Waste-to-energy firm Covanta Holding Corp.’s net income tripled for its fourth quarter but still fell nearly 50 percent for the year.

For the fourth period ending Dec. 31 the Morristown, N.J.-based Covanta reported net income totaling $83 million compared with $28 million in the 2011 fourth quarter. Operating revenue was flat at $430 million, according to a news release.

For the year, net income dropped 48.9 percent to $116 million, compared with $227 million in 2011. Operating revenue slipped 0.4 percent to $1.64 billion compared with $1.65 billion a year earlier.

The company’s results were hurt by lower prices for energy at Covanta’s waste-to-energy facilities and for recycled metals. Also, Superstorm Sandy caused a negative impact on net operating income of $9 million for the year.

“I’m pleased with both our 2012 operating performance and the execution of organic growth initiatives,” said Anthony Orlando, Covanta president and CEO. “Our focus is on investing in the business for the long-term, and we see a number of exciting opportunities that will allow us to grow this year and beyond.”

The company set the guidance range for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) at $500 million to $530 million.