ACM, oh yes, I know them; I know someone who works for them; big outfit. I own URS because I used to work for them. Very cyclical. ADSK (AutoCad) is another to watch in that space. Don't have time right now, but would be interested in what you've learned.
III. Unexpected, Unrecoverable Costs Hurt AECOM's Q1 Results Recommended List selection, engineering and construction firm AECOM Technology (ACM, $22.79, -0.96, Spy) reported its fiscal first-quarter results this morning. The company posted a profit attributable to common shareholders of $47.9 million, or 42 cents per share, down -16% from $56.9 million, or 48 cents per share.
Revenue totaled $2.03 billion, 5% more than the year-ago period. Revenue, net of other direct costs, was $1.2 billion, up 1%. Organic revenue, net of other direct costs, increased 0.4% year over year.
Analysts were looking for EPS of 46 cents on revenue of $1.93 billion.
The company reported its project backlog totaled $15.8 billion at the end of the quarter, a 2% increase year over year and up 1% from $15.6 billion last quarter. Organically, backlog was up 2% year over year.
"We continue to see strength internationally in geographies such as Asia, Australia, Canada and Latin America and in our private sector business such as commercial construction, environmental management and energy," CFO Stephen Kadenacy said. "On the other hand, Western Europe remains challenged. However, we anticipate that our restructuring efforts will reap benefits in the second half of the year and we are seeing increased opportunities in this geography, including recent sizable wins that are not yet reflected in the backlog."
In the first quarter, EBITDA margin was 8.4%. AECOM's goal remains to have 12% EBITDA margins by 2015.
AECOM also noted that it had its best first quarter cash flow in five years, with it increasing by $173 million.
Looking at the segments, the Professional Technical Services (PTS) segment reported revenue of $1.81 billion and operating income of $87.3 million, compared to revenue of $1.58 billion and operating income of $91.6 million a year ago. The results represented a 15% increase in revenue and a -5% decrease in operating income year over year. PTS accounted for 89% of the company's revenues. The PTS growth came from multiple areas, the company said, including a 100% increase in energy sector wins, giving it a record energy backlog.
The Management Support Services segment reported a -38% decrease in revenue to $221.8 million from $360.4 million last year, although revenue net of direct costs rose 1% to $196.9 million. Operating income fell -45% to $12.0 million from $21.8 million. The company said that -$6 million in unrecoverable costs on two projects hurt operating income.
Turning to guidance, the company maintained its forecast for FY12 EPS of between $2.45 and $2.65. The Wall Street consensus was for EPS of $2.57.
"While we expect second-quarter earnings per share to be similar to the first quarter, we are confident in our visibility to the second half of the year as we see an increasing conversion of backlog to revenue," President Michael Burke said. "This confidence level is driven by several factors, first, our successful European restructuring has resulted in a dramatic operational improvement, including over $300 million in new wins in January alone, which is a significant acceleration for this business.
"Next, and more importantly, we have almost $16 billion in backlog with specific implementation schedules that provide us with a very strong view of the second half of the year."