Covanta Initiates Regular Quarterly Dividend; Increases Share Repurchase Authorization

Quarterly Dividend Set at $0.075 per Share

Mar 14, 2011, 16:01 ET from Covanta Holding Corporation

MORRISTOWN, N.J., March 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Covanta Holding Corporation (NYSE: CVA) ("Covanta" or the "Company") today announced that its Board of Directors has approved the initiation of a regular quarterly dividend of $0.075 per share.  On an annualized basis, that would represent a dividend of $0.30 per share, or approximately 15% of our estimated 2011 Free Cash Flow, based on the mid-point of our guidance range.  The initial payment will be made on April 12, 2011 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on March 30, 2011.  "Today's announcement reflects our continued commitment to actively returning capital now, while simultaneously continuing to pursue our very promising Energy-from-Waste development pipeline," said Anthony Orlando, Covanta's President and CEO.

The Company also announced that its Board of Directors has authorized an additional $50 million in share repurchases, bringing the total authorized amount to $200 million.  As of the end of 2010, the Company had repurchased 6.1 million shares at a cost of $95 million.  "The combination of a regular dividend, which represents a predictable and meaningful method of returning capital, along with continued opportunistic share repurchases, provides us with the necessary flexibility to pursue value-enhancing growth opportunities.  We are pleased that our strong cash flow generation and balance sheet facilitate this multi-pronged approach to enhancing shareholder value," added Sanjiv Khattri, Covanta's Executive Vice President and CFO.

In announcing the dividend, the Company also affirmed its financial guidance for 2011 first announced on February 9, 2011.  The Company expects to fund the regular quarterly dividend and share repurchases during 2011 using cash on hand and cash generated from the business.  The repurchases may employ a variety of methods including open market purchases, privately negotiated transactions, block trades or otherwise, or any combination of methods.  The amount and timing of any repurchases will be determined based on an evaluation of a variety of factors at the time of any repurchases.  The share buyback authorization does not obligate the Company to acquire any specific number of shares in any period, and may be modified, suspended or discontinued at any time without notice to shareholders.

Conference Call Information

Covanta's Executive Vice President and CFO, Sanjiv Khattri, will host a conference call at 1:00 pm (Eastern) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 to discuss this announcement and answer related questions.  To participate, please dial 866-730-5771 approximately 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the call or, if calling from outside of the United States, dial 857-350-1595.  Please utilize pass code 96558855 when prompted by the conference call operator.  The conference call will also be web cast live on the Investor Relations section of the Covanta website at www.covantaholding.com.

A replay of the conference call will be available from 4:00 pm (Eastern) March 15, 2011.  To access the replay, please dial 888-286-8010, or from outside of the United States 617-801-6888 and use the replay pass code: 41062396.  The webcast will also be archived on www.covantaenergy.com and can be played or downloaded as an MP3 file.

About Covanta

Covanta is an internationally recognized owner and operator of large-scale Energy-from-Waste and renewable energy projects and a recipient of the Energy Innovator Award from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.  Covanta's 44 Energy-from-Waste facilities provide communities with an environmentally sound solution to their solid waste disposal needs by using that municipal solid waste to generate clean, renewable energy.  Annually, Covanta's modern Energy-from-Waste facilities safely and securely convert approximately 20 million tons of waste into 9 million megawatt hours of clean renewable electricity and more than 9 billion pounds of steam that are sold to a variety of industries.  For more information, visit www.covantaenergy.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking" statements as defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 (the "Securities Act"), Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act"), the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "PSLRA") or in releases made by the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), all as may be amended from time to time.  Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Covanta and its subsidiaries, or general industry or broader economic performance in global markets in which Covanta operates or competes, to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  Statements that are not historical fact are forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements can be identified by, among other things, the use of forward-looking language, such as the words "plan," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "estimate," "project," "may," "will," "would," "could," "should," "seeks," or "scheduled to," or other similar words, or the negative of these terms or other variations of these terms or comparable language, or by discussion of strategy or intentions.  These cautionary statements are being made pursuant to the Securities Act, the Exchange Act and the PSLRA with the intention of obtaining the benefits of the "safe harbor" provisions of such laws.  Covanta cautions investors that any forward-looking statements made by Covanta are not guarantees or indicative of future performance.  Important assumptions and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those forward-looking statements with respect to Covanta, include, but are not limited to, the risk that Covanta may not successfully close its announced or planned acquisitions or projects in development and those factors, risks and uncertainties that are described in periodic securities filings by Covanta with the SEC.  Although Covanta believes that its plans, intentions and expectations reflected in or suggested by such forward-looking statements are reasonable, actual results could differ materially from a projection or assumption in any forward-looking statements.  Covanta's future financial condition and results of operations, as well as any forward-looking statements, are subject to change and inherent risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made only as of the date hereof and Covanta does not have or undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, subsequent events or otherwise, unless otherwise required by law.

SOURCE Covanta Holding Corporation



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