Beyond the Numbers

Uncovering Intriguing Opportunities in Landfills

Vivek Rajeswaran, Investment Professional, Industrial Services Industry

At T. Rowe Price, our investment approach is to go beyond the numbers when evaluating what companies may offer the best future potential. Investment professional Vivek Rajeswaran, who focuses on industrial service companies, spends more than a quarter of his time in the field to validate his own data-driven analysis.

Visiting a waste landfill or recycling facility may not be the most pleasant part of his job, but as a T. Rowe Price investment professional following the waste management industry, Vivek Rajeswaran finds it a good use of his time.

“They smell terrible,” he says, “but it’s pretty impressive to see the process, and it’s helpful to put a visual to the data you have been analyzing. It’s one thing to talk about whether sales and profit margins will grow, but it’s another to see all the materials and equipment that go into operating these facilities and the wear and tear that the trucks go through every day. Visiting these sites gives you a better understanding of the process and what’s happening beyond the numbers.”

Going Beyond the Numbers Reveals the Full Story

At T. Rowe Price, our investment approach is to go beyond the numbers when evaluating what companies may offer the best future potential. By getting out into the field, we gain insights and a deeper understanding of where a company or industry stands and where it could go in the future.

Vivek spends more than a quarter of his time visiting companies and their facilities; talking with midlevel managers as well as top management; observing a company’s key operations first-hand; attending trade shows to gain insights from competitors, customers, and suppliers; and meeting private companies to assess possible disruption to incumbents in an industry.

“I could not do this job nearly as effectively if I had to do it just from the office,” he says. “The point is to get a differentiated view than the market. Many analysts sit at their desk, look at corporate filings, and maybe meet the CEO and CFO at a conference.  You can’t get insights on a company’s potential threats or even their opportunities from reading a report. We spend a lot of time doing rigorous field research, and that is where a lot of value is added.”

Opening Quote I could not do this job nearly as effectively if I had to do it just from the office. The point is to get a differentiated view than the market. Closing Quote

Field Research Yields Deeper Insight

Waste Connections is a large solid waste treatment and recycling company based in Ontario, Canada. The company operates in markets with little competition. It efficiently integrates waste collection, disposal, and recycling operations. It is also known for maintaining high safety standards.

T. Rowe Price has been a longtime investor in the company, but on one of his many trips to visit with management Vivek explored how the company was executing on its expansion into the energy waste business. What he found made him skeptical.

“I visited a bunch of remote energy landfills and learned that the barriers to entry in that business were lower than expected. A lot of new energy landfill capacity came on line at a time when demand fell off due to the collapse in oil prices. So we trimmed our position at that point to avoid a meaningful drop in that business’s profits. After that scenario played out, we began reinvesting in the company two years later. By that time, energy waste had become a smaller part of its business and the traditional waste business was undergoing consolidation. Waste Connections took advantage by buying one of its largest competitors. The company did a terrific job on that deal and has been a good investment for our clients.”

Vivek says his process is intended to “create a mosaic—marrying what you learn from private companies, being out in the field, and meeting with midlevel managers with your own analysis and knowledge of economic frameworks to form a view on the stock.”

See how the T. Rowe Price Dividend Growth Fund (PRDGX) can help you seek durable returns in any market environment.

Important Information

Download a prospectus.

Click here for the fund's top ten holdings.

The specific securities identified and described do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold, or recommended for advisory clients, and no assumptions should be made that investments in the securities identified and discussed were or will be profitable.

This material is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be investment advice or a recommendation to take any particular investment action.

The views contained herein are those of the authors as of July 2019 and are subject to change without notice; these views may differ from those of other T. Rowe Price associates.

This information is not intended to reflect a current or past recommendation, investment advice of any kind, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any securities or investment services. The opinions and commentary provided do not take into account the investment objectives or financial situation of any particular investor or class of investor. Investors will need to consider their own circumstances before making an investment decision.

Information contained herein is based upon sources we consider to be reliable; we do not, however, guarantee its accuracy.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. All investments are subject to market risk, including the possible loss of principal. All charts and tables are shown for illustrative purposes only.

T. Rowe Price Investment Services, Inc.

© 2019 T. Rowe Price. All rights reserved. T. Rowe Price, INVEST WITH CONFIDENCE, and the Bighorn Sheep design are, collectively and/or apart, trademarks of T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.

Tap to dismiss

Manage Subscriptions

Unsubscribe All

Manage your watched Funds and Insights subscriptions here.


Change Details

Congratulations! You are now registered.

Begin watching and receiving email updates for:


Sign in to manage your subscriptions and watch list.



Latest Date Range
Download Cancel

This content is restricted for Institutional Investors use only. We were not able to validate your status as an Institutional Investor with the information you provided at registration.

Please contact the T. Rowe Price Team with questions or to revise your status.


You will need to accept the Terms & Conditions again.


You have updated your email address.

An activation email has been sent to your new email address from T. Rowe Price.

Please click on the activation link in order to receive email updates.


You have an existing account

Click OK to view your subscriptions and watch list.


Confirm Cancel