NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Waste Management Inc., the biggest U.S. waste disposal firm, reported second-quarter earnings Wednesday that met Wall Street expectations despite the lingering effects of an economic slowdown.|
Waste Management reported earnings of $212 million before one-time items, or 32 cents a share, up from $200 million before unusual items, or 32 cents a share, a year ago.
Wall Street analysts expected Waste Management to earn 32 cents a share, according to earnings tracker First Call.
Waste Management also said it expects to meet its internal earnings forecasts for 2001, which are in line with First Call's estimate of $1.36 a share, despite a slowdown in the U.S. economy.
"There will be challenges for the organization during the second half of the year," CEO A. Maurice Myers said. "We are optimistic that we will meet all of our initiative targets for the year."
The Houston-based company reported revenue for the quarter fell to $2.92 billion from $3.27 billion a year ago.
In June, Waste Management's auditor, Chicago-based accounting firm Arthur Andersen LLP, agreed to pay a $7 million civil fine. The Securities and Exchange Commission accused Andersen of "knowingly or recklessly" issuing false and misleading audit reports for Waste Management for the years 1993 though 1996 that inflated the company's earnings by more than $1 billion.
Waste Management had been in financial trouble since Houston-based USA Waste Services bought it in 1998, took over its name and moved its headquarters from Oak Brook, Ill., to Houston. But recently, the company has begun turning around financially. Its 2001 first-quarter profit more than doubled from the year-ago period.
Waste Management (WMI: Research, Estimates) shares closed Tuesday up 48 cents at $30.07.
- from staff and wire reports