Article from Waste & Recycling News
REFUSENICK by John Campanelli
Bill Gates' Cascade Investment LLC now owns more than 24% of Republic Services outstanding stock.Wikimedia Commons Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment LLC now owns more than 24% of Republic Services outstanding stock.

One of Republic Services Inc.’s biggest fans is also one of the world’s richest men.

We’ve reported on Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment LLC buying up shares of RSG stock before. It’s been a pattern for years.

Over the past week, Gates (through his Cascade investment arm) has purchased more than 2.7 million more shares and now owns 89.6 million shares of the Phoenix-based trash company. Those shares represent more than 24% of the company’s outstanding stock and they are worth about $2.45 billion.

What’s the Microsoft co-founder’s attraction to Republic? What’s his end game? What does he see?

I’ll leave that to the financial experts. All I know is that they better be running Windows on all of Republic’s computers.


Republic Services Inc. saw profit increase for both the fourth quarter and the entire year in 2011.

The Phoenix-based solid waste management company earned $589.2 million, or $1.56 per diluted share, on revenue of $8.19 billion, in 2011. That compares with net income of $506.5 million, or $1.32 per share, on revenue of $8.11 billion in 2010.

Net income for the fourth quarter was $191 million, or 51 cents per diluted share, on revenue of $2.025 billion. That compares with earnings of $147.6 million, or 38 cents per diluted share, on revenue of $2.021 billion for the last quarter of 2010.

“Our strong operational focus allowed the company to achieve a record level of free cash flow. We continue to have a disciplined approach in the utilization of cash flow, which includes re-investing in our business, acquisitions and returning cash through share repurchases and dividends. During 2011, Republic returned approximately $770 million to its owners through repurchases and dividends, CEO Donald W. Slager said in a statement.

Republic beat analysts’ earnings estimates for the quarter. Analysts estimated Republic’s fourth quarter earnings per share at 45 cents before one-time items, according to Yahoo Finance.

Republic Services shares were trading at $30.02 per share, down 7 cents, in early trading this morning.