Houston-based Waste Management reports a net income of $218 million on revenues of $3.1 billion for fourth-quarter 2008, both decreases from a net income of $309 million on revenues of $3.4 billion for the same quarter in 2007.

For the year, the company reports a net income of $1.1 billion on revenues of $13.4 billion, compared to a net income of $1.2 billion on revenues of $13.3 billion in 2007.

“The fourth quarter was a challenge on a number of fronts, and I am pleased with the way we have reacted to the tough economic circumstances,” said David Steiner, CEO of Waste Management, in a press release. “Despite the challenges, our adjusted earnings per share for the quarter beat consensus, we met our full year expectations for earnings per share, we increased our adjusted margins, and we generated strong free cash flow.”

Waste Management also announced a reorganization that includes reducing its market areas from 45 to 25 to eliminate duplicative functions; realigning its corporate staff to more efficiently support the new field operations; eliminating merit-based salary increases for salaried employees in 2009; and suspending merit-based increases for hourly employees until June 30. The company claims these move will save about $100 million.

“We expect that in 2009 we will acquire more revenue than we divest, as valuations and prices for assets reach lower levels,” Steiner said. “We believe our new organization makes us more nimble and able to assimilate acquired operations. However, we will not make any acquisitions that would jeopardize our strong balance sheet or our credit rating.”