Journal Record Staff Reporter A small firm called U.S. Pollution
Control Inc. had the use of only one or two trucks back in 1968,
when it was started as a subsidiary of what was then Beard Oil Co.
of Oklahoma City.
It grew slowly at first, then by leaps and bounds as a waste
disposal firm meeting demands that stemmed from the growing
influence of the U.S. Environmental Control Agency. Waste disposal
sites were acquired in northwest Oklahoma and Utah, and a laboratory
was established in Tulsa.
In 1983, USPCI was formed as a parent firm, which went public
with 12 percent of its stock in 1984. The remaining 88 percent was
controlled by Beard. Eventually, the Beard ownership was reduced to
However, the buyout officer by Union Pacific Corp. this week
followed the largest growth period of USPCI by far during the last
three years under Gerald J. Gagner, who became president in 1984.
After losses totaling $1.8 million in 1982 and 1983, USPCI
reached a net income of $1.6 million reported in 1984. Last year,
the company's consolidated earnings totaled $6.7 million from
revenues of $56.9 million. The firm now has six divisions, three
subsidiaries and owns three waste disposal facilities.
Even that success doesn't indicate the potential that Union
Pacific and others obviously see in this 19-year-old Oklahoma City
company, regardless of how the Union Pacific bid comes out.
A projection of $16.5 million in 1987 net income from revenues
exceeding $75 million is stated in the 1987 budget of USPCi.
That would be a 146 percent increase in net income and a 32
percent increase in revenues. Beyond that, the net income would be
up 904 percent from the $1.6 million in 1984.
"We currently have bids out on $60 million in contracts," said
Gagner during a recent interview.
After Union Pacific's offer, the USPCI stock jumped from a 34
1/4 close on Tuesday to 49 on Thursday before slipping to 48 1/2 on
Friday. Beard's stock also jumped - fromn 13 to 18 before slipping
back tgo 16 1/2.
All this is the result of USPCI's climb from its two-year slump
after Gagner joined the company. He changed its strategies for
operating an efficient hazardous waste management firm,
concentrating on profitable areas of the business.
Since then, the company has received high ratings from the
Council of Economic Priorities. It was listed among Standard &
Poor's top 100 small businesses in the country and was selected The
Journal Record Stock of the Year in Oklahoma for 1984 and 1985.
Not only are USPCI's earnings growing at a rapid pace, its
capital expenditures are increasing every year. Gagner said USPCI
spent $17 million on capital improvements last year - an amount
exceeding total expenditures made when the company was founded.
This year, USPCI intends to spend $26 million for capital
improvements and is projecting expenditures for capital improvements
will reach $50 million next year.
The most recent stock offering for 686,250 shares of common
stock was completed on May 7, enabling the company to raise $12
The net proceeds will be used this year to eliminate a net bank
debt of about $3 million and the remainder will go toward the cost
of building an incinerator in Utah, Gagner said.
To complete the incinerator project, Gagner said the company
also will secure bank financing. USPCI purchased a lime plant in
Utah that included two plant kilns which will be converted into
incinerators used to treat contaminated soil - a market in the
industry that is virtually untapped.
"There are millions of cubic yards of contaminated soil, but no
facility to treat this," Gagner said.
Contaminated soil currently is hauled to landfills, a practice
that is not well accepted by regulatory agencies, Gagner said.
The five incinerators planned for construction are expected to
contribute $30 million a year to USPCI's consolidated sales. …