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Covanta: Innovators in Waste Energy

by Alan Daniel
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Covanta Holding (CVA): An Innovator in Energy From Waste

I just recently stumbled on Covanta Holding and I’m glad I did.


I’m a big fan of innovative companies and from what I understand, Covanta fits the bill.


We’ve all heard that we’re in a trash crisis by several experts on various platforms such as TED talks and different institutes. The trash problem is only going to become worse over time and Covanta proposes a novel solution.

The firm is in the waste management business and it turns trash into energy.

That’s right, real energy that you can use to watch movies on the Roku channel and power your home.

Oh, and the firm also pays a yearly dividend, too.

It’s hard to say no to an innovative company that gives out dividends.

Let’s find out more about the corporation and how it helps to resolve the growing trash problem.

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The Covanta Trash to Energy Process

You’ve seen Wall-E, trash is a problem and Covanta has an interesting way of helping to mitigate this issue.

They prioritize waste to energy.

According to Covanta, the corporation mitigates this concern with a simple process:

  • Source post recycled waste and start the process at the energy from waste facility.
  • The corporation weighs the material and moves to the next part of the process.
  • They input materials and start the combustion process.
  • The heat generated creates super heated steam that may be used for heating or cooling purposes or supplied to the turbine generator that creates electricity which goes out to the local grid.
  • They also recover a substantial number of ferrous and non ferrous material for recycling.

The firm states that it turns tons of waste into renewable energy that can power a million homes.

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Covanta Financials

Revenue is going up year on year for Covanta.

Net income was 57M in 2017 and 152M in 2018.

They noted in their most recent earnings call that they’ve been “generating $125 million of adjusted EBITDA and $22 million of free cash flow.”

But investors might want to look at the debt position of Covanta. If the company can continue to increase earnings and trim down the debt position while expanding, it’d be an exciting portfolio selection.

The Covanta stock has been on a roller coaster ride as of late. Covanta hit a high of around $30.00 in 2008 before declining to a low $13.10 in 2016.

Long Term Trends

Potential China Growth

The firm recently announced expansion in China with an agreement to build a energy from waste processing facility in the region.

Sustainable Energy Shift

We can see that there is a shift toward sustainable energy. The firm is helping to solve a critical problem in the United States and emerging nations like China.

Medical Waste

The firm is looking at other opportunities in the waste sector to see how they can increase their revenues, one of these options, is regulated medical waste. Medical waste revenue was a key contributor in segment growth.

Remember to take a look at Covanta.

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