Additional earnings from the cleanup of debris left by four Florida hurricanes helped raise third-quarter earnings at Waste Management Inc. by 44 percent, the company has reported.
Net income rose to $302 million, or 52 cents per share, from $210 million, or 35 cents per share in the third quarter of 2003.
The waste hauling and recycling firm also said it would raise its dividend by 6 percent.
The announcements sent its shares up $1.27, or more than 4.6 percent, to $28.61 in trading on Thursday.
Excluding a $71 million (12 cents per share) benefit from settlement of tax audits, income amounted to 40 cents per share.
Revenue at Houston-based Waste Management (WMI) rose 9 percent to $3.27 billion, from $2.99 billion in the year-ago period.
“Our revenue growth due to higher volumes reflected the continuation of a strong economy and included increased volumes from the four hurricanes,” David P. Steiner, chief executive, said in a statement. The company said hurricane cleanup added $59 million in revenue.
WMI repurchased $240 million of stock in the quarter and expects to repurchase $425 to $500 million for the year. The waste hauler also said Thursday that its board approved an increase in dividend payments to 80 cents per share per year, a 5 cent per share increase over 2004 payments.