Republic Services 10-K 2006
Documents found in this filing:
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
Commission file number: 1-14267
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)
Registrants telephone number, including area code: (954) 769-2400
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes þ No o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes o No þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes þ No o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrants knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of accelerated filer and large accelerated filer in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check One):
Large accelerated filer þ Accelerated filer o Non-accelerated filer o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes o No þ
As of June 30, 2005, the aggregate market value of the shares of the Common Stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $5,099,127,118.
As of February 22, 2006, the registrant had outstanding 137,502,962 shares of Common Stock.
Part III Portions of the Registrants Proxy Statement relative to the 2006 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.
We are a leading provider of services in the domestic non-hazardous solid waste industry. We provide non-hazardous solid waste collection services for commercial, industrial, municipal and residential customers through 140 collection companies in 21 states. We also own or operate 92 transfer stations, 59 solid waste landfills and 32 recycling facilities.
As of December 31, 2005, our operations were organized into five regions whose boundaries may change from time to time: Eastern, Central, Southern, Southwestern and Western. Each region is organized into several operating areas and each area contains multiple operating locations. Each of our regions and substantially all our areas provide collection, transfer, recycling and disposal services. We believe that this organizational structure facilitates the integration of our operations within each region, which is a critical component of our operating strategy. See Note 10 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion of operating segments.
We had revenue of $2,863.9 million and $2,708.1 million and operating income of $477.2 million and $452.3 million for the years ended December 31, 2005 and 2004, respectively. The $155.8 million, or 5.8%, increase in revenue and the $24.9 million, or 5.5%, increase in operating income from 2004 to 2005 is primarily attributable to the successful execution of our operating and growth strategies described below.
Our presence in high growth markets throughout the Sunbelt, including California, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas, and in other domestic markets that have experienced higher than average population growth during the past several years, supports our internal growth strategy. We believe that our presence in these markets positions our company to experience growth at rates that are generally higher than the industrys overall growth rate.
We continue to focus on enhancing stockholder value by implementing our financial, operating and growth strategies as described below.
We were incorporated as a Delaware corporation in 1996.
Based on analysts reports and industry trade publications, we believe that the United States non-hazardous solid waste services industry generates annual revenue of approximately $46.5 billion, of which approximately 48% is generated by publicly-owned waste companies, 23% is generated by privately-held waste companies, and 29% is generated by municipal and other local governmental authorities. Three companies generate the substantial majority of the publicly-owned companies total revenue. However, according to industry data, the domestic non-hazardous waste industry remains highly fragmented as privately-held companies and municipal and other local governmental authorities generate approximately 52% of total industry revenue. In general, growth in the solid waste industry is linked to growth in the overall economy, including the level of new household and business formation.
The solid waste industry experienced a period of rapid consolidation in the late 1990s. During that time we were able to grow significantly through acquisitions. However, acquisitions in the industry have slowed considerably since late 1999. Despite this, we believe that the opportunity to grow through acquisitions still exists, albeit at a slower pace than experienced in previous years, as a result of the following factors:
Subtitle D Regulation. Subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, as currently in effect, and similar state regulations have significantly increased the amount of capital, technical expertise, operating costs and financial assurance obligations required to own and operate a landfill and other solid waste facilities. Many of the smaller participants in our industry have found these costs difficult, if not impossible, to bear. Large publicly-owned companies, like our company, have greater access to, and a lower cost of, the capital necessary to finance such increased capital expenditures and costs relative to many of the privately-owned companies in the industry. Additionally, the required permits for landfill development, expansion or
construction have become more difficult, time-consuming and costly to acquire. Consequently, many smaller, independent operators have decided to either close their operations or sell them to larger operators that have greater access to capital.
Integration of Solid Waste Businesses. By being able to control the waste stream in a market through the collection, transfer and disposal process, integrated solid waste companies gain a further competitive advantage over non-integrated operators. The ability of the integrated companies to both collect and dispose of solid waste, coupled with access to significant capital resources necessary for acquisitions, has created an environment in which large publicly-owned, integrated companies can operate more cost effectively and competitively than non-integrated operators.
Municipal Privatization. The trend toward consolidation in the solid waste services industry is further supported by the increasing tendency of a number of municipalities to privatize their waste disposal operations. Privatization of municipal waste operations is often an attractive alternative to funding the changes required by Subtitle D.
These developments, as well as the fact that there are a limited number of viable exit strategies for many of the owners and principals of numerous privately-held companies in the industry, have contributed to the overall consolidation trend in the solid waste industry.
A key component of our financial strategy is our ability to generate free cash flow. Our definition of free cash flow, which is not a measure determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, is cash provided by operating activities less purchases of property and equipment plus proceeds from sales of property and equipment as presented in our consolidated statements of cash flows. We believe that free cash flow is a driver of shareholder value and provides useful information regarding the recurring cash provided by our operating activities after expenditures for property and equipment. It also demonstrates our ability to execute our financial strategy. Consequently, we have developed incentive programs and we conduct monthly field operating reviews that help focus our entire company on the importance of increasing free cash flow.
The presentation of free cash flow has material limitations. Free cash flow does not represent our cash flow available for discretionary expenditures because it excludes certain expenditures that are required or that we have committed to such as debt service requirements and dividend payments. Our definition of free cash flow may not be comparable to similarly titled measures presented by other companies.
We manage our free cash flow primarily by ensuring that capital expenditures and operating asset levels are appropriate in light of our existing business and growth opportunities and by closely managing our working capital, which consists primarily of accounts receivable and accounts payable.
We have used and will continue to use our cash flow to maximize stockholder value as well as our return on investment. This includes the following:
Another key component of our financial strategy includes maintaining an investment grade rating on our senior debt. This has allowed us to secure favorable, long-term, fixed-rate financing that reduces our exposure to changing interest rates. This has also allowed us, and will continue to allow us, to readily access capital markets.
For certain risks related to our financial strategy, see Risk Factors.
We seek to leverage existing assets and revenue growth to increase operating margins and enhance stockholder value. Our operating strategy to accomplish this goal is to:
For certain risks related to our operating strategy, see Risk Factors.
James E. OConnor, who has served as our Chief Executive Officer since December 1998, also became our Chairman in January 2003. He worked at Waste Management, Inc. from 1972 to 1978 and from 1982 to 1998. During that time, he served in various management positions, including Senior Vice President in 1997 and 1998, and Area President of Waste Management of Florida, Inc. from 1992 to 1997. Mr. OConnor has over 31 years of experience in the solid waste industry.
Michael J. Cordesman, who has served as our Chief Operating Officer since March 2002 and also as our President since February 2003, has over 25 years of experience in the solid waste industry. He joined us in June 2001 as our Eastern Region Vice President. From 1999 to 2001, Mr. Cordesman served as Vice President of the Central Region for Superior Services Inc. From 1980 to 1999, he served in various positions with Waste Management, including Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic Region from 1992 to 1999.
The other corporate officers with responsibility for our operations have an average of over 24 years of management experience in the solid waste industry. Our five regional vice presidents and our 21 area presidents have an average of 24 years of experience in the industry.
In addition, Harris W. Hudson, who has served as our Vice Chairman since our initial public offering, has over 41 years of experience in the solid waste industry, including 11 years with Waste Management and 19 years with private waste collection companies.
For certain risks related to our operating strategy, see Risk Factors.
Our growth strategy focuses on increasing revenue, gaining market share and enhancing stockholder value through internal growth and acquisitions. For certain risks related to our growth strategy, see Risk Factors.
Pricing Activities. We seek to secure price increases necessary to offset increased costs. During the fourth quarter of 2003, we implemented a broad-based pricing initiative across all lines of our business. During 2004 and 2005 we secured further broad-based price increases to offset various escalating capital and operating costs, including fuel. Price increases continue to be a major component of our overall operating strategy.
Long-Term Contracts. We seek to obtain long-term contracts for collecting solid waste in high-growth markets. These include exclusive franchise agreements with municipalities as well as commercial and industrial contracts. By obtaining such long-term agreements, we have the opportunity to grow our contracted revenue base at the same rate as the underlying population growth in these markets. For example, we have secured exclusive, long-term franchise agreements in high-growth markets such as Los Angeles, Orange and Contra Costa Counties in California, Las Vegas, Nevada, Arlington, Texas, and many areas of Florida. We believe that this positions our company to experience internal growth rates that are generally higher than our industrys overall growth rate. In addition, we believe that by securing a base of long-term recurring revenue in growth markets, we are better able to protect our market position from competition and our business may be less susceptible to downturns in economic conditions.
Sales and Marketing Activities. We seek to manage our sales and marketing activities to enable our company to capitalize on our leading positions in many of the markets in which we operate. We currently have approximately 500 sales and marketing employees in the field who are compensated using a commission structure that is focused on generating high levels of quality revenue. For the most part, these employees directly solicit business from existing and prospective commercial, industrial, municipal and residential customers. We emphasize our rate and cost structures when we train new and existing sales personnel. In addition, we utilize a contact management system that assists our sales people in tracking leads. It also tracks renewal periods for potential commercial, industrial and franchise contracts.
Development Activities. We seek to identify opportunities to further our position as an integrated service provider in markets where we provide services for a portion of the waste stream. Where appropriate, we seek to obtain permits to build transfer stations and/or landfills that would provide vertically integrated waste services or expand the service area for our existing disposal sites. Development projects, while generally less capital intensive, typically require extensive permitting efforts that can take years to complete with no assurance of success. We undertake development projects when we believe there is a reasonable probability of success and where reasonably priced acquisition opportunities are not available.
For certain risks involved with our acquisition growth strategy, see Risk Factors We may be unable to execute our acquisition growth strategy, We may be unable to manage our growth effectively, and Businesses we acquire may have undisclosed liabilities.
Acquire Businesses Positioning the Company for Growth. In making acquisitions, we principally target high quality businesses that will allow our company to be, or provide our company favorable prospects of becoming, a leading provider of integrated solid waste services in markets with favorable demographic growth. Generally, we have acquired, and will continue to seek to acquire, solid waste collection, transfer and disposal companies that:
Once we have a base of operations in a particular market, we focus on acquiring trucks and routes of smaller businesses that also operate in that market and surrounding markets, which are typically referred to as tuck-in acquisitions. We seek to consolidate the operations of such tuck-in businesses into our existing operations in that market. We also seek to acquire landfills, transfer stations and collection companies that operate in markets that we are already servicing in order to fully integrate our operations from collection to disposal. In addition, we have in the past and may continue in the future to exchange businesses with other solid waste companies if by doing so there is a net benefit to our business platform. These activities allow us to increase our revenue and market share, lower our cost of operations as a percentage of revenue, and consolidate duplicative facilities and functions to maximize cost efficiencies and economies of scale.
Acquire Well-Managed Companies. We also seek to acquire businesses that have experienced management teams that are willing to join the management of our company. We generally seek to maintain continuity in management of larger acquired companies in order to capitalize on their local market knowledge, community relations and name recognition, and to instill their entrepreneurial drive at all levels of our operations. By furnishing the local management of such acquired companies with our financial and marketing resources and technical expertise, we believe that the acquired companies are better able to secure additional municipal franchises and other contracts.
Privatize Municipal Operations and Acquire Divested Operations. We also seek to acquire solid waste collection operations, transfer stations and landfills that municipalities and other governmental authorities are privatizing. Many municipalities are seeking to outsource or sell these types of solid waste operations, as they lack the capital, technical expertise and/or operational resources necessary to comply with increasingly stringent regulatory standards and/or to compete effectively with private-sector companies. In addition, we
have acquired, and will continue to seek to acquire, operations and facilities that are being divested by other publicly-owned waste companies.
Our operations primarily consist of the collection, transfer and disposal of non-hazardous solid waste.
Collection Services. We provide solid waste collection services to commercial, industrial, municipal and residential customers in 21 states through 140 collection companies. In 2005, 74.7% of our revenue was derived from collection services consisting of 32.0% from services provided to municipal and residential customers, 36.5% from services provided to commercial customers, and 31.5% from services provided to industrial and other customers.
Our residential collection operations involve the curbside collection of refuse from small containers into collection vehicles for transport to transfer stations or directly to landfills. Residential solid waste collection services are typically performed under contracts with municipalities, which we generally secure by competitive bid and which give our company exclusive rights to service all or a portion of the homes in their respective jurisdictions. These contracts or franchises usually range in duration from one to five years, although some of our exclusive franchises are for significantly longer periods. Residential solid waste collection services may also be performed on a subscription basis, in which individual households contract directly with our company. The fees received for subscription residential collection are based primarily on market factors, frequency and type of service, the distance to the disposal facility and cost of disposal. In general, subscription residential collection fees are paid quarterly in advance by the residential customers receiving the service.
In our commercial and industrial collection operations, we supply our customers with waste containers of varying sizes. We also rent compactors to large waste generators. Commercial collection services are generally performed under one- to three-year service agreements, and fees are determined by such considerations as:
We rent waste containers to construction sites and also provide waste collection services to industrial and construction facilities on a contractual basis with terms generally ranging from a single pickup to one year or longer. We collect the containers or compacted waste and transport the waste either to a landfill or a transfer station for disposal.
Also, we currently provide recycling services in certain markets primarily to comply with local laws or obligations under our franchise agreements. These services include the curbside collection of residential recyclable waste and the provision of a variety of recycling services to commercial and industrial customers.
Transfer and Disposal Services. We own or operate 92 transfer stations. We deposit waste at these stations, as do other private haulers and municipal haulers, for compaction and transfer to trailers for transport to disposal sites or recycling facilities. As of December 31, 2005, we owned or operated 59 landfills, which had approximately 9,518 permitted acres and total available permitted and probable expansion disposal capacity of approximately 1.8 billion in-place cubic yards. The in-place capacity of our landfills is subject to change based on engineering factors, requirements of regulatory authorities and the ability to expand our sites successfully. Some of our landfills accept non-hazardous special waste, including utility ash, asbestos and contaminated soils. See Properties.
Most of our existing landfill sites have the potential for expanded disposal capacity beyond the currently permitted acreage. We monitor the availability of permitted disposal capacity at each of our landfills and evaluate whether to pursue expansion at a given landfill based on estimated future waste volumes and prices, market needs,
remaining capacity and likelihood of obtaining an expansion. To satisfy future disposal demand, we are currently seeking to expand permitted capacity at certain of our landfills, although no assurances can be made that all future expansions will be permitted as designed.
Other Services. We have 32 materials recovery facilities and other recycling operations, which are generally required to fulfill our obligations under long-term municipal contracts for residential collection services. These facilities sort recyclable paper, aluminum, glass and other materials. Most of these recyclable materials are internally collected by our residential collection operations. In some areas, we receive commercial and industrial solid waste that is sorted at our facilities into recyclable materials and non-recyclable waste. The recyclable materials are salvaged, repackaged and sold to third parties and the non-recyclable waste is disposed of at landfills or incinerators. Wherever possible, our strategy is to reduce our exposure to fluctuations in recyclable commodity prices by utilizing third-party recycling facilities, thereby minimizing our recycling investment.
We provided remediation and other heavy construction services primarily through our subsidiary located in Missouri. We sold this subsidiary during the fourth quarter of 2005 because it did not compliment our core business strategy. During the ten months ended October 31, 2005, this business generated revenue of $12.9 million and had an operating loss of $2.5 million.
We also have a Texas-based compost, mulch and soil business at which yard, mill and other waste is processed, packaged and sold as various products.
We seek to provide quality services that will enable our company to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction. We derive our business from a broad customer base which we believe will enable our company to experience stable growth. We focus our marketing efforts on continuing and expanding business with existing customers, as well as attracting new customers.
We employ approximately 500 sales and marketing employees. Our sales and marketing strategy is to provide high-quality, comprehensive solid waste collection, recycling, transfer and disposal services to our customers at competitive prices. We target potential customers of all sizes, from small quantity generators to large Fortune 500 companies and municipalities.
Most of our marketing activity is local in nature. However, we also provide a corporate accounts program in response to the needs of our customers.
We generally do not change the tradenames of the local businesses we acquire, and therefore we do not operate nationally under any one mark or tradename. Rather, we rely on the goodwill associated with the acquired companies local tradenames as used in each geographic market in which we operate.
We provide services to commercial, industrial, municipal and residential customers. No one customer has individually accounted for more than 10.0% of our consolidated revenue or of our reportable segment revenue in any of the last three years.
We operate in a highly competitive industry. Entry into our business and the ability to operate profitably in the industry requires substantial amounts of capital and managerial experience.
Competition in the non-hazardous solid waste industry comes from a few large, national publicly-owned companies, including Waste Management and Allied Waste Industries, several regional publicly- and privately-owned solid waste companies, and thousands of small privately-owned companies. Some of our competitors have significantly larger operations, and may have significantly greater financial resources, than we do. In addition to national and regional firms and numerous local companies, we compete with municipalities that maintain waste collection or disposal operations. These municipalities may have financial advantages due to the availability of tax revenues and tax-exempt financing.
We compete for collection accounts primarily on the basis of price and the quality of our services. From time to time, our competitors may reduce the price of their services in an effort to expand market share or to win a competitively bid municipal contract. This may have an impact on our future revenue and profitability.
In each market in which we own or operate a landfill, we compete for landfill business on the basis of disposal costs, geographical location and quality of operations. Our ability to obtain landfill business may be limited by the fact that some major collection companies also own or operate landfills to which they send their waste. There also has been an increasing trend at the state and local levels to mandate waste reduction at the source and to prohibit the disposal of certain types of waste, such as yard waste, at landfills. This may result in the volume of waste going to landfills being reduced in certain areas, which may affect our ability to operate our landfills at their full capacity and/or affect the prices that we can charge for landfill disposal services. In addition, most of the states in which we operate landfills have adopted plans or requirements that set goals for specified percentages of certain solid waste items to be recycled.
Our facilities and operations are subject to a variety of federal, state and local requirements that regulate the environment, public health, safety, zoning and land use. Operating and other permits, licenses and other approvals are generally required for landfills and transfer stations, certain solid waste collection vehicles, fuel storage tanks and other facilities that we own or operate, and these permits are subject to revocation, modification and renewal in certain circumstances. Federal, state and local laws and regulations vary, but generally govern wastewater or stormwater discharges, air emissions, the handling, transportation, treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste, and the remediation of contamination associated with the release or threatened release of hazardous substances. These laws and regulations provide governmental authorities with strict powers of enforcement, which include the ability to obtain injunctions and/or impose fines or penalties in the case of violations, including criminal penalties. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and various other federal, state and local environmental, public and occupational health and safety agencies and authorities administer these regulations, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor.
We strive to conduct our operations in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. However, in the existing climate of heightened environmental concerns, from time to time, we have been issued citations or notices from governmental authorities that have resulted in the need to expend funds for remedial work and related activities at various landfills and other facilities. There is no assurance that citations and notices will not be issued in the future despite our regulatory compliance efforts. We have established final capping, closure, post-closure and remediation liabilities that we believe, based on currently available information, will be adequate to cover our current estimates of regulatory costs. However, we cannot assure you that actual costs will not exceed our reserves.
Federal Regulation. The following summarizes the primary environmental, public and occupational health and safety-related statutes of the United States that affect our facilities and operations:
(1) The Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended, including the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. RCRA and its implementing regulations establish a framework for regulating the handling, transportation, treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste, and require states to develop programs to ensure the safe disposal of solid waste in sanitary landfills.
Subtitle D of RCRA establishes a framework for regulating the disposal of municipal solid waste. Regulations under Subtitle D currently include minimum comprehensive solid waste management criteria and guidelines, including location restrictions, facility design and operating criteria, final capping, closure and post-closure requirements, financial assurance standards, groundwater monitoring requirements and corrective action standards, many of which had not commonly been in effect or enforced in the past in connection with municipal solid waste landfills. Each state was required to submit to the U.S. EPA a permit program designed to implement Subtitle D regulations by April 9, 1993. All of the states in which we operate have implemented permit programs pursuant to RCRA and Subtitle D. These state permit programs may include landfill requirements which are more stringent than those of Subtitle D.
All of our planned landfill expansions or new landfill development projects have been engineered to meet or exceed Subtitle D requirements. Operating and design criteria for existing operations have been modified to comply with these new regulations. Compliance with Subtitle D regulations has resulted in increased costs and may in the future require substantial additional expenditures in addition to other costs normally associated with our waste management activities.
(2) The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, as amended. CERCLA, among other things, provides for the cleanup of sites from which there is a release or threatened release of a hazardous substance into the environment. CERCLA may impose strict joint and several liability for the costs of cleanup and for damages to natural resources upon current owners and operators of the site, parties who were owners or operators of the site at the time the hazardous substances were disposed of, parties who transported the hazardous substances to the site and parties who arranged for the disposal of the hazardous substances at the site. Under the authority of CERCLA and its implementing regulations, detailed requirements apply to the manner and degree of investigation and remediation of facilities and sites where hazardous substances have been or are threatened to be released into the environment. Liability under CERCLA is not dependent upon the existence or disposal of only hazardous wastes but can also be based upon the existence of small quantities of more than 700 substances characterized by the U.S. EPA as hazardous, many of which may be found in common household waste.
Among other things, CERCLA authorizes the federal government to investigate and remediate sites at which hazardous substances have been or are threatened to be released into the environment or to order (or offer an opportunity to) persons potentially liable for the cleanup of the hazardous substances to do so. In addition, the U.S. EPA has established a National Priorities List of sites at which hazardous substances have been or are threatened to be released and which require investigation or cleanup.
Liability under CERCLA is not dependent upon the intentional disposal of hazardous waste or hazardous substances. It can be founded upon the release or threatened release, even as a result of unintentional, non-negligent or lawful action, of thousands of hazardous substances, including very small quantities of such substances. Thus, even if our landfills have never knowingly received hazardous waste as such, it is possible that one or more hazardous substances may have been deposited or released at our landfills or at other properties which we currently own or operate or may have owned or operated. Therefore, we could be liable under CERCLA for the cost of cleaning up such hazardous substances at such sites and for damages to natural resources, even if those substances were deposited at our facilities before we acquired or operated them. The costs of a CERCLA cleanup can be very expensive. Given the difficulty of obtaining insurance for environmental impairment liability, such liability could have a material impact on our business and financial condition. For a further discussion, see Liability Insurance and Bonding.
(3) The Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972, as amended. This Act regulates the discharge of pollutants from a variety of sources, including solid waste disposal sites, into streams, rivers and other waters of the United States. Point source runoff from our landfills and transfer stations that is discharged into surface waters must be covered by discharge permits that generally require us to conduct sampling and monitoring, and under certain circumstances, reduce the quantity of pollutants in those discharges. Storm water discharge regulations under this Act require a permit for certain construction activities and discharges from industrial operations and facilities, which may affect our operations. If a landfill or transfer station discharges wastewater through a sewage system to a publicly-owned treatment works, the facility must comply with discharge limits imposed by that treatment works. In addition, states may adopt groundwater protection programs under this Act or the Safe Drinking Water Act that could affect solid waste landfills. Furthermore, development which alters or affects wetlands must generally be permitted prior to such development commencing, and certain mitigation requirements may be required by the permitting agencies.
(4) The Clean Air Act, as amended. The Clean Air Act imposes limitations on emissions from various sources, including landfills. In March 1996, the U.S. EPA promulgated regulations that require large municipal solid waste landfills to install landfill gas monitoring systems. These regulations apply to landfills that commenced construction, reconstruction or modification on or after May 30, 1991, and, principally, to landfills that can accommodate 2.5 million cubic meters or more of municipal solid waste. The regulations apply
whether the landfill is active or closed. The date by which each affected landfill is required to have a gas collection and control system installed and made operational varies depending upon calculated emission rates at the landfill. Many state regulatory agencies also currently require monitoring systems for the collection and control of certain landfill gas. We do not expect that compliance with any new state regulations will have a material effect on us.
(5) The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, as amended. This Act authorizes the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor to promulgate occupational safety and health standards. A number of these standards, including standards for notices of hazardous chemicals and the handling of asbestos, apply to our facilities and operations.
State Regulation. Each state in which we operate has its own laws and regulations governing solid waste disposal, water and air pollution, and, in most cases, releases and cleanup of hazardous substances and liability for such matters. States also have adopted regulations governing the design, operation, maintenance and closure of landfills and transfer stations. Our facilities and operations are likely to be subject to these types of requirements. In addition, our solid waste collection and landfill operations may be affected by the trend in many states toward requiring the development of solid waste reduction and recycling programs. For example, several states have enacted laws that require counties or municipalities to adopt comprehensive plans to reduce, through solid waste planning, composting, recycling or other programs, the volume of solid waste deposited in landfills. Additionally, laws and regulations restricting the disposal of certain waste in solid waste landfills, including yard waste, newspapers, beverage containers, unshredded tires, lead-acid batteries and household appliances, have been promulgated in several states and are being considered in others. Legislative and regulatory measures to mandate or encourage waste reduction at the source and waste recycling also are or have been under consideration by the U.S. Congress and the U.S. EPA, respectively.
In order to construct, expand and operate a landfill, one or more construction or operating permits, as well as zoning and land use approvals, must be obtained. These are difficult and time-consuming to obtain, are often opposed by neighboring landowners and citizens groups, may be subject to periodic renewal, and are subject to modification and revocation by the issuing agency. In connection with our acquisition of existing landfills, it may be and on occasion has been necessary for our company to expend considerable time, effort and money to bring the acquired facilities into compliance with applicable requirements and to obtain the permits and approvals necessary to increase their capacity.
Many of our facilities own and operate underground storage tanks which are generally used to store petroleum-based products. These tanks are generally subject to federal, state and local laws and regulations that mandate their periodic testing, upgrading, closure and removal, and that, in the event of leaks, require that polluted groundwater and soils be remediated. We believe that all of our underground storage tanks currently meet, in all material respects, all applicable regulations. If underground storage tanks we own or operate leak, and the leakage migrates onto the property of others, we could be liable for response costs and other damages to third parties. We are unaware of facts indicating that issues of compliance with regulations related to underground storage tanks will have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
Finally, with regard to our solid waste transportation operations, we are subject to the jurisdiction of the Surface Transportation Board and are regulated by the Federal Highway Administration, Office of Motor Carriers, and by regulatory agencies in states that regulate such matters. Various states have enacted or promulgated, or are considering enacting or promulgating, laws and regulations that would restrict the interstate transportation and processing of solid waste. In 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a law that restricts the importation of out-of-state solid waste was unconstitutional; however, states have attempted to distinguish proposed laws from those involved in and implicated by that ruling. In 1994, the Supreme Court ruled that a flow control law, which attempted to restrict solid waste from leaving its place of generation, imposed an impermissible burden upon interstate commerce, and, therefore, was unconstitutional; however, states have also attempted to distinguish proposed laws from those involved in and implicated by that ruling. In response to these Supreme Court rulings, the U.S. Congress has considered passing legislation authorizing states and local governments to restrict the free movement of solid waste in interstate commerce. If federal legislation authorizing state and local governments to
restrict the free movement of solid waste in interstate commerce is enacted, such legislation could adversely affect our operations.
We have established liabilities for landfill and environmental costs, which includes landfill site final capping, closure and post-closure costs. We periodically reassess such costs based on various methods and assumptions regarding landfill airspace and the technical requirements of Subtitle D of RCRA and adjust our rates used to expense final capping, closure and post-closure costs accordingly. Based on current information and regulatory requirements, we believe that our liabilities recorded for such landfill and environmental expenditures are adequate. However, environmental laws may change, and there can be no assurance that our recorded liabilities will be adequate to cover requirements under existing or new environmental laws and regulations, future changes or interpretations of existing laws and regulations, or the identification of adverse environmental conditions previously unknown to us. See Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations Landfill and Environmental Matters and Risk Factors Compliance with environmental and other laws and regulations may impede our growth.
The nature of our business exposes our company to the risk of liabilities arising out of our operations, including possible damages to the environment. Such potential liabilities could involve, for example, claims for remediation costs, personal injury, property damage and damage to the environment in cases where we may be held responsible for the escape of harmful materials; claims of employees, customers or third parties for personal injury or property damage occurring in the course of our operations; or claims alleging negligence in the planning or performance of work. We could also be subject to fines and civil and criminal penalties in connection with alleged violations of regulatory requirements. Because of the nature and scope of the possible environmental damages, liabilities imposed in environmental litigation can be significant. Our solid waste operations have third-party environmental liability insurance with limits in excess of those required by permit regulations, subject to certain limitations and exclusions. However, we cannot assure you that the limits of such environmental liability insurance would be adequate in the event of a major loss, nor can we assure you that we would continue to carry excess environmental liability insurance should market conditions in the insurance industry make such coverage costs prohibitive.
We have general liability, vehicle liability, employment practices liability, pollution liability, directors and officers liability, workers compensation and employers liability coverage, as well as umbrella liability policies to provide excess coverage over the underlying limits contained in these primary policies. We also carry property insurance. Although we try to operate safely and prudently and while we have, subject to limitations and exclusions, substantial liability insurance, no assurance can be given that we will not be exposed to uninsured liabilities which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
Our insurance programs for workers compensation, general liability, vehicle liability and employee-related health care benefits are effectively self-insured. Claims in excess of self-insurance levels are fully insured subject to policy limits. Accruals are based on claims filed and actuarial estimates of claims development and claims incurred but not reported. Due to the variable condition of the insurance market, we have experienced, and may continue to experience in the future, increased self-insurance retention levels and increased premiums. As we assume more risk for self-insurance through higher retention levels, we may experience more variability in our self-insurance reserves and expense.
In the normal course of business, we may be required to post performance bonds, insurance policies, letters of credit and/or cash or marketable securities deposits in connection with municipal residential collection contracts, the operation, closure or post-closure of landfills, certain remediation contracts, certain environmental permits, and certain business licenses and permits as a financial guarantee of our performance. To date, we have satisfied financial responsibility requirements by making cash or marketable securities deposits or by obtaining bank letters of credit, insurance policies or surety bonds.
As of December 31, 2005, we employed approximately 13,000 full-time employees, approximately 3,200 of whom were covered by collective bargaining agreements. Our management believes that we have good relations with our employees.
We believe that our compensation program effectively aligns our field and corporate management team with the companys overall goal of generating increasing amounts of free cash flow while achieving targeted earnings and returns on invested capital. This is done by utilizing simple and measurable metrics on which incentive pay is based. At the field level, these metrics are based upon free cash flow, earnings and return on invested capital for each managers geographic area of responsibility. Great effort is taken to ensure that these individual goals agree to the overall goals of the company. Incentive compensation at the corporate level is based on the obtainment of our companys overall goals. In addition, certain field and corporate employees also participate in a long-term incentive program. We believe this program aligns our companys short- and long-term goals and helps ensure that the long-term success of our company is not sacrificed for the obtainment of short-term goals.
Our corporate website is http://www.republicservices.com. We make available on this website, free of charge, access to our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A and amendments to those materials filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically submit such material to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Our corporate website also contains our Corporate Governance Guidelines, Code of Ethics and Charters of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, Audit Committee and Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors. In addition, the Commissions website is http://www.sec.gov. The Commission makes available on this website, free of charge, reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers, such as us, that file electronically with the Commission. Information on our website or the Commissions website is not part of this document.
This Annual Report on Form 10-K includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including, in particular, certain statements about our plans, strategies and prospects. Although we believe that our plans, intentions and expectations reflected in or suggested by such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot assure you that such plans, intentions or expectations will be achieved. Important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from our forward-looking statements include those set forth in this Risk Factors section. All forward-looking statements attributable to us or any persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements set forth below. Unless the context requires otherwise, all references to the company, we, us or our include Republic Services, Inc. and its subsidiaries.
If any of the following risks, or other risks not presently known to us or that we currently believe to not be significant, develop into actual events, then our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows or prospects could be materially adversely affected.
We operate in a highly competitive business environment. Some of our competitors have significantly larger operations and may have significantly greater financial resources than we do. In addition, the solid waste industry is constantly changing as a result of consolidation which may create additional competitive pressures in our business environment.
We also compete with municipalities that maintain their own waste collection or disposal operations. These municipalities may have a financial advantage over us as a result of the availability of tax revenue and tax-exempt financing.
We compete for collection accounts primarily on the basis of price and the quality of services. From time to time our competitors may reduce the price of their services in an effort to expand their market share or to win competitively bid municipal contracts.
In each market in which we own or operate a landfill, we compete for solid waste volume on the basis of disposal or tipping fees, geographical location and quality of operations. Our ability to obtain solid waste volume for our landfills may be limited by the fact that some major collection companies also own or operate landfills to which they send their waste. In markets in which we do not own or operate a landfill, our collection operations may operate at a disadvantage to fully integrated competitors.
As a result of these factors, we may have difficulty competing effectively from time to time.
In the past, economic slowdowns have negatively impacted the portion of our collection business servicing the manufacturing sector and the non-residential construction industry. Landfill volumes attributable to manufacturing and construction activity were also impacted. A slowdown in the economy in any of the markets we service could adversely affect volumes, pricing and operating margins in our collection, transfer and disposal operations.
Our operations are dependent upon fuel, which we generally purchase in the open market on a daily basis. Direct fuel costs include the cost of fuel and other petroleum-based products used to operate our fleet of vehicles and heavy equipment. We are also susceptible to increases in indirect fuel costs which include fuel surcharges from vendors, increased construction and excavation costs, and increases in the costs of other petroleum-based products such as synthetic landfill liners. During 2003, 2004 and 2005, we experienced increases in the cost of fuel and other petroleum-based products. A portion of these increases was passed on to our customers. However, because of the competitive nature of the waste industry, there can be no assurance that we will be able to pass on current or future increases in fuel prices to our customers. Due to political instability in oil-producing countries, fuel prices may continue to increase significantly in 2006. A significant increase in fuel costs could adversely affect our business.
Our ability to execute our financial strategy is dependent upon our ability to maintain an investment grade rating on our senior debt. The credit rating process is contingent upon a number of factors, many of which are beyond our control.
Our financial strategy is also dependent upon our ability to generate sufficient cash flow to reinvest in our existing business, fund our internal growth, acquire other solid waste businesses, repurchase shares of our common stock, pay dividends, minimize our borrowings and take other actions to enhance stockholder value. We cannot assure you that we will be successful in executing our broad-based pricing program, that we will generate sufficient cash flow to execute our financial strategy, that we will continue to repurchase our common stock, or that we will be able to pay cash dividends or increase the amount of our dividends.
Our ability to execute our growth strategy depends in part on our ability to identify and acquire desirable acquisition candidates as well as our ability to successfully consolidate acquired operations into our business. The consolidation of our operations with the operations of acquired companies, including the consolidation of systems, procedures, personnel and facilities, the relocation of staff, and the achievement of anticipated cost savings,
economies of scale and other business efficiencies, presents significant challenges to our management, particularly if several acquisitions occur at the same time. In short, we cannot assure you that:
Additional factors may negatively impact our acquisition growth strategy. Our acquisition strategy may require spending significant amounts of capital. If we are unable to obtain additional needed financing on acceptable terms, we may need to reduce the scope of our acquisition growth strategy, which could have a material adverse effect on our growth prospects. The intense competition among our competitors pursuing the same acquisition candidates may increase purchase prices for solid waste businesses and increase our capital requirements and/or prevent us from acquiring certain acquisition candidates. If any of the aforementioned factors force us to alter our growth strategy, our financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects could be adversely affected.
Our growth strategy places significant demands on our financial, operational and management resources. In order to continue our growth, we will need to add administrative and other personnel, and make additional investments in operations and systems. We cannot assure you that we will be able to find and train qualified personnel, or do so on a timely basis, or expand our operations and systems to the extent, and in the time, required.
In pursuing our acquisition strategy, our investigations of the acquisition candidates may fail to discover certain undisclosed liabilities of the acquisition candidates. If we acquire a company having undisclosed liabilities, as a successor owner we may be responsible for such undisclosed liabilities. We typically try to minimize our exposure to such liabilities by obtaining indemnification from each seller of the acquired companies, by deferring payment of a portion of the purchase price as security for the indemnification and by acquiring only specified assets. However, we cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain indemnifications or that they will be enforceable, collectible or sufficient in amount, scope or duration to fully offset any undisclosed liabilities arising from our acquisitions.
Our financial statements are based upon estimates and assumptions that may differ from actual results.
Our financial statements have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles and necessarily include amounts based on estimates and assumptions made by us. Actual results could differ from these amounts. Significant items subject to such estimates and assumptions include the carrying value of long-lived assets, the depletion and amortization of landfill development costs, accruals for final capping, closure and post-closure costs, valuation allowances for accounts receivable, liabilities for potential litigation, claims and assessments, and liabilities for environmental remediation, deferred taxes and self-insurance.
We cannot assure you that our liabilities recorded for landfill and environmental costs will be adequate to cover the requirements of existing environmental regulations, future changes to or interpretations of existing regulations, or the identification of adverse environmental conditions previously unknown to us.
Due to the variable condition of the insurance market, we have experienced, and may continue to experience in the future, increased self-insurance retention levels and increased premiums. As we assume more risk for self-insurance through higher retention levels, we may experience more variability in our self-insurance reserves and expense.
Our future success depends on the continued contributions of several key employees and officers. We do not maintain key man life insurance policies on any of our officers. The loss of the services of key employees and officers, whether such loss is through resignation or other causes, or the inability to attract additional qualified personnel, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.
We may need to spend considerable time, effort and capital to keep our facilities in compliance with federal, state and local requirements regulating health, safety, environment, zoning, land use and transportation. In addition, some of our waste operations that cross state boundaries could be adversely affected if the federal government, or the state or locality in which these waste operations are located, imposes fees on, or otherwise limits or prohibits, the transportation or disposal of solid waste. If environmental laws become more stringent, our environmental capital expenditures and costs for environmental compliance may increase in the future. In addition, due to the possibility of unanticipated events or regulatory developments, the amounts and timing of future environmental expenditures could vary substantially from those we currently anticipate. Because of the nature of our operations, we have in the past, currently are, and may in the future be named as a potentially responsible party in connection with the investigation or remediation of environmental conditions. We cannot assure you that the resolution of any such investigations will not have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. A significant judgment or fine against our company, or our loss of significant permits or licenses, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows or prospects.
Regulatory approval to develop or expand our landfills and transfer stations may be delayed or denied.
Our plans include developing new landfills and transfer stations, as well as expanding the disposal and transfer capacities of certain of our landfills and transfer stations, respectively. Various parties, including citizens groups and local politicians, sometimes challenge these projects. Responding to these challenges has, at times, increased our costs and extended the time associated with establishing new facilities and expanding existing facilities. In addition, failure to receive regulatory and zoning approval may prohibit us from establishing new facilities and expanding existing facilities.
Our operations may be adversely affected by periods of inclement weather which could increase the volume of waste collected under our existing contracts (without corresponding compensation), delay the collection and disposal of waste, reduce the volume of waste delivered to our disposal sites, or delay the construction or expansion of our landfill sites and other facilities.
The Internal Revenue Service is auditing our consolidated tax returns for fiscal years 1998 through 2004. No assurance can be given with respect to the outcome of the audits for these periods or the effect they may have on us, or that our reserves with respect thereto are adequate. A significant assessment against us could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
Our corporate headquarters is located in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in leased premises. As of December 31, 2005, we operated approximately 6,100 collection vehicles. Certain of our property and equipment are subject to leases or liens securing payment of portions of our indebtedness. We also lease certain of our offices and equipment. We believe that our facilities are sufficient for our current needs.
The following table provides certain information regarding the 59 landfills owned or operated by us as of December 31, 2005:
We are and will continue to be involved in various administrative and legal proceedings in the ordinary course of business. We can give you no assurance regarding the outcome of these proceedings or the effect their outcomes may have, or that our insurance coverages or reserves are adequate. A significant judgment against our company, the loss of significant permits or licenses, or the imposition of a significant fine could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations, cash flows or prospects.
No matters were submitted to our stockholders during the fourth quarter of 2005.
Our common stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on July 1, 1998.
The following table sets forth the range of the high and low sales prices of our common stock and the cash dividends declared per share of common stock for the periods indicated:
On February 16, 2006 the last reported sales price of our common stock was $39.21.
There were approximately 87 record holders of our common stock at February 16, 2006, which does not include beneficial owners for whom Cede & Co. or others act as nominees.
In January 2006, our board of directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of $.14 per share for stockholders of record on April 3, 2006. We expect to continue to pay quarterly cash dividends, and our board of directors may consider increasing our quarterly cash dividends if we believe it will enhance stockholder value.
From 2000 through 2005, our board of directors authorized the repurchase of up to $1,525.0 million of our common stock. As of December 31, 2005, we paid $1,308.8 million to repurchase 51.5 million shares of our common stock, of which 16.3 million shares were acquired during 2005 for $558.4 million. As of December 31, 2005, we had $216.2 million remaining under our share repurchase authorization. In January 2006, our board of directors authorized the repurchase of up to an additional $275.0 million of our common stock.
We have the ability under our loan covenants to pay dividends and repurchase our common stock under the condition that we are in compliance with the covenants. As of December 31, 2005, we were in compliance with the financial covenants of our loan agreements.
The information required by Item 201(d) of Regulation S-K is included in Item 12 of Part III of this Form 10-K.
The share purchases reflected in the table above were made pursuant to our $500.0 million repurchase program approved by our board of directors in April 2005. This share repurchase program does not have an expiration date. No share repurchase program approved by our board of directors has ever expired nor do we expect to terminate any program prior to completion. We intend to make additional share purchases under our existing repurchase program up to an aggregate of $216.2 million and under the additional $275.0 million program authorized by our board of directors in January 2006.
The following Selected Financial Data should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and notes thereto as of December 31, 2005 and 2004 and for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2005 and Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The selected statement of income data and the other operating data for 2001 and the selected balance sheet data at December 31, 2001 were derived from our Consolidated Financial Statements, which have been audited by Arthur Andersen LLP, independent certified public accountants. Certain amounts in the historical Consolidated Financial Statements have been reclassified to conform to the 2005 presentation. See Notes 1, 4 and 7 of the Notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements for a discussion of basis of presentation, business combinations and stockholders equity and their effect on comparability of year-to-year data.
You should read the following discussion in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and their Notes contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
We are a leading provider of non-hazardous solid waste collection and disposal services in the United States. We provide solid waste collection services for commercial, industrial, municipal and residential customers through 140 collection companies in 21 states. We also own or operate 92 transfer stations, 59 solid waste landfills and 32 recycling facilities.
We generate revenue primarily from our solid waste collection operations. Our remaining revenue is from other services including landfill disposal, recycling, compost, mulch and soil operations.
The following table reflects our revenue by source for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003 (in millions):
Our revenue from collection operations consists of fees we receive from commercial, industrial, municipal and residential customers. Our residential and commercial collection operations in some markets are based on long-term contracts with municipalities. We generally provide industrial and commercial collection services to individual customers under contracts with terms up to three years. Our revenue from landfill operations is from disposal or tipping fees charged to third parties. In general, we integrate our recycling operations with our collection operations and obtain revenue from the sale of recyclable materials. No one customer has individually accounted for more than 10% of our consolidated revenue or of our reportable segment revenue in any of the last three years.
The cost of our collection operations is primarily variable and includes disposal, labor, self-insurance, fuel and equipment maintenance costs. We seek operating efficiencies by controlling the movement of waste from the point of collection through disposal. During the three months ended December 31, 2005 and 2004, approximately 57% and 54%, respectively, of the total volume of waste we collected was disposed of at landfills we own or operate.
Our landfill costs include daily operating expenses, costs of capital for cell development, costs for final capping, closure and post-closure, and the legal and administrative costs of ongoing environmental compliance. Daily operating expenses include leachate treatment and disposal, methane gas and groundwater monitoring and system maintenance, interim cap maintenance, and costs associated with the application of daily cover materials. We expense all indirect landfill development costs as they are incurred. We use life cycle accounting and the units-of-consumption method to recognize certain direct landfill costs related to cell development. In life cycle accounting, certain direct costs are capitalized, and charged to expense based upon the consumption of cubic yards of available airspace. These costs include all costs to acquire and construct a site including excavation, natural and
synthetic liners, construction of leachate collection systems, installation of methane gas collection and monitoring systems, installation of groundwater monitoring wells, and other costs associated with the acquisition and development of the site. Obligations associated with final capping, closure and post-closure are capitalized, and amortized on a units-of-consumption basis as airspace is consumed.
Cost and airspace estimates are developed at least annually by engineers. These estimates are used by our operating and accounting personnel to adjust our rates used to expense capitalized costs. Changes in these estimates primarily relate to changes in costs, available airspace, inflation and applicable regulations. Changes in available airspace include changes in design and changes due to the addition of airspace lying in expansion areas that we believe have a probable likelihood of being permitted.
Summarized financial information concerning our reportable segments for the respective years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003 is shown in the following table:
Our operations are managed and reviewed through five regions that we designate as our reportable segments. From 2004 to 2005, operating income increased in all of our regions due to the successful execution of our pricing strategy.
The increase in operating income from 2003 to 2004 in total and for each of our regions was partially due to a decrease in self-insurance expense. Operating income increased in our Eastern, Southern and Western Regions due to an overall increase in revenue resulting from the successful execution of our growth strategy. In the Central Region, increased revenue was partially offset by weak economic conditions and an increase in costs related to the long-haul transport of waste by third-party vendors. In the Southwestern Region, revenue growth was impeded by the closure of a landfill and the completion of a special waste contract during 2003. The increase in costs for Corporate Entities from 2003 to 2004 is primarily due to the expansion of our business.
In January 2005, we publicly announced our objectives for the year. These objectives included the following:
During 2005, we exceeded all of our financial objectives.
Our internal growth from core operations for 2005 was 6.1%, with 3.8% from price increases and 2.3% from volume growth. During 2005, our revenue growth from core pricing benefited from a broad-based pricing initiative which we started during the fourth quarter of 2003. We also secured broad-based price increases to offset various escalating capital and operating costs, including fuel. We experienced core volume growth in all lines of our business, including our residential collection business resulting from the addition of several new municipal contracts, and our landfill and transfer station businesses resulting from newly opened sites and new contracts. Our core volume growth was also positively impacted by hurricane clean-up efforts. In addition, our geographic mix of business, which is concentrated in high growth markets, positively impacted our operating results. As a result, during 2005 we were able to exceed the internal growth objectives we established at the beginning of the year.
Our operating margins in 2005 remained consistent with those achieved during 2004. During 2005, significantly higher fuel costs were offset by improved pricing, lower self-insurance expense and continued focus on productivity improvements.
During 2005, we generated free cash flow of $448.9 million (consisting of cash provided by operating activities of $767.5 million, less purchases of property and equipment of $328.7 million, plus proceeds from sales of property and equipment of $10.1 million), which substantially exceeded our objective. Our free cash flow was positively impacted by a $113.4 million federal tax payment that was deferred until February 2006 as a result of an Internal Revenue Service notice issued in response to Hurricane Katrina, and the timing of payments for capital and other expenditures.
During 2005, we used our free cash flow to repurchase 16.3 million shares of our common stock, or approximately 11% of our outstanding shares, for $558.4 million. Also, during the third quarter of 2005, our board of directors increased our quarterly dividend to $.14 per share.
During 2005, we generated diluted earnings per share of $1.75 which significantly exceeded our objective.
Our financial objectives for 2006 assume no deterioration or improvement in the overall economy from that experienced during the fourth quarter of 2005. Specific guidance is as follows:
Our business initiatives for 2006 are generally a continuation of those initiated in prior years and are dependent on further standardizing our business processes and improving our systems. Ensuring that our people understand our initiatives and processes and are trained on our systems is essential to the overall success of our initiatives. Our business initiatives for 2006 are as follows:
We currently monitor our return on investment by marketplace and have instituted a return on investment pricing model. This model will eventually allow us to track our return on investment by customer.
During 2001, we also implemented a customer relationship management system. This system improves the productivity of our sales force by helping to establish marketing priorities and track sales leads. It also tracks renewal periods for potential commercial, industrial and franchise contracts. During 2006, we will continue to ensure our sales force is properly trained on this system and is using it as intended.
One of our most significant systems is our enterprise-wide general ledger package. We successfully converted all of our locations to Lawson general ledger software in 2002 and in 2003 successfully converted all of our locations to Lawson fixed asset software.
All of the system initiatives mentioned above will provide us with more consistent and detailed information, thus allowing us to make quicker and more informed business decisions. In addition, during 2001, all of our significant software applications were standardized and centralized at our data center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This standardization and centralization provides us with consolidated information concerning our
operations across a variety of operational and financial disciplines. It also significantly enhances our ability to execute our disaster recovery plan.
During 2006 we will begin to develop an enterprise-wide human resource information system. This system will provide a number of direct benefits including a reduction in payroll processing and compliance costs and integration into our general ledger software. It will also provide a number of indirect benefits including better information concerning labor and related costs and better control over employee-related initiatives such as training. We expect to implement this new system in 2007.
Critical Accounting Policies and Disclosures
Our Consolidated Financial Statements have been prepared using accounting principles generally accepted in the United States and necessarily include certain estimates and judgments made by management. The following is a list of accounting policies that we believe are the most critical in understanding our companys financial position, results of operations and cash flows, and may require management to make subjective or complex judgments about matters that are inherently uncertain:
We make decisions to acquire or invest in businesses based on financial and strategic considerations. Businesses acquired are accounted for under the purchase method of accounting and are included in our Consolidated Financial Statements from the date of acquisition.
We acquired various solid waste businesses during the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003. The aggregate purchase prices we paid for these transactions was $26.7 million, $47.4 million and $51.5 million, respectively. In addition, during 2005, we entered into a $53.9 million capital lease related to a landfill.
We divested of our operations in western New York during the three months ended March 31, 2005 and received proceeds of $29.1 million. A gain of $3.3 million was recorded on the divestiture. In addition, during the three months ended December 31, 2005, we sold our environmental remediation company and received proceeds of $1.2 million. A loss of $2.0 million was recorded on the divestiture.
Cost in excess of fair value of net assets acquired (goodwill) for 2005 acquisitions totaled $16.6 million. As of December 31, 2005 we had goodwill, net of accumulated amortization, of $1,563.8 million.
During 2005, $57.9 million of the total purchase price paid for acquisitions (including debt acquired) and contingent payments to former owners was allocated to landfill airspace. As of December 31, 2005, we had $800.7 million of landfill development costs, net of accumulated depletion and amortization, which includes purchase price allocated to landfill airspace as well as other capitalized landfill costs. When a landfill is acquired as part of a group of assets, purchase price is allocated to airspace based upon the discounted expected future cash flows of the landfill relative to the other assets within the acquired group and is adjusted for other landfill assets and liabilities acquired (which are primarily for final capping, closure and post-closure obligations). Landfill purchase
price is amortized using the units-of-consumption method over total available airspace, which includes probable expansion airspace where appropriate.
Goodwill for 2004 acquisitions totaled approximately $13.2 million. As of December 31, 2004, we had goodwill, net of accumulated amortization, of $1,562.7 million. $28.2 million of the total purchase price paid for acquisitions and contingent payments to former owners was allocated to landfill airspace.
Goodwill for 2003 acquisitions totaled approximately $21.2 million. As of December 31, 2003, we had goodwill, net of accumulated amortization, of $1,558.1 million. $27.7 million of the total purchase price paid for acquisitions and contingent payments to former owners was allocated to landfill airspace.
Consolidated Results of Operations
Years Ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003
Our income before cumulative effect of changes in accounting principles was $253.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2005, as compared to $237.9 million in 2004 and $215.4 million in 2003. Net income was $253.7 million for year ended December 31, 2005, or $1.75 per diluted share, as compared to $237.9 million, or $1.53 per diluted share, in 2004 and $177.6 million, or $1.10 per diluted share, in 2003. Net income for the year ended December 31, 2003 includes an after-tax expense of $37.8 million (net of an income tax benefit of $23.1 million), or $.23 per share, as a cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle resulting from the adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 143, Accounting for Asset Retirement Obligations, and a change in accounting principle for our methane gas collection systems. See Note 1, Basis of Presentation, of the Notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion of these changes in accounting principles.
The following table summarizes our costs and expenses in millions of dollars and as a percentage of our revenue for 2005, 2004 and 2003:
Revenue. Revenue was $2,863.9 million, $2,708.1 million and $2,517.8 million for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively. Revenue increased by $155.8 million, or 5.8%, from 2004 to 2005. Revenue increased by $190.3 million, or 7.6%, from 2003 to 2004. The following table reflects the components of our revenue growth for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003:
Cost of Operations. Cost of operations was $1,803.9 million, $1,714.4 million and $1,605.4 million, or, as a percentage of revenue, 63.0%, 63.3% and 63.8%, for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively.
The increase in aggregate dollars in all periods presented is primarily a result of the expansion of our operations through internal growth.
The following table summarizes the major components of our cost of operations for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003 in millions of dollars and as a percentage of our revenue:
A description of our cost categories is as follows:
The cost categories shown above may change from time to time and may not be comparable to similarly titled categories used by other companies. As such, care should be taken when comparing our cost of operations by cost component to those of other companies.
Depreciation, Amortization and Depletion of Property and Equipment. Depreciation, amortization and depletion expenses for property and equipment were $271.7 million, $252.4 million and $233.8 million, or, as a percentage of revenue, 9.5%, 9.3% and 9.3%, for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively. The increase in aggregate dollars for the periods presented is primarily due to the expansion of our operations through internal growth and acquisitions. The increase in such expenses as a percentage of revenue during the year ended December 31, 2005 versus the comparable 2004 period is due to an increase in depreciation expense associated with vehicles and equipment acquired in 2005.
Amortization of Intangible Assets. Intangible assets consist primarily of costs in excess of fair value of net assets acquired (goodwill), but also includes values assigned to long-term contracts, covenants not to compete and customer relationships. Expenses for amortization of intangible assets were $7.1 million, $7.0 million and $5.3 million, or, as a percentage of revenue, .2%, .3% and .2%, for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively. The increase in such expenses in aggregate dollars and as a percentage of revenue from 2003 to 2004 is primarily due to amortization expense on amounts that were recorded in other intangible assets during the three months ended September 30, 2004 resulting from an extensive internal review of all recent acquisitions. The
increase in amortization of intangible assets in aggregate dollars is also due to the amortization of intangible assets associated with businesses acquired during 2004.
Accretion Expense. Accretion expense was $14.5 million, $13.7 million and $12.7 million, or, as a percentage of revenue, .5% for each of the years ended December 31, 2003, 2004 and 2005. The increase in such expenses in aggregate dollars in 2005 and 2004 is primarily due to expansion of our landfill operations.
Selling, General and Administrative Expenses. Selling, general and administrative expenses were $289.5 million, $268.3 million and $247.9 million, or, as a percentage of revenue, 10.1%, 9.9% and 9.8%, for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively. The increases in aggregate dollars are primarily a result of the expansion of our business. The increase in such expenses as a percentage of revenue during the year ended December 31, 2005 versus the comparable 2004 period is primarily due to approximately $3.0 million of costs incurred during the first quarter of 2005 associated with the exchange of unsecured notes. It is also due to a $2.1 million non-cash charge incurred during the fourth quarter of 2005 related to the acceleration of the vesting of all outstanding stock options previously awarded to employees. The increase in such expenses as a percentage of revenue from 2003 to 2004 is primarily due to higher compensation costs.
We believe that selling, general and administrative expenses in the range of 10% of revenue are appropriate for 2006 given our business platform.
Operating Income. Operating income was $477.2 million, $452.3 million and $412.7 million, or, as a percentage of revenue, 16.7%, 16.7% and 16.4%, for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively.
Interest Expense. We incurred interest expense primarily on our unsecured notes and tax-exempt bonds. Interest expense was $81.0 million, $76.7 million and $78.0 million for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively. The increase in interest expense from 2004 to 2005 is primarily due to an increase in interest rates on our floating-rate debt, an increase in debt balances, and fees associated with the refinancing of our revolving credit facility in 2005. In May 2004, $225.0 million of our public notes matured and were repaid resulting in a reduction in interest expense, which was partially offset by increases in interest expense resulting from additional tax-exempt financing obtained during 2004.
Capitalized interest was $2.0 million, $2.1 million and $3.3 million for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively.
Interest Income and Other Income (Expense), Net. Interest income and other income, net of other expense, was $13.0 million, $8.1 million and $12.7 million for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively. The variances during the periods are primarily due to fluctuations in cash, restricted cash and marketable securities balances and net gains on the disposition of assets during 2003. The increase in aggregate dollars during the year ended December 31, 2005 versus the comparable period last year is primarily due to an increase in interest income on cash and restricted cash balances resulting from higher interest rates. In May 2004, we used a portion of our outstanding cash and restricted cash and marketable securities balances to repay $225.0 million of public notes.
Income Taxes. Our provision for income taxes was $155.5 million, $145.8 million and $132.0 million for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively. Our effective income tax rate was 38.0% for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003.
Cumulative Effect of Changes in Accounting Principles. During the first quarter of 2003, we adopted SFAS 143. SFAS 143 required us to change the methodology we used to record final capping, closure and post-closure costs related to our landfills. As of January 1, 2003, we recorded an after-tax expense of $20.8 million, or $33.6 million on a pre-tax basis, as a cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle resulting from the adoption of SFAS 143. In addition, we also recorded an after-tax expense of $17.0 million, or $27.4 million on a pre-tax basis, as a cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle for our methane gas collection systems. This change in accounting principle for methane gas collection systems was prompted by a thorough evaluation of our landfill accounting policy in connection with the adoption of SFAS 143 and is consistent with the methodology used by other participants in the waste industry.
Landfill and Environmental Matters
The following tables reflect landfill airspace activity for landfills owned or operated by us for the years ended December 31, 2003, 2004 and 2005:
Changes in engineering estimates typically include minor modifications to the available disposal capacity of a landfill based on a refinement of the capacity calculations resulting from updated information. Changes in design typically include significant modifications to a landfills footprint or vertical slopes.
At December 31, 2002, 20.7% of our total available airspace, or 353.3 million cubic yards, consists of probable expansion airspace at twenty of our landfills. At December 31, 2005, 10.1% of our total available airspace, or 177.7 million cubic yards, consists of probable expansion airspace at nine of our landfills. This decrease in probable expansion airspace demonstrates our continued success in obtaining permits for expansion airspace.
During 2003, total available airspace increased by 56.1 million cubic yards due to new expansions undertaken, two landfills that were acquired during the year, and changes in design partially offset by airspace consumption and changes in engineering estimates. During 2004, total available airspace decreased by 15.5 million cubic yards primarily due to airspace consumption partially offset by the acquisition of a landfill. During 2005, total available
airspace increased by 3.6 million cubic yards primarily due to new expansions undertaken, the acquisition of a landfill, permits granted and changes in engineering estimates partially offset by airspace consumed.
As of December 31, 2005, we owned or operated 59 solid waste landfills with total available disposal capacity estimated to be 1.8 billion in-place cubic yards. Total available disposal capacity represents the sum of estimated permitted airspace plus an estimate of probable expansion airspace. These estimates are developed at least annually by engineers utilizing information provided by annual aerial surveys. As of December 31, 2005, total available disposal capacity is estimated to be 1.6 billion in-place cubic yards of permitted airspace plus .2 billion in-place cubic yards of probable expansion airspace. Before airspace included in an expansion area is determined to be probable expansion airspace and, therefore, included in our calculation of total available disposal capacity, it must meet our expansion criteria. See Note 3, Accrued Landfill and Environmental Costs, of the Notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements for further information.
As of December 31, 2005, nine of our landfills meet the criteria for including probable expansion airspace in their total available disposal capacity. At projected annual volumes, these nine landfills have an estimated remaining average site life of 34 years, including probable expansion airspace. The average estimated remaining life of all of our landfills is 30 years.
The following table reflects the estimated operating lives of our active landfill sites based on available disposal capacity using current annual volumes as of December 31, 2005:
Sites with expansion airspace includes one landfill with less than five years of remaining permitted airspace.
As of January 1, 2003, we adopted Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 143, Accounting for Asset Retirement Obligations. This statement required us to change the methodology we used to record final capping, closure and post-closure costs. See Note 3, Accrued Landfill and Environmental Costs, of the Notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements for further information.
As of December 31, 2005, accrued final capping, closure and post-closure costs were $239.5 million. The current portion of these costs of $27.0 million is reflected in our Consolidated Balance Sheets in other current liabilities. The long-term portion of these costs of $212.5 million is reflected in our Consolidated Balance Sheets in accrued landfill and environmental costs.
Investment in Landfills
The following tables reflect changes in our investment in landfills for the years ended December 31, 2003, 2004 and 2005 and the future expected investment as of December 31, 2005 (in millions):
The following table reflects our net investment in our landfills, excluding non-depletable land, and our depletion, amortization and accretion expense for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004, and 2003:
During the twelve months ended December 31, 2005 and 2004, our weighted average compaction rate was approximately 1,500 pounds per cubic yard.
As of December 31, 2005, we expect to spend an estimated additional $1,494.8 million on existing landfills, primarily related to cell construction and environmental structures, over their expected remaining lives. Our total expected investment, excluding non-depletable land, estimated to be $2.4 billion, or $1.34 per cubic yard, is used in determining our depletion and amortization expense based upon airspace consumed using the units-of-consumption method.
We accrue costs related to environmental remediation activities through a charge to income in the period such liabilities become probable and can be reasonably estimated. We accrue costs related to environmental remediation activities associated with properties acquired through business combinations as a charge to cost in excess of fair value of net assets acquired or landfill purchase price allocated to airspace, as appropriate. No material amounts were charged to expense during the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003.
At December 31, 2005 we had $131.8 million of cash and cash equivalents. We also had $255.3 million of restricted cash deposits, including $144.9 million of restricted cash held for capital expenditures under certain debt facilities and $25.3 million pledged to various regulatory agencies and governmental entities as financial guarantees of our performance related to final capping, closure and post-closure obligations at our landfills.
In June 2005, we entered into a new $750.0 million unsecured revolving credit facility with a group of banks which expires in 2010. This facility replaced our prior facilities which aggregated $750.0 million. Borrowings under the credit facility bear interest at LIBOR-based rates. We use our operating cash flow and proceeds from our credit facilities to finance our working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, share repurchases, dividends and other requirements. At December 31, 2005, letters of credit outstanding totaling $391.2 million were secured by our revolving credit facility. As a result, as of December 31, 2005 we had $358.8 million available under our credit facility.
In May 1999, we sold $600.0 million of unsecured notes in the public market. $225.0 million of these notes bore interest at 6.625% per annum and matured in May 2004. The remaining $375.0 million bear interest at 7.125% per annum and mature in 2009. Interest on these notes is payable semi-annually in May and November. The $225.0 million and $375.0 million in notes were offered at a discount of $1.0 million and $.5 million, respectively. In March 2005, we exchanged $275.7 million of our outstanding 7.125% notes due 2009 for new notes due 2035. The new notes bear interest at 6.086%. We paid a premium of $27.6 million related to the exchange. This premium will be amortized over the life of the new notes using the effective yield method.
In August 2001, we sold $450.0 million of unsecured notes in the public market. The notes bear interest at 6.75% and mature in 2011. Interest on these notes is payable semi-annually in February and August. The notes were offered at a discount of $2.6 million. Proceeds from the notes were used to repay our revolving credit facility.
In March 2005, we entered into a $53.9 million capital lease related to a landfill.
In order to manage risk associated with fluctuations in interest rates and to take advantage of favorable floating interest rates, we have entered into interest rate swap agreements with investment grade-rated financial institutions. The swap agreements have total notional values of $225.0 million and $210.0 million, respectively, and require our company to pay interest at floating rates based upon changes in LIBOR and receive interest at fixed rates of 6.625% and 6.75%, respectively. Swap agreements with a notional value of $225.0 million matured in May 2004, and agreements with a notional value of $210.0 million mature in August 2011.
At December 31, 2005, we had $645.4 million of tax-exempt bonds and other tax-exempt financings outstanding of which approximately $119.5 million were obtained during fiscal 2005. Borrowings under these bonds and other financings bear interest based on fixed or floating interest rates at the prevailing market ranging from 3.25% to 5.63% at December 31, 2005 and have maturities ranging from 2006 to 2037. As of December 31, 2005, we had $144.9 million of restricted cash related to proceeds from tax-exempt bonds and other tax-exempt financings. This restricted cash will be used to fund capital expenditures under the terms of the agreements.
We believe that our excess cash, cash from operating activities and proceeds from our revolving credit facility provide us with sufficient financial resources to meet our anticipated capital requirements and obligations as they come due. We believe that we will be able to raise additional debt or equity financing, if necessary.
Selected Balance Sheet Accounts
The following tables reflect the activity in our allowance for doubtful accounts, final capping, closure, post-closure and remediation liabilities and accrued self-insurance during the years ended December 31, 2003, 2004 and 2005 (in millions):
Our expense related to doubtful accounts as a percentage of revenue for 2003, 2004 and 2005 was .4%, .3% and .2%, respectively. As of December 31, 2005, accounts receivable were $280.0 million, net of allowance for doubtful accounts of $17.3 million, resulting in days sales outstanding of 34 or 22 days net of deferred revenue. In addition, at December 31, 2005, our accounts receivable in excess of 90 days old totaled $16.8 million, or 5.7% of gross receivables outstanding.
Our expense for self-insurance as a percentage of revenue for 2003, 2004 and 2005 was 7.5%, 6.1% and 5.6%, respectively. The increase in self-insurance expense during 2003 relative to 2004 and 2005 related to existing claims and was attributable to the expansion of our operations and various changes in estimates as a result of continued negative trends through our 2003 policy year, based on actuarial claims experience, expected claims development and medical cost inflation. We believe that during 2006, our self-insurance expense will be in the range of 5.5% of revenue.
The following tables reflect the activity in our property and equipment accounts for the years ended December 31, 2003, 2004 and 2005 (in millions):