Covanta: Waste and Treasure

06/13/2019 5:00 am EST


Jimmy Mengel

Editor, Outsider Club

There is perhaps no better bet than waste management for reliable income. Every time you put your trash cans outside, someone is making money. Why not join them? suggests Jimmy Mengel, growth and income expert and editor of The Crow's Nest.

Many waste mangement companies have a solid business model, a high rate of return and a substantial dividend for investors. Covanta Holding Corporation (CVA) is one of them — and has the best dividend of all of the major trash companies.

It is a large global corporation providing a variety of waste-management and incineration services. Annually, its Energy-from-Waste (EFW) facilities, also known as waste-to-energy plants, burn some 20 million tons of waste from municipalities and businesses, while also generating sufficient electricity to power one million homes.

Covanta recycles approximately 500,000 tons of metal each year. Through a large network of treatment and recycling facilities, the firm also provides industrial material management services to companies in various industries.

Covanta generates a significant portion of its revenue from waste collection and recycling. What separates them from other companies like Waste Management (WM) or Republic Services (RSG) is how they process the waste.

Rather than just dumping into a landfill, they burn it in waste-to-energy facilities to generate electric power. They are then able to sell that power to the grid, which gives them a steady income stream on top of their trash removal business.

Covanta has also taken its approach global. They currently have a new energy-from-waste facility under construction in Ireland and plans to expand it even further in the U.K.

The new facility, coupled with some internal efforts to improve recovery rates of metals and other recyclable materials in the waste stream, should generate 3%-5% annual growth in EBITDA. While that doesn’t seem huge, for the waste business, it’s quite good. And this play is a slow and steady dividend stock.

What makes Covanta stand out amongst it’s peers — besides the energy angle — is its dividend payout. Shares of Covanta have an massive yield of ~6%.

Covanta is an opportunity for investors to generate a high yield from a conventionally low-growth industry. Also, if the company pulls off there international growth plan we could benefit from a decent share price gain while we’re pulling in 6% in dividends.

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