Professional technical and consulting services provider, Willdan Group, Inc. (WLDN) touched a new 52-week high of $11.67 per share yesterday, before closing the session at $11.25, up 7.4%. The momentum gathered was driven by the company’s better-than-expected results in second-quarter fiscal 2014, along with a recent contract extension. The stock has been on uptrend, gaining around 53% since the announcement of the results on Aug 7.
Willdan reported earnings of 25 cents per share in second-quarter 2014 which easily surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 14 cents by 78.6%, and rose nearly threefold from the prior-year quarter figure of 9 cents. The company also reported a year over year increase of 31.6% to $27.0 million in its total contract revenues. The company’s strong fundamentals, along with a persistent focus to expand its service offerings and geographical presence, acted as growth drivers. Apart from this, improved economic environment was also a positive for Willdan in the quarter.
The positive estimate revisions in the last 30 days led to an increase in the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 and 2015. For 2014, it increased 18.6% to 76 cents, while surging a robust 51.7% to 91 cents for 2015.
Moreover, the stock looks even more attractive as the impressive second-quarter 2014 performance pushed Willdan to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) recently.
Also, the company recently announced that its subsidiary - Willdan Energy Solutions has received a $22.3 million contract modification from Con Edison. Per this deal, the earlier Small Business Direct Install (:SBDI) contract has now been extended to include a number of Con Edison’s customers, increasing the total contract value to $61.3 million. The extension of this contract also reinstated investors’ confidence as it reflects the company’s abilities to retain and expand its customer base by providing high-quality services.
Other Stocks to Consider
Some other worth considering stocks in the same sector include VSE Corp. (VSEC), AO Smith Corp (AOS) and North American Palladium Ltd. (PAL). All three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).