From 2007 through 2012, Waste Management did not grow its profits per share. It earned $2.07 per share in 2007, and $2.08 in 2012. What gives?
The answer is that the fees associated associated with disposing of trash in a landfill and having it collected from residential and commercial settings is generally stagnant during poor and ordinary economic conditions, and the hope is that fee increases during the boom years can offset the years of stagnation otherwise.
For the past half-century, that hasn’t been a smart bet. From 1962 through 2012, the average cost of trash collection in the United States rose at a rate of 1.7% annualized. Inflation over that time was 3.3%. When you study a trash collection company, therefore, you should correctly recognize the incredible strength of the recurring revenue stream that arises from the fact that everyone has to pay their trash bill, but you should … Read the rest of this article!