Waste Management Profit Rises 24% Despite Revenue Decline

Trash hauler Waste Managementsaid its quarterly profit rose on lower costs and improved pricing, beating the company's and analysts' expectations and sending shares higher .

Waste Management reported net income of $222 million, or 43 cents a share, for the first quarter, up 24% from net income of $186 million, or 34 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue dipped to $3.19 billion, compared to $3.23 billion in the year-ago period.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial predicted earnings of 36 cents a share on revenue of $3.16 billion.

"Pricing and margins drove the out-performance," wrote JP Morgan analyst Scott Levine in a note to clients.

Landfill pricing improved year over year, and collection pricing looked strong as well, with commercial collection pricing reaching a recent high, Levine said.

Operating profit for the first-quarter was 43 cents a share, which excluded a one cent restructuring charge.

Thanks to the strong first-quarter performance, the company said it expects full-year earnings per share between $2.03 and $2.07 a share. That compares to the latest analysts expectations of $1.97 per share.