Boise-based waste treatment and disposal company U.S. Ecology is forecasting sunnyskies for its business during the rest of 2012, after breaking its quarterly earnings records.
The company's second-quarter net income was $6.4 million, or 35 cents a share. That compares with $4.7 million in the second quarter of 2011. Its gross profit margin also climbed to 43 percent from 33 percent in last year's second quarter.
It wasn't just because of revenues, which ticked up just 1.3 percent over last year's second quarter. Revenues from treatment and disposal went up, but revenues from the company's transportation activities took a much larger hit because of a drop in customers using that service. The company also lost out on a contract for General Electric Hudson River cleanup work.
Instead, credit the sheer growth in tons of waste and a Michigan plant. The company's waste plants in four states and a Canadian province took in one-fifth more waste tonnage than the same time last year. U.S. Ecology also closed on a deal to buy the Dynecol Inc. industrial waste treatment, storage and disposal plant in Detroit for $11.3 million. That plant brought in $1 million of revenues in a month.
"Our Texas facility, serving the Gulf coast oil, gas and industrial market, was particularly strong during the quarter, although all of our facilities performed at or above our expectations," said Jeff Feeler, vice president and chief financial officer.
The stronger-than-expected quarterly results prompted executives to raise their earnings outlook for the second half of the year to between $1.05 and $1.15 per share, up from 92 cents to $1.02.
Dividends for the quarter were 18 cents per share, with $3.3 million paid out July 20.