UPDATE 2-Clean Harbors Q4 profit beats Street; shares up
* Q4 profit beats Street * CFO: Co. will stop giving quarterly outlook from now on
* Lowers 2009 rev view, has cut workforce by 5 pct * CEO: Looking at more acquisitions in 2009
* Shares up 6 pct (Recasts; adds details from conference call, analyst comment from research note, share movement) Feb 25 (Reuters) - Clean Harbors Inc's (CLH.N: Cotización) quarterly profit beat expectations, but the waste-management company lowered its 2009 revenue forecast and said it would suspend its practice of providing quarterly outlook.
"Instead, we will continue to confirm or update our annual guidance each quarter, and provide some color and context on the upcoming quarter," Chief Financial Officer James Rutledge said during a conference call with analysts.
Norwell, Massachusetts-based Clean Harbors expects its 2009 revenue to be hurt by the weakened Canadian dollar and reduced fuel surcharge, Rutledge added.
The company expects 2009 revenue to grow 3 percent to 4 percent, compared with its prior forecast of a 5 percent to 7 percent growth. It posted 2008 revenue of $1.03 billion.
"We are anticipating a slow start to the year," Chief Executive Alan McKim said in a statement.
Clean Harbors reported an 8 percent jump in fourth-quarter net income to $17.9 million, or 75 cents a share. However, revenue fell marginally to $249.8 million.
Revenue was hurt by lower pricing for resale of recycled oil, copper and other metals, a mid-quarter shutdown at the company's El Dorado incinerator, and customers' reduced spending over the holidays, Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Al Kaschalk said in a note to clients.
Clean Harbors, which has been hit by project delays and a slowdown in business volumes due to the recession, said it reduced 250 general and administrative, and facility positions over the past several months, but added 100 sales positions.
"Our current headcount today is approximately 4,700 employees," Chief Executive Alan McKim said during the call.
Shares of the company rose 6 percent to a high of $51.97, but later shed some of their gains to trade up $1.91 at $50.90 midday on the New York Stock Exchange.
Clean Harbors, which collects, treats and disposes hazardous and non-hazardous wastes, said it was looking at potential acquisitions to help its Technical and Site Services businesses.
"Based on our strong cash position and the current condition of the credit markets, we believe there will be plenty of good opportunities available to us in 2009," CEO McKim said on the conference call.
Recently, the company acquired privately held EnviroSORT Inc, which provides specialized container management, vacuum, waste management and recycling services in several Western Canadian provinces.
"EnviroSORT is an ideal tuck-in acquisition that should overlay perfectly with our existing framework in Western Canada," CEO McKim said. He expects the deal to add to 2009 earnings.
The company sees 2009 capital expenses of $55 million to $60 million, which is relatively flat when compared to the $57.7 million it spent in 2008.
For the alerts, double-click [ID:nWNAB6668] [ID:nWNAB6829] (Reporting by Shradhha Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Pratish Narayanan, Himani Sarkar)
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