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The Associated Press July 20, 2011, 6:52PM ET

Covanta tops estimates with improved 2Q results

Renewable energy company Covanta Holding Corp. posted an $18 million second-quarter profit on Wednesday, topping Wall Street's expectations amid what it said is an improving market.

Net earnings for the three months ended June 30 amounted to 13 cents per share and were down from $28 million, or 17 cents per share, in the second quarter a year ago.

Excluding discontinued operations, however, the operator of facilities that turn waste into electricity said net income of $17 million from continuing operations was up $1 million from a year ago. It put adjusted earnings per share at 14 cents per share, up from 11 cents in the same period of 2010, on revenue of $411 million, up from $393 million. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated earnings of 9 cents per share on revenue of $393 million.

CEO Anthony Orlando said construction activities are on track and the company benefited from an improved operating environment, which includes strong recycled metals prices, firming waste markets and energy prices that are holding steady in the face of ample natural gas supply.

Shares in the company declined 12 cents to $16.80 in after-hours trading following the release of the quarterly results. During the regular session, the stock advanced 14 cents to close at $16.92.

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