In) Financing Activities 165 (7,146) ————— —————Cash Provided By (Used In) Discontinued Operations 725 (70) ————— —————Net increase in cash and cash equivalents 2,604 2,009Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period 1,817 2,035 ————— —————Cash and cash equivalents, end of period $ 4,421 $ 4,044 =============== =============== Supplemental Disclosures:Cash interest $ 20,531 $ 21,344Cash income taxes, net of refunds $ 5,281 $ 117 CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES SUPPLEMENTAL DATA TABLES (Unaudited) (In thousands) GreenFiber Financial Statistics – as reported (1): Three Months Ended Six Months Ended October 31, October 31, ———————- ———————- 2011 2010 2011 2010 ———- ———- ———- ———-Revenues $ 21,841 $ 20,581 $ 37,856 $ 38,018Net loss (3,049) (1,012) (7,564) (5,276)Cash flow used in operations (949) (3,414) (2,258) (3,038)Net working capital changes (149) (4,856) 726 (2,692)Adjusted EBITDA $ (800) $ 1,442 $ (2,984) $ (346)As a percentage of revenues: Net loss -14.0% -4.9% -20.0% -13.9%Adjusted EBITDA -3.7% 7.0% -7.9% -0.9%(1) We hold a 50% interest in US Green Fiber, LLC (“GreenFiber”), a jointventure that manufactures, markets and sells cellulose insulation made fromrecycled fiber. CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (In thousands) Note 1: Discontinued OperationsOn January 23, 2011, we entered into a purchase and sale agreement and related agreements to sell non-integrated recycling assets and select intellectual property assets to a new company (the “Purchaser”) formed by Pegasus Capital Advisors, L.P. and Intersection LLC for $130,400 in gross proceeds. Pursuant to these agreements, we divested non-integrated recycling assets located outside our core operating regions of New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and northern Pennsylvania, including 17 Material Recovery Facilities (“MRFs”), one transfer station and certain related intellectual property assets. Following the transaction, we retained four integrated MRFs located in our core operating regions. As a part of the disposition, we also entered into a ten-year commodities marketing agreement with the Purchaser to market 100% of the tonnage from three of our remaining integrated MRFs.We completed the transaction on March 1, 2011 for $134,195 in gross cash proceeds. This included an estimated $3,795 working capital and other purchase price adjustment, which was subject to further adjustment, as defined in the purchase and sale agreement. The final working capital adjustment, along with additional legal expenses related to the transaction, of $646 was recorded to gain (loss) on disposal of discontinued operations, net of income taxes in the first quarter of fiscal year 2012.In the three months ended October 31, 2011, we recorded an additional working capital adjustment of $79 to gain (loss) on disposal of discontinued operations, net of income taxes, which related to our subsequent collection of receivable balances that were released to us for collection by the Purchaser.During the third quarter of fiscal year 2011, we also completed the sale of the assets of the Trilogy Glass business for cash proceeds of $1,840.The operating results of these operations, which relate only to prior fiscal year periods, have been reclassified from continuing to discontinued operations in the accompanying unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements. Revenues and loss before income tax provision attributable to discontinued operations for the three and six months ended October 31, 2010 were $18,114, ($767), $35,693, and ($1,692), respectively.We allocate interest expense to discontinued operations. We have also eliminated certain immaterial inter-company activity associated with discontinued operations.Note 2: Non – GAAP Financial MeasuresIn addition to disclosing financial results prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), we also disclose earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, adjusted for accretion, depletion of landfill operating lease obligations, gain on sale of assets, development project charge write-off, as well as legal settlement charges (Adjusted EBITDA) which is a non-GAAP measure. We also disclose Free Cash Flow, which is defined as net cash provided by operating activities, less capital expenditures, less payments on landfill operating leases, less assets acquired through financing leases, plus proceeds from the sale of assets and property and equipment, which is a non-GAAP measure. Adjusted EBITDA is reconciled to net income (loss), while Free Cash Flow is reconciled to Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities.We present Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow because we consider them important supplemental measures of our performance and believe they are frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties in the evaluation of our results. Management uses these non-GAAP measures to further understand our “core operating performance.” We believe our “core operating performance” represents our on-going performance in the ordinary course of operations. We believe that providing Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow to investors, in addition to corresponding income statement and cash flow statement measures, provides investors the benefit of viewing our performance using the same financial metrics that the management team uses in making many key decisions and understanding how the core business and its results of operations may look in the future. We further believe that providing this information allows our investors greater transparency and a better understanding o f our core financial performance. In addition, the instruments governing our indebtedness use EBITDA (with additional adjustments) to measure our compliance with covenants such as interest coverage, leverage and debt incurrence.Non-GAAP financial measures are not in accordance with, or an alternative for, GAAP in the U.S. Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow should not be considered in isolation from or as a substitute for financial information presented in accordance with GAAP in the U.S., and may be different from Adjusted EBITDA or Free Cash Flow presented by other companies. Components of revenue growth for the three months ended October 31, 2011 compared to the three months ended October 31, 2010 are as follows: % of % of Solid Related Waste % of Total Amount Business Operations Company ———– ———- ———- ———-Solid Waste Operations:Collection $ 1,783 3.4% 1.7% 1.5%Disposal (240) -0.8% -0.2% -0.2%Power operations 102 1.6% 0.1% 0.1%Processing and organics – 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% ———– ———- ———-Solid Waste Yield 1,645 1.6% 1.4%Volume (211) -0.2% -0.2%Commodity price & volume 1,063 1.0% 0.9%Acquisitions & divestitures 1,329 1.3% 1.1%Closed landfill (4) 0.0% 0.0% ———– ———- ———-Total Solid Waste 3,822 3.7% 3.2% ———– ========== ========== Major Accounts (293) -0.2% ———– ———- Recycling Operations: % of Recycling Operations ———-Commodity price 3,749 36.1% 3.1%Commodity volume (307) -2.9% -0.2% ———– ———- ———-Total Recycling 3,442 33.2% 2.9% ———– ========== ========== Total Company $ 6,971 5.7% =========== ==========last_img read more

Colombian Armed Forces Focus on Cutting-Edge Post-Conflict Technology

first_imgBy Robert Shaw/Diálogo July 29, 2016 As both the Colombian Army and the police prepare for a new post-conflict era in the country, new divisions will be created “with a focus on cutting-edge technology and mobility,” like the special forces, according to recent statements by Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas. Direct and local access to Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) technology will be crucial in the coming years for border surveillance and the monitoring of illicit substances. That’s why, Colombian Army Lieutenant Colonel José Forero, from the José María Rosillo Maintenance and Supply Battalion, believes it’s important for the Army to be at the forefront of using new technologies that are produced locally. Launch of New Army Cobra 2.0 Vehicle On June 10th, the Army’s Maintenance and Supply Battalion launched the first models of a self-built, multi-purpose vehicle called the Cobra 2.0 Tactical Unit – which is a light, agile, and adaptable Jeep-type sports utility vehicle using the latest technology on the market. “It’s the first vehicle of its type designed, created, and assembled in Colombia,” Lt. Col. Forero told Diálogo. “We have six of these vehicles in use and have an additional 30 in line for 2017.” With support from South Carolina’s National Guard and U.S. Southern Command for the Army’s Maintenance and Supply Battalion, this new tactical model gives Colombia’s Army increased mobility to move faster on the battlefield. According to Erich Saumeth, a defense and security expert for defense news website InfoDefensa, these new technologies will assist the Army in dealing with both the remaining and new threats that undermine security efforts throughout Colombia. “In the coming years, the use of mobile real-time technology will be paramount to tackle both the ongoing attacks by ELN the [National Liberation Army] on oil pipelines and newer threats posed by criminal narcoterrorist gangs,” Saumeth said. The primary use of the Cobra 2.0 vehicle is to combat drug trafficking and organized crime as well as border security missions. The vehicle is equipped with anti-tank missiles and both M60 E4 and 0.50 MK 40mm caliber machine guns. “It was designed to be optimally aerodynamic, extremely light, and fully adaptable using a weaponry system with a rear turret capable of firing in a 360-degree swivel motion,” Lt. Col. Forero said. At the same time, the rear of the vehicle can be transformed into an ambulance for humanitarian missions and can also be hooked to and transported by helicopter when necessary. UAV Systems Used for Counterinsurgency and Counternarcotic Missions The vehicle is also supported by a drone system that sends information directly to the commander giving him maximum situational awareness in terms of terrain and potential hostile actors. Saumeth says that Colombia is a regional pioneer in drone or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) deployment, using them intensively in the development of counterinsurgency and counter narcotics missions. “The Army uses them primarily for ground operations to increase tactical operational capacity on ISR-type missions in real-time field operations by maximizing coverage of the combat arena,” Saumeth said. Since 2013, the Army’s Special Forces have been using the Parrot AR-Drone, the Aerovironment RQ-11B Raven, and the Aerovironment RQ-20 Puma UAV’s for counter-insurgency missions. “We will start building the Cobra 3.0 in January next year,” Lt. Col. Forero said. “We have discussed using GPS tracking systems and it is very likely to be incorporated into the new version, but we haven’t yet determined which system we will use.” A select number of Cobra 3.0 models will be ready for use in mid-2017. Police Target Quick Reaction and Response Times According to Saumeth, the Colombian police force also uses a range of cutting edge ISR technology for preventive security measures, taking advantage of both quick reaction and response times. Colonel Giovanny Riaño Garzón, chief of the Counterterrorism and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Defense Unit of the National Police´s Directorate of Criminal Division and Interpol, told Diálogo that much of its work requires increased mobility and flexibility due to the Colombian terrain. “We use the latest models in anti-explosive robots including an OD model and the U.S.-manufactured Andrus remote-operated devices together with GPS-referenced coordinates in high-risk zones like Choco, Norte de Santander, Antioquia, Arauca, and Cauca,” Col. Riaño said. “The explosives we encounter are typically homemade by organized crime groups, the FARC and the ELN, with the former using grenades and the latter primarily IED’s,” Col. Riaño added. Col. Riaño also detailed how his forces will use new technologies to combat chemical and nuclear arms devices as part of their CBRNE response units. “We have about 50 radiation detectors and are prepared to deal with a potential attack using chemical weapons such as Sarin gas. At the moment we operate from Bogotá, but next year we plan to expand to various departments across the country,” Col. Riaño concluded.last_img read more

At Least 80 Tons of Gold Are Smuggled Out of Venezuela Each Year, Experts Say

first_imgBy Sofía Pisani / Voice of America January 17, 2020 Thirty percent of Venezuela’s gold production is destined for contraband, according to data from the nongovernmental organization Transparencia Venezuela.During a speech at the headquarters of the think tank the Atlantic Council, experts warned about illegal mining activities, contraband, displacement, and violence taking place in Venezuela due to gold mining, with the consent of the Nicolás Maduro government.Venezuelan journalist Lisseth Boon, from digital website Runrun.es, who described the illegal mining operations in Venezuela, took part in the event. The journalist believes that the Maduro regime has opted for that activity as a lifeline to stay in power.“The mining arc was created to bring order to the mining activity, but it has become anarchy and informality. The state has allowed all these types of illegal activities, which are controlled by the military,” said Boon.The journalist also warned about how government agencies are being used to formalize the irregular activity.“The legal mechanisms are formalizing or laundering this gold that comes from the Orinoco mining arc. They’re also selling the nation’s gold reserves. Since Nicolás Maduro came to power the reserves have diminished by 60 percent, and are sold abroad to customers with a ‘murky’ reputation,” she said.“Nonprofit organizations estimate that an average of 80 tons of gold are being smuggled from Venezuela each year through illegal means, without any kind of accountability,” Boon added.According to Boon, smuggling routes start in the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonnaire, and Curaçao. By land, trafficking occurs on the border between Colombia and Brazil.Douglas Farah, security expert and president of IB Consultants, addressed the combination of criminal activities in the Venezuelan Amazon and the risks its inhabitants face by being exposed to violence from illegal armed groups and human rights abuses.“Since it’s a lucrative business, it attracts prostitution, many times of minors; human trafficking; slavery, a series of things that violate human rights, focused on a sole business that is terrible,” Farah said.Farah also warned about the environmental damage caused by these illegal activities.“The most obvious consequence, in terms of the environment, is the total destruction of rivers, forests where there are animals, because the mercury used to extract the gold contaminates everything,” the security expert said.Farah told Voice of America that controlling gold trafficking is much more complex than other illegal activities, such as narcotrafficking, since there is a consensus to fight it. By contrast, “with gold, building a legal framework to control the practice is complicated, because once it leaves Venezuela, it belongs to whomever buys it and there’s no way to prove whether it belongs to them or not.”The IB Consultants expert said the possibility of sanctioning financial businesses, corporations, or entities abroad that profit from the purchase of Venezuelan gold in the black market is being considered.last_img read more

CFPB debt collection plan would ‘harass’ consumers: Waters, consumer groups

first_img continue reading » The CFPB’s proposed third-party debt collection rule would allow collectors to harass consumers and would fail to protect them from predatory practices, House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said Tuesday.“This is yet another example of an anti-consumer action at the consumer bureau by a Trump Administration appointee,” Waters said, adding that last year, the agency received about 81,500 complaints about debt collection practices.“This proposed rule does not come close to protecting consumers from predatory behavior,” she said. “Instead, it allows debt collectors to needlessly harass and threaten consumers by sending unlimited emails and text messages and calling them seven times a week to collect debts.”The CFPB issued its 538-page proposal rule implementing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act on Tuesday. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

CFO Focus: Robust employment propels the current economy

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr In my October market outlook, I incorrectly projected that the U.S. economy would be entering recession by December. While manufacturing and business investment have continued to slow consistently, our robust employment picture continues to lead us forward.Indeed, the November jobs report was solid across the board. It featured a large payroll increase, better-than-expected wage increases, a lower unemployment rate and a higher workforce participation rate. Simply put, it was a great report. Moreover, since economic growth is now being powered predominantly by consumer spending, a great employment report is a good sign.However, I continue to believe that further economic expansion rests precariously on a great deal of leverage for consumers, business and the federal government. According to the St. Louis Fed, total public debt sits at 103.2% of gross domestic product as of June 30. . Because we know the federal budget deficit has increased since the end of the second quarter and consumer and business borrowing remains robust, the ratio is probably higher as we come to the end of 2019. High leverage means that relatively small downturn can have much larger negative effects.last_img read more

3 Brentwood Teens Accused of Rape

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Three teenagers have been arrested for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl in the trio’s hometown of Brentwood over the weekend, according to Suffolk County authorities and news reports.Bryan Larios, 18, and two 17-year-old suspects, Jose Cornejo and Joel Escobar, were arrested Friday for first-degree rape and robbery, police and court records show. Cornejo was additionally charged with first-degree sexual abuse and resisting arrest.The robbery occurred at Brentwood Middle School on Hilltop Drive at 6:15 p.m. Friday, according to police records. They robbed a male who was with the woman before they allegedly raped her in the woods at the nearby Brentwood Country Club, where she was later found by golfers.Prosecutors identified the suspects as gang members, Newsday reported.A judge ordered all three suspects held without bail. They are due back in court Wednesday.last_img read more

Bank Indonesia ensures sufficient liquidity, sees signs of decline in capital outflows

first_imgBank Indonesia (BI) is ensuring the liquidity in the country’s financial system would be sufficient to meet the people’s needs in the coming months as massive capital outflows seen in the past several days have begun to decline.BI Governor Perry Warjiyo said in Jakarta on Thursday that there is at least Rp 450 trillion (US$27.77 billion) in cash stored in banks and ATMs in Indonesia, which would be sufficient for the next six months.“We have been working closely with banks in the last two weeks to boost their liquidity,” Perry told reporters on Thursday during an increased requirement for cash in the past several days to finance efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. “We want to assure the public that we have sufficient stocks of cash.” Topics : Perry also said the central bank saw signs of easing capital outflows, driven by the announcement of a $2 trillion fiscal stimulus by the United States and to-be-announced stimulus by the European Union.“The stimulus package has reduced pressure on a global scale and resulted in better sentiments for Indonesia’s financial markets,” Perry said, adding the central bank has since recorded a lessening capital outflow.The rupiah appreciated as much as 1.8 percent against the US dollar to Rp 16,205 on Thursday, according to Bloomberg. The Jakarta Composite Index (JCI), meanwhile, jumped the most since 1999 by as much as 11 percent on Thursday’s trading, the best performer in the region, despite other Asian indices recording declines during the day.The COVID-19 crisis is much different than Asia’s crisis in 1998 and the global financial crisis in 2008 as banks remain in a healthy condition despite weakening business activities and volatile financial markets, Perry said.center_img “We want to make sure that the situation is different than the crisis in 1998 and in 2008 as the banking industry remains healthy with low levels of non-performing loans and good financial market conditions,” he added.Because of the pandemic, the central bank also plans to implement shorter trading hours and a shorter settlement period for transactions starting next week.As of Tuesday, BI had injected liquidity of up to Rp 300 trillion into the financial markets and banks to help support the country’s crashing currency as foreign investors sold off Indonesian assets.The central bank recorded a Rp 125.2 trillion capital outflow from government bonds, the stock market and BI certificates so far this year. Foreign investors sold Rp 112 trillion worth of government bonds and Rp 9.2 trillion worth of Indonesian shares, with most of the sell-offs recorded this month.last_img read more

Cycling’s Giro ‘a message of hope’ in strange times for Italy

first_imgChief among the contenders is Geraint Thomas of Ineos, a team looking to bounce back from a rare disappointment in the Tour de France, a race the Welshman won in 2018.”Racing in Italy is always special be it in May or October,” Ineos principal Dave Brailsford said on Thursday.”It’s going to go down to the wire in that grueling final week,” he predicted of a race marked by three individual time trials and five summit finishes.Thomas was bundled out of the Tour de France line up and appears to have something to prove in Italy. High altitude racing The dark horse would be Englishman Simon Yates, who won the recent coast-to-coast race, the Tirreno Adriatico.The slender climber has been surrounded by powerful rollers and will hope to make the difference in the mountains.”I’m proud of winning the Adriatico, but my chief target is the Giro,” said the man who blew a big lead here to Chris Froome in 2018.Whoever wins will have to deliver or survive a tough third week of climbing, taking in some high altitude racing above the clouds on the infamous Stelvio at 2758m and Agnello at 2745m. A man adept at that is home hope Vincenzo Nibali, who has won the Giro twice and is the wiliest tactician in the sport.”It’s a strange year with a strange season with all these unknowns,” says the Trek-Segafredo rider, a master a sowing doubt in his rivals’ minds.Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang is a strong all-rounder and has the back up of Colombian climber Miguel Angel Lopez.There are also six sprints in this Giro with three-time world champion Peter Sagan eager to add to his roll of honor as he takes part in his first ever Giro. “I’ve lived here, I’ve raced for an Italian team, and I had some rough luck the last time I came to the Giro. I’m determined to right that wrong this time around,” the 34-year-old said this week.Also on the Ineos roster is Australian time-trial specialist Rohan Dennis who could grab the leader’s pink jersey on the opening stage. With two other time trials on the schedule he could be a contender.  Dutch team Jumbo Visma are also seeking redemption after a painful Tour de France where, after wearing the yellow jersey for so long, Primoz Roglic had a gut wrenching meltdown on the final time trial. Their veteran climber Steven Kruijswijk may have the edge on Thomas on the high summits. A mouthwatering Giro d’Italia bursts into life with a time-trial around Palermo on Saturday marking the start of 3497km of racing across the valleys and mountains, from the south of the country to the north, culminating in front of the Duomo cathedral in Milan on October 25.Originally scheduled to start in Budapest in May but rescheduled due to the pandemic, the Sicilian start provides a tantalizing appetizer for the 102nd edition of the three week bike race. It takes in the first four stages and includes a volcanic finish on the slopes of Mount Etna.Twenty-two teams of eight riders each are due to set off on what race organizer and director Mauro Vegni described as “a message of hope across Italy”, the nation that buckled into Europe’s first lockdown when hit hard by the first wave of Covid-19. Topics :last_img read more

Arsenal ‘at least three seasons’ from title challenge, says ex-boss George Graham

first_img Comment Arsenal ‘at least three seasons’ from title challenge, says ex-boss George Graham Advertisement George Graham is worried Arsenal are not improving fast enough (Picture: Getty)Arsenal fans hoping their next Premier League title is just around the corner have been offered little hope by former manager George Graham, who reckons they are years away from lifting the trophy again.The Gunners head to Old Trafford tonight knowing a win could move them from eighth up to third in the Premier League table, a position that has been well out of their reach in the last three seasons.The north London side have not won a title since 2004 and only finished second twice in that time, something ex-Arsenal boss Graham does not think will change any time soon.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘I can’t see either challenging at the top for three seasons at least,’ Graham told the Daily Mail.ADVERTISEMENT‘Even the top four will be tough for them right now. When standards slip, it’s hard to raise them again, and Liverpool and Manchester City aren’t going anywhere.‘People talk about a lack of leaders and they have a point, particularly at centre-half. Think about Tony Adams, John Terry, Vincent Kompany, Virgil van Dijk. Every Arsenal supporter wants a defender like that.‘United have been looking for years. They’ve signed Harry Maguire and hope he’s the answer. But that’s the word: “hoping”.‘United are under greater pressure because expectations there are higher, both for results and the style of play. It could be a good time for Arsenal to play them.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityManager Unai Emery would relish getting one over on United, even if the two sides do not have same level of rivalry that started when Graham was in charge at Highbury in the late 1980s.However, the Scot has been impressed with Emery, who is only the third permanent manager of the club since Graham.‘Emery isn’t afraid to make decisions,’ Graham added.‘If he thinks Mesut Ozil should come off, he’s off. I like that, it’s the job. James GrayMonday 30 Sep 2019 5:47 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link28Shares Advertisement Unai Emery has impressed George Graham with his approach to the squad (Picture: Getty)‘I sold Charlie Nicholas who had done his stretch. If the team is struggling, make a decision and if you upset anyone, so what?‘I’m told the passion is back at the training ground, which is good. But you do need quality as well.‘There’s not many in the current Arsenal team I’d have taken. The forward line is clearly the strongest part of their team.’In tonight’s opponents for Arsenal, Graham finds little merit either but is impressed by the work done by those responsible for United’s summer transfers.‘I like the look of Dan James, quick, strong, lovely shot,’ Graham said.‘Scouts, or the recruitment department as they are called these days, should look at the lower leagues more.‘I signed Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn and Steve Bould from smaller clubs and they became part of Arsenal’s history.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘I know you can go anywhere in the world now to buy players, but the principle still stands.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenallast_img read more

Climate change roundup: Investor climate action initiative expands

first_imgMore than 60 additional investors have signed up to Climate Action 100+, an initiative aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.Climate Action 100+ launched in December 2017 with 225 investors on board and is now backed by 289 investors with nearly $30trn (€26trn) in combined assets under management, according to an update from the initiative.Asset owners such as Border to Coast Pension Partnership – a £43bn (€49bn) UK local authority pension asset pool – and Australian pension fund UniSuper are among the new signatories.“The growth of Climate Action 100+ among the global investment community in the last six months is more than we ever expected,” said Anne Simpson, investment director of sustainability at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. “More investors and pension funds are coming together in partnership to engage with systemically important greenhouse gas emitters that are producing 85% of carbon emissions on climate change.“We are doing this because of the serious financial risks at play across the global economy.”The Climate Action 100+ investors have also added 61 names to their list of target companies. The companies were added because the investors considered them material to their investment portfolios. They either had significant opportunities to drive the low-carbon transition and help achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, or were exposed to climate-related financial risks not captured fully by emissions data.  Investors signed up to Climate Action 100+ have called on companies to improve their governance on climate change, curb emissions, and strengthen climate-related financial disclosure.Emily Chew, global head of ESG research and integration at Manulife Asset Management, said: “By adding additional companies to the focus list, we are expanding our potential impact on reducing systemic climate-change risks, and realising the economic benefits of the low-carbon transition.”Climate Action 100+ is coordinated by five partner organisations including the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change and the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment. ‘Still not quite too late’The news of Climate Action 100+’s expansion comes as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, told backers of another investor-led initiative on climate change they needed to “flex [their] muscles ever more clearly and ever more powerfully”.Speaking on the occasion of a conference to mark new research from the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI) – a £7trn asset owner-led initiative to assess how companies are aligning themselves with the transition to the low carbon economy – Welby said the research was “illuminating in many, many ways” but that “we must distinguish process and outcome”.“The TPI is something that must produce outcomes,” he said.  The Archbishop of Canterbury opened the market at the London Stock Exchange before addressing delegates at the Transition Pathway Initiative’s Asset Owners State of Transition Climate SummitLed by Simon Dietz at the London School of Economics, the TPI analysis presented at the event was of the electricity, coal, and oil and gas sectors and showed that, although companies had made significant improvements with regard to carbon policies and management processes, most were yet to adopt business strategies that aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement.The £2.3bn Church of England Pensions Board (CEPB) announced at the event that it intended to develop an equities index building on the data and analysis produced by the TPI.Alan Fletcher, chair of the CEPB’s investment committee, said the board had held preliminary discussions with FTSE Russell and the Grantham Institute at the London School of Economics and wanted to invite other investors to work with it on the project.“Our announcement and invitation to you has come about as we are keen to bring our passive holdings into play in support of the low carbon transition and to better manage the risk that companies assessed poorly by TPI will not be well placed to manage the transition to a below 2 degrees of global warming,” he said.The CEPB had more than £500m invested in passive equities, according to Fletcher.He said he hoped the development would signal to companies “that asset owners are responding to the transition and moving their capital to those businesses that are best placed to manage this critical issue”.last_img read more