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Edited Transcript of EME earnings conference call or presentation 29-Oct-19 2:30pm GMT

Q3 2019 EMCOR Group Inc Earnings Call

NORWALK Oct 31, 2019 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of EMCOR Group Inc earnings conference call or presentation Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at 2:30:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Anthony J. Guzzi

EMCOR Group, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO

* Mark A. Pompa

EMCOR Group, Inc. - Executive VP, CFO & Treasurer

* R. Kevin Matz

EMCOR Group, Inc. - EVP of Shared Services

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Conference Call Participants

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* Adam Robert Thalhimer

Thompson, Davis & Company, Inc., Research Division - Director of Research

* Brent Edward Thielman

D.A. Davidson & Co., Research Division - Senior VP & Senior Research Analyst

* Joseph Logan Mondillo

Sidoti & Company, LLC - Research Analyst

* Noelle Christine Dilts

Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, Research Division - VP & Analyst

* Sean D. Eastman

KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - Senior Equity Research Analyst

* Tate H. Sullivan

Maxim Group LLC, Research Division - Senior VP & Senior Industrials Analyst

* Jamie Baird

FTI Consulting, Inc. - Director of IR

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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Good morning. My name is Laura, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the EMCOR Group Third Quarter 2019 Earnings Call. (Operator Instructions) Ms. Jamie Baird with FTI Consulting, you may begin.

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Jamie Baird, FTI Consulting, Inc. - Director of IR [2]

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Thank you, Laura, and good morning, everyone. Welcome to the EMCOR Group conference call. We are here today to discuss the company's 2019 third quarter results, which were reported earlier this morning. I would like to turn the call over to Kevin Matz, Executive Vice President of Shared Services, who will introduce management. Kevin, please go ahead.

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R. Kevin Matz, EMCOR Group, Inc. - EVP of Shared Services [3]

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Thank you, Jamie, and good morning, everyone. Welcome to EMCOR Group's earnings conference call for the third quarter 2019. I can't believe how fast the year has gone by already, Halloween this week. For those of you who are accessing the call via the Internet and our website, welcome and we hope you have arrived at the beginning of our slide presentation that will accompany our remarks today.

Please advance to Slide 2. This presentation and discussion contains certain forward-looking statements. Page 2 describes in detail the forward-looking statements and the non-GAAP financial information disclosures. I encourage everyone to review both disclosures in conjunction with our discussion and accompanying slides. Slide 3 depicts the executives who are with me to discuss the quarter and 9 months results. They are Tony Guzzi, our Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer; Mark Pompa, our Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer; and our Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Maxine Mauricio.

For call participants not accessing the conference call via the Internet, this presentation, including the slides, will be archived in the Investor Relations section of our website under Presentations. You can find us at emcorgroup.com. With that said, please let me turn the call over to Tony. Tony?

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Anthony J. Guzzi, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [4]

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Yes. Thanks, Kevin, and good morning. And I will be covering Pages 4 through 6 in my opening comments. We had another terrific quarter. We set new company records for our third quarter revenues at $2.29 billion, operating income at $115.8 million, net income attributable to EMCOR Group at $81.4 million and diluted earnings per share from continuing operations of $1.45. Cash flow from operations was very strong at $218.7 million. We also had very good cost control with SG&A at 9.6% of revenues.

We had a tough comparison this quarter versus a year ago period and still set these new third quarter records. Our revenue growth was 11.8% this quarter, with 8.1% of that organic revenue growth. We have a strong base of remaining performance obligations or RPOs of $4.04 billion, up $65.4 million from a year ago period and up $70.8 million from the year ended 2018. Our RPOs continue to be very strong despite our strong organic revenue growth in the quarter and year-to-date. We continue to execute well for our customers. Our third quarter EBITDA margins are at a strong 6.1%, and we had good third quarter operating income margins of 5.1%.

Now let me take a minute and cover some of the highlights from the quarter and our segments. Our Mechanical and Electrical Construction segments continue to perform very well. We had combined operating income margins of 6.7%. As we have discussed previously, operating income margins will move within a band of strong performance based on mix of work, scope, stage of completion on our large complex projects. We had strong revenue growth in commercial, data centers, manufacturing, healthcare and our short-duration work.

Overall, we are executing extremely well in these segments with a focus on our estimating, job selection, planning, prefabrication, labor management, and we are successfully closing out both large and small projects. Our construction teams are executing well and continue to look for the right opportunities to gain productivity through extensive preplanning, the application of building information modeling, or BIM, and the resulting prefabrication.

We are also doing a very good job of workforce development in this very tight labor market. Our Building Services segment had an exceptional quarter. We had revenue growth of 12.3% and operating income margins of 6.6%.

Our mix of work is very good with strong revenue growth in the quarter in our mechanical services and commercial site-based businesses. Our acquisition integration has been exceptional in this segment, adding geography and capability. We said last year, we had to execute well and with precision in the implementation of several large, complex facility management contracts. We are and it is having a positive impact on our operating performance across all relevant metrics. The Building Services team is focused and looking to continue executing with a high level of discipline and focus.

Our Industrial Services segment had a tough comparison in the quarter versus the year ago period and was a little behind last year in the quarter from an operating income basis. But on a year-to-date basis, we are seeing strength return to this segment with much improved performance. It is important to remember that the third quarter is always a seasonally slow quarter, unless we are helping our customers with a significant unplanned maintenance issue or augmenting their capital project work. Our team is not satisfied with our operating income margins and they've been rebuilding the business' margin base over the last 6 quarters through our mix of work and an emphasis on some of our more niche product offerings and hope to return our EBITDA margins into the high single digits.

We are well positioned with our customers, and we have a team in place to keep executing for these customers. At this point in time, we are executing a normal fall turnaround season.

Our U.K. segment continues to perform well. We lost some growth from foreign exchange with the weakening of the pound sterling. We are very strong operationally in U.K. and continue to win new customers who require a strong technical partner to manage their complex facilities. The U.K. team is strong, executing well and continues to win new and important customers. Our balance sheet remains liquid and strong. With that, Mark, I'll turn it over to you for a detailed discussion of the quarter and our year-to-date performance.

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Mark A. Pompa, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Executive VP, CFO & Treasurer [5]

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Thank you, Tony, and good morning to everyone participating on the call today. For those accessing this presentation via the webcast, we are now on Slide 7. Over the next several slides, as I typically do, I will augment Tony's opening commentary on EMCOR's third quarter performance as well as provide a summary of our year-to-date results through September 30. All financial information referenced is derived from our consolidated financial statements included in both our earnings release announcement and Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier today.

So let's revisit our third quarter performance. Consolidated revenues of $2.29 billion are up $240.7 million or 11.8% over quarter 3 2018. Our third quarter results include $75.6 million of revenues attributable to businesses acquired pertaining to the period of time that such businesses were not owned by EMCOR in last year's third quarter. Acquisition revenues positively impacted each of our United States Electrical Construction, United States Mechanical Construction and United States Building Services segments. Excluding the impact of businesses acquired, third quarter consolidated revenues increased $165.2 million or 8.1%.

All of EMCOR's reportable segments generated revenue growth during the third quarter other than our U.K. Building Services segment. United States Electrical Construction revenues of $554.6 million increased $68.7 million or 14.1% from quarter 3 2018. Excluding acquisition revenues of $43.8 million, this segment's quarterly revenues grew organically 5.1% quarter-over-quarter. Revenue gains within the commercial market sector, inclusive of project activities within the telecommunications submarket sector as well as revenue growth within the manufacturing market sector, were partially offset by revenue declines within the transportation, hospitality and healthcare market sectors due to the completion or substantial completion of certain large projects during 2018 or early 2019.

United States Mechanical Construction revenues of $869.2 million increased $109.7 million or 14.4% from quarter 3 2018. Excluding acquisition revenues of $4.7 million, this segment's revenues increased $105 million or 13.8% organically. As has been the trend over the last several quarters, revenue growth within this segment remains broad-based across most market sectors with revenue gains from all sectors other than hospitality, contributing to the overall increase in quarter 3 revenues. This segment's revenue performance represents an all-time quarterly record for U.S. Mechanical Construction and eclipses the record set in quarter 2 earlier this year.

EMCOR's total domestic construction business third quarter revenues of $1.42 billion increased $178.4 million or 14.3% with 10.4% of such growth being generated from organic activities. United States Building Services quarterly revenues of $532.1 million increased $58.4 million or 12.3%. Excluding acquisition revenues of $27.1 million, this segment's revenues increased $31.4 million or 6.6%. Revenue gains within the mechanical services and commercial site-based services divisions were partially offset by a revenue decline within the government services division due to a smaller contract base as well as reduced IDIQ project activity. Similar to our U.S. Mechanical Construction segment, revenue performance within U.S. Building Services for the quarter represents an all-time quarterly record for this segment.

United States Industrial Services revenues of $234.2 million increased $6.8 million or 3% as a result of higher field services revenues, inclusive of an increase in small capital projects. Such revenue gains are partially offset by a reduction in revenue from our shop services due to a lower level of heat exchanger sales than in 2018's third quarter.

United Kingdom Building Services revenues of $97.6 million decreased $2.9 million as a result of $5.6 million in foreign exchange headwinds due to continued volatility in the value of the pound sterling. Despite the impact of these unfavorable exchange rate movements, this segment continues to add new facilities maintenance contracts as well as secure and execute projects for their expanding customer base.

My last statement on third quarter revenues is to repeat what Tony referenced earlier, in that our $2.29 billion of quarterly revenues is a new third quarter revenue record for EMCOR.

Please turn to Slide 8. Selling, general and administrative expenses of $220.1 million represents 9.6% of third quarter revenues and reflects an increase of $22.8 million from quarter 3 2018. The current year's quarter includes approximately $9.7 million of incremental expenses, inclusive of intangible asset amortization from businesses acquired, resulting in an organic quarter-over-quarter increase of approximately $13 million. As I have mentioned for several quarters, with a sequential achievement of new quarterly revenue records, we are experiencing an increase in employment costs, primarily as a result of increased headcount to support the strong organic revenue growth amongst most of our domestic reporting segments.

Reported operating income for the quarter of $115.7 million represents a $4 million increase as compared to operating income of $111.8 million in 2018's third quarter. Similar to this quarter's revenue performance, our operating income in absolute dollars represents a new third quarter record. However, despite the increase in operating income, operating margin has declined modestly from 5.5% of revenues in the third quarter of 2018 to 5.1% in the third quarter of 2019, due to margin contraction within each of our U.S. construction segments as well as our U.S. Industrial Services segment. I will cover the details of each of our reportable segments' operating income and operating margin performance as I continue through this slide.

Our U.S. Electrical Construction segment operating income of $33.6 million decreased by approximately $800,000 from the comparable 2018 period. Reported operating margin of 6.1% represents a 100 basis point reduction over last year's third quarter. This reduction in operating margin is due to the favorable impact in the prior year period of certain large transportation construction projects that had reached or approached substantial completion in 2018.

2019's third quarter U.S. Mechanical Construction segment operating income of $61.2 million represents a $2 million or 3.3% increase from last year's third quarter. Operating margin of 7% decreased by 80 basis points period-over-period, partially as a result of a revenue mix, which includes a greater number of large projects in the earlier stages of completion, which typically reflect lower projected gross profit margins than projects that are approaching the later stages of completion.

Additionally, 2018's third quarter operating income and operating margin were favorably impacted by the final settlement of contract value for 2 projects that were completed in prior periods. These settlements resulted in a 60 point basis (sic) [60 basis points] favorable impact on this segment's operating margin for Q3 2018. Our combined U.S. construction business is reporting a 6.7% operating margin of -- or $94.8 million of operating income, which is increased from 2018's third quarter by just over $1 million.

Operating income for U.S. Building Services of $35.1 million represents 6.6% of revenues and a $5.7 million increase over the last year's third quarter. Operating margin improved by 40 basis points due to quarter-over-quarter increases in gross profit and gross profit margin within our mechanical services operation, which are executing a greater number of projects and service contracts than in the comparable 2018 period and are benefiting from an improved mix of work, which is providing greater margin opportunity. Both reported operating income and operating margin for this segment represent all-time record quarterly performance.

Our U.S. Industrial Services segment operating income of $5.6 million or 2.4% of revenues represents a decrease of $2.1 million and 100 basis points of operating margin from last year's third quarter. Operating income and operating margin within this segment for the third quarter of 2019 were negatively impacted by an unfavorable mix of work, which included a greater number of small capital projects that carry relatively lower gross profit margins than typical turnaround work performed in our Industrial Services segment. As a reminder, the third quarter of each year tends to be one of the seasonally weakest for this segment. Although in 2018, we did see an uptick in activity as our customers commenced turnaround activities after the suppression of work due to the prolonged impact of Hurricane Harvey in both late 2017 and early 2018.

U.K. Building Services operating income of $4.8 million represents a slight increase over 2018's third quarter despite the negative impact of the decline in the pound sterling, which reduced reported results in U.S. dollars by approximately $300,000. Operating margin within this segment of 4.9% has improved by 50 basis points as compared to operating margin of 4.4% in the third quarter of 2018.

We are now on Slide 9. Additional financial items of significance for the quarter not addressed in the previous slides are as follows. Quarter 3 gross profit of $336 million or 14.7% of revenues is improved in absolute dollars by $26.6 million. However, our gross profit margin was contracted by 40 basis points due to a reduction in gross profit margin within our U.S. construction operations and our U.S. Industrial Services segment. The decrease in gross profit margin within our U.S. construction segments can be attributed to a shift in revenue mix as our contract portfolio includes an increased number of projects in the earlier stages of their project life cycle. Additionally, consistent with my operating income commentary, the decline in gross profit margin within our U.S. Industrial Services segment is a result of a greater number of small capital projects and a reduction in shop services revenues period-over-period.

Diluted earnings per common share from continuing operations is $1.45 and compares to $1.36 for the quarter ended September 30, 2018. This represents a $0.09 or 6.6% improvement quarter-over-quarter. Our tax rate for the third quarter is 27.9%, which is slightly higher than the tax rate for the third -- slightly higher than the tax rate for the third quarter of 2018 due to an increase in certain nondeductible expenses year-over-year. On a year-to-date basis, our tax rate is relatively consistent with where we were through the end of our second quarter and at the approximate midpoint of my previously communicated expected income tax rate range of 27.5% to 28.5% for full year 2019.

We have continued our quarter-to-quarter sequential improvement in cash flow performance with cash provided by operating activities of $219.1 million during the third quarter of 2019. Despite our continued strong organic revenue growth, we experienced exceptional cash flow conversion as our operating companies continue to actively manage their working capital investment. We are now significantly ahead of where we were through the first 9 months of last year, and we expect positive operating cash flow momentum to continue into the fourth quarter of 2019.

We are now on Slide 10. With the quarter commentary complete, let's now turn our attention to our year-to-date results through September 30. Revenues of $6.77 billion represent an increase of $869.3 million or 14.7% as compared to $5.9 billion in the prior year period. Our year-to-date results include $196.7 million of revenues attributable to businesses acquired, pertaining to the period of time that such businesses were not owned by EMCOR in the 2018 year-to-date period. Excluding the impact of businesses acquired, year-to-date revenues increased organically $672.6 million or a strong 11.4%. Significant revenue growth across each of our domestic reporting segments was augmented by revenue growth within our U.K. Building Services segment despite an almost $20 million revenue headwind due to the unfavorable foreign currency exchange rate movements year-over-year. Year-to-date, gross profit of $991.1 million is greater than the comparative 2018 period by $121.8 million or 14%, with gross profit improvement in each of our reportable segments. Gross profit margin of 14.6% is essentially flat with 2018, while all segments, other than U.S. Mechanical Construction, generated improved gross profit margins year-over-year. The reduction in gross profit margin within the U.S. Mechanical Construction segment is due to the revenue composition I've mentioned during my quarterly commentary.

Selling, general and administrative expenses of $652.5 million represent 9.6% of revenues as compared to $578.3 million or 9.8% of revenues in 2018. Year-to-date 2019 includes $26.5 million of incremental SG&A, inclusive of intangible asset amortization pertaining to businesses acquired. As I mentioned, last quarter, we continue to successfully leverage our overhead structure during this period of continued strong revenue growth.

Year-to-date, operating income is $338 million, which represents a $48.6 million improvement over 2018's 9-month performance. Our year-to-date operating margin is 5%, which is 10 basis points higher than the comparative 2018 period and is static with our operating margin performance for the first half of 2019. We continue to perform a large volume of project and service work at or near-record high historical margins.

Diluted earnings per common share from continuing operations is $4.22 for the 9 months ended September 30, 2019, as compared to $3.52 in the corresponding 2018 period. Adjusting 2018's earnings per share for the noncash intangible asset impairment loss recorded in 2018, non-GAAP diluted earnings per share from continuing operations would have been $3.54. When comparing the current year's diluted earnings per share from continuing operations to 2018's adjusted number, we are reporting a $0.68 increase or 19.2% year-over-year EPS improvement.

We are now on Slide 11. EMCOR's balance sheet continues to maintain its strength. Variations of note from December 31, 2018, are as follows. Our cash balance at $368.1 million is roughly in line with December 31, 2018, as a result of strong year-to-date operating cash flow, which has more than covered investing and financing activities during the year, including approximately $80 million of cash expended for acquisitions of businesses, nearly $36 million of capital expenditures and $36.4 million of debt repayments under our credit facility during the 9-month period. Working capital levels have increased from December 31, due to the growth in our accounts receivable on contract asset balances, commensurate with our continued strong organic revenue growth. Goodwill has increased primarily as a result of the 5 businesses acquired to date in 2019. Identifiable intangible assets have decreased due to $34.5 million of amortization expense, partially offset by intangible assets recognized in connection with 2019 acquisitions.

Total debt, excluding operating lease liabilities, is approximately $266 million and is reduced from December 31, 2018, due to our repayment of the outstanding balance under our revolving credit facility as well as our mandatory quarterly principal repayments under our outstanding term loan. These were partially offset by the amortization of debt issuance cost during the 2019 year-to-date period.

As a result of our outstanding borrowings, we have a debt-to-capitalization ratio of 11.9% at September 30, 2019. I am very happy with our strong cash flow performance during the quarter and year-to-date periods. And as a result, we've reduced our already modest leverage profile and have a balance sheet and underlying earnings base that allows us great flexibility in pursuing numerous organic and strategic opportunities. With my portion of the formal slide presentation concluded, I would like to return the call to Tony. Tony?

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Anthony J. Guzzi, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [6]

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Thanks, Mark. And I've worked with you a long time, long time, 15 years now. That's the first time I've heard you say that you're very happy. So that must be really good cash flow performance.

I'm going to -- I'm on Page 12 now, and I'm going to talk about RPOs by segment and market sector. Total RPOs at the end of the third quarter were $4.04 billion, up $65 million or just about 2% when compared to the September 30 level of $3.97 billion. Likewise, third quarter activity was about 2% over the December 31 level of $3.96 billion. Total RPOs have been quite stable between $4 billion and $4.2 billion over the last 5 quarters while revenues have continued to increase at very strong organic growth rates. We continue to book-and-bill a significant level work within a year as we continue to win both small, medium and large complex projects, we -- quick-term projects for booking as well as a large more complex project. EMCOR's bread and butter project size is still between $1 million and $5 million, and these projects do not remain in RPOs for an extended period and typically burn in 2 to 3 quarters.

For the remainder of 2019 and into 2020, we continue to see strong demand for these small-to-medium size projects, which to me shows the underlying strength of the market and shows broad-based demand across geography and market segments. For example, our RPOs in our Building Services segment, mechanical services business is up by $111 million or almost 26%. Much of this mechanical services work and even some of the small project work in our electrical and mechanical centers around customers' desire to improve the energy efficiency of their facilities and the cost effectiveness of those facilities, the HVAC, the building controls, the lighting systems, all of those things are the things that EMCOR does very well.

On the right side of Page 12, we show RPOs by market sector. As noted, the mix of work between market sectors has been relatively consistent over the past years -- past year, with commercial RPOs making up a little over 40% of that total. We believe this diversity of market participation, combined with our geographic footprint, gives us a competitive advantage in our ability to retain skilled labor and have access to end-market demand across a wide range of opportunities. As we move towards the end of the year, our markets remain healthy and bidding activity is strong. We believe this level of activity will continue as we move out of 2019 and into 2020.

I'm now going to be covering Pages 13 and 14. As we move to year-end 2019, we are in the midst of another record year at EMCOR. We are still operating in what we believe is a good operating environment for us with a growing nonresidential market, a strong market for our Building Services product offerings and a much more stable operating environment for our Industrial Services segment. We see each of these trends continuing through year-end 2019 and into early 2020, which is the extent of the visibility that we have at any given time, that's about 6 months.

With our strong performance through 2019, we have raised our revenue and earnings per diluted share from continuing operations guidance twice. This will be the third time, which is a reflection of the continued strength we see in our business. We are moving our revenue guidance to around $9.0 billion, up from $8.8 billion to $8.9 billion. We are raising the bottom end of our earnings per share from continuing operations from $5.50 to $5.65 and we will leave the top end of the range at $5.75. We expect cash flow at or above net income. With only a small gap in our range at this point in the year, we will move this from the lower end of the range to the top end of the range is a matter of project timing, close offs and the strength and duration of our fall turnaround schedules.

Let's talk a little bit about capital allocation. We will continue to allocate capital in a balanced, efficient and opportunistic manner, much in the same manner as we have over the last 5 years. Our priorities are first to support organic growth; second to acquire companies that build our business for the long-term; and third, we will return cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. For example, the 5 companies we have acquired thus far in 2019 have strengthened our Mechanical Construction, Electrical Construction and Building Services segment. We have a good pipeline of opportunities for small tuck-ins to our existing subsidiaries to large standalone operations that can bring new geography and capabilities and positively impact our long-term growth and end-market opportunities.

On October 4 of this year, we announced that we have signed our acquisition of Batchelor & Kimball, otherwise known as BKI. BKI will bring about $400 million in revenues to EMCOR with a market-leading position in the Southeast in mechanical contracting, construction and services. They have the same complex project capabilities as the best EMCOR Mechanical Construction subsidiaries and operate with the same results as our top quartile of EMCOR Mechanical Construction subsidiaries. We expect this acquisition to close in the next few weeks.

As a reminder, to those who cover and invest in us, as we typically buy businesses with backlog, we usually have significant backlog amortization in the first 2 to 4 quarters post acquisition. Therefore, we will see the positive revenue, EBITDA and cash impact from these acquisitions before we see the expected long-term impact on our earnings per share from continuing operations. We also have made important organic growth in productivity investments in all our businesses, ranging from new digital capabilities, to supporting incremental niche growth opportunities in our Industrial Services segment. We are going to close this record year well, and we are positioned well going into 2020. With that said, Laura, we'll be happy to turn the call over to you to take questions.

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Questions and Answers

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Operator [1]

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(Operator Instructions) We have our first question coming from the line of Noelle Dilts from Stifel.

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Noelle Christine Dilts, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, Research Division - VP & Analyst [2]

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Just given some of the mix bidding indicators in non-res market, I was hoping you could just comment a little bit on how you're thinking about some of your key verticals? And where you see some additional legs into the cycle versus those markets where you may be starting to be maybe a little bit more cautious?

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Anthony J. Guzzi, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [3]

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Yes. I mean, look, I think this is a big giant market that has growth in it yet. We've said for a long time, as long as we can get low single-digit growth, even a strong contraction doesn't cause us a lot of alarm because it's such a big market with so many opportunities. Quite frankly, other than some residential high-rise, which we're not that big a participant in, we're not seeing significant contraction in any of the markets that we count on to deliver for us year-after-year. We continue to see strength in the commercial market. We continue to see strength in the telecommunications, data infrastructure market. We continue to see strength in manufacturing, especially specialized manufacturing. We continue to see strength in some healthcare markets, that's episodic in some ways because of large hospitals, if you get 1 or you get 2, it will [distort]. Hospitality is down for us right now because at the end of the day that also can be episodic, depending on are you building a new luxury hotel, or you building a new gaming facility. Water and wastewater continues to be a source of strength, mainly because of where we're positioned in South Florida and a couple other key markets. So part, Noelle, is that short-duration work continues to be very strong. And I think part of that is customers see the payback, especially as it relates to not only energy efficiency but some of the work we're doing to combine energy efficiency work to more distributed generation work. You put those 2 together, you can bring more energy assuredness to customers. Control system upgrades, we're the leading independent building controls contractor. We continue to build out our position in a positive way, that actually drives productivity, it drives efficiency and it allows the owner more control over how their building is going to operate than would have been done in the past. So would we love a market that continues to grow double digits forever? Sure, that's not pragmatic. The market growing like it is right now is fine for us to deliver good results for our shareholders.

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Noelle Christine Dilts, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, Research Division - VP & Analyst [4]

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That's helpful color. And second, I was hoping you could expand a little bit on your comments regarding labor cost increases and generally around labor availability. As the market remains very tight for labor, are you seeing some opportunity to recoup some of those higher labor costs through pricing given that the market remains strong? Could you just comment a little bit on that, basically cost-price dynamic on the labor front?

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Anthony J. Guzzi, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [5]

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Yes. I mean, look, we worry a lot more about labor productivity than we do the dollar per hour cost of labor. If we can mix that work right, if we can drive the right productivity through our BIM and prefabrication and the kinds of things we do to mitigate excessive labor on a job, then we can win. The other thing is, our union workforces are tied to CBAs. And you could argue those CBAs also set the price for the nonunion labor. And the unions by and large -- I'm not going to say definitively, and Mark, please comment also, the unions by and large have been reasonable. Now I'm not saying all unions, but most of our local agreements have been reasonable. We're still doing PLAs, which would be at a reduced rate versus the overall rate in the market because they want to win work. We're still finding the best people. And I've said this many times, Noelle, a skilled trades person decides where they're going to work, especially one that's going to become part of your, what you would say, more permanent workforce based on a number of factors. And they're in no particular order. First is am I going to get paid every week. That sounds trivial. But more contractors go bust in good markets almost than they do in bad markets because they overextend their working capital. The second thing they look for is, are you going to keep me safe? We can definitively say, we work every day really hard to have the best safety record in the industry, the best safety investment in the industry and the best safety training in the industry. The third thing they care about, does my supervision actually know what I'm doing? We've got great foremen, superintendents, project managers and local company operations people and CEOs, our folks know the work. And finally, if I do a great job for you, am I going to have carry-on work. Am I going to become part of your core team? Other than a few markets in this country, we pick the labor. The unions don't pick the labor that comes to our jobs. That being said, if I could become part of the core EMCOR company team in the market, I'm going to be able to ride out the next downturn in that local market overall because I'm going to have work. Mark, you got anything to add to that? I mean you look at this all the time.

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Mark A. Pompa, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Executive VP, CFO & Treasurer [6]

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I think -- once again, I think, don't underestimate the significance of a destination of choice from an employee's perspective. Clearly, we've been very successful for a long number of years, and we have a great track record of working in harmony with our employment base. And as a result, we both reap the benefits.

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Anthony J. Guzzi, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [7]

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Yes. And we're blessed, right? We have -- our local CEOs, no labor. They're technically adept, a lot of came from labor. They know it, they know it well, they respect it. And as Mark said, a destination of choice. Part of being a destination of choice goes to one of our core values here at EMCOR. And it's up and down our chain of command here. We believe in mutual respect and trust and I think that carries on through our entire workforce. And I think people know that. And they come here, they're going to be treated well, they're going to be treated well in what we expect to get done in a day and we're going to be up-to-date on the best installation techniques and service techniques that there are.

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Operator [8]

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Your next question comes from the line of Brent Thielman from D.A. Davidson.

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Brent Edward Thielman, D.A. Davidson & Co., Research Division - Senior VP & Senior Research Analyst [9]

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Congratulations on a good quarter. Mark, maybe just back on the free cash flow. I mean, just incredibly strong this quarter. I don't know, if there's any color on whether you had a couple of business units with big contributions this quarter? Or I guess anything else you can add there?

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Mark A. Pompa, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Executive VP, CFO & Treasurer [10]

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No, I mean it was uniform. I think the only segment that was a different contributor in quarter 3 than the last 2 quarters would've been industrial and that's just a byproduct of the turnaround season. So since the majority of their work is pursuant to time and material contracts, and they bill in arrears, the work that was executed during the spring turnaround season wasn't monetized until late quarter 2 and quarter 3. Otherwise, it's just a function of the workflow with the jobs. We continue to try to structure our contractual terms for our fixed-price work to the extent that we can get advance bills well and collect it. Clearly that's what we try to do. But with the significant organic revenue growth that we've been experiencing for many quarters now in succession, ultimately, it does result in cash flow and when we were -- we're successful in monetizing a fair amount of it in quarter 3. And as I mentioned in my prepared commentary, we expect that quarter 4 will remain strong as well.

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Brent Edward Thielman, D.A. Davidson & Co., Research Division - Senior VP & Senior Research Analyst [11]

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Yes. Okay. And then, Tony, on BKI, is there anything you can say quantitatively or qualitatively, just around kind of their growth rates for the last few years and then just kind of beyond that, the financial benefits, obviously, to EMCOR, is there a big opportunity or bigger opportunity for them through a combination with you guys that maybe they're not realizing today?

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Anthony J. Guzzi, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [12]

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So the one question was about their base wage rates, they're union contractor. Those are set on a local basis, they're competitive. BKI, like most EMCOR companies, are like Mark said, an employer of choice, it's a destination for people. They have a terrific superintendent; I had the privilege of meeting him a few times, we're down there a couple of weeks ago. They have great workforce development, and we think we're leading edge in prefabrication and BIM modeling and the application of revit, these guys are a little ahead of us, and we'll be able to take that across the company and that's something we're looking forward to, to improve some of the things we're doing and we do that very well collaboratively across EMCOR. We've talked about what the benefits are, this is around $400-million company with -- they'd be at the top quartile of how we perform in the mechanical segment on an EBITDA and operating income margin basis. Probably, a little bit below operating income margins initially as we burn through some of their backlog. But that has nothing to do with how they're operating the businesses and how we account for it in the short term. Yes, there is, I mean, we have customers that they have, and they have customers that we have. There's customers that would like us to do more. These folks have the ability to travel into some markets that we're not in. We have some capability to add to that. There's product lines that we can offer some of their customers and there's places maybe we can go together that we're not currently serving. We're not big travelers at EMCOR typically other than fire protection and some food processing work and maybe a little bit of data center work. If we do workforce development together in some of these markets, it could bode well for both us in the long term. Terrific people, great values, very technical, run by generations of Georgia Tech engineers. We feel pretty good about this acquisition.

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Brent Edward Thielman, D.A. Davidson & Co., Research Division - Senior VP & Senior Research Analyst [13]

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Okay. That's great. One more quick one, I guess. You had a really strong fourth quarter in Industrial Services last year. I guess based on what you're hearing from customers and what you can see in terms of a normal turnaround season, I mean do you think 4Q can be as strong as last year?

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Anthony J. Guzzi, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [14]

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I don't know it will be as strong as last year, Mark, but it will be pretty good.

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Mark A. Pompa, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Executive VP, CFO & Treasurer [15]

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I mean, I think it'll like more seasonally normal. I mean you got to remember kind of like in quarter 3 last year, although it's very difficult for us to quantify, it was difficult for us to quantify a year ago at this time and it's going to be even more difficult in 2019. But clearly, some of the work that was deferred as a result of the storm, did benefit Q3 and Q4 in 2018. There is obviously not that kind of impetus going into 2019 but having said that, we're going to be working in places that we haven't been in for a little while. So until we get in there and start executing against the budget, we have no idea if scope is going to be consistent with our initial thoughts on the way in or expanded. It's all dependent on what we find when we get there. So -- but the good thing is that we have labor on-site and we're going to do our best to provide the best value and service to our customers as we approach everybody's shut down as they get towards the Christmas holiday.

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Anthony J. Guzzi, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [16]

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And we think about it, right? One of the things you wrestle within this business, particularly, is you have -- in this business also, you have a permanent workforce. And once we start absorbing that permanent workforce in full in the fourth quarter and it doesn't take a lot of man hours to get better bottom line contribution above what we were planning, like Mark said, the reality is, our guys do a great job of flexing up. It's a little more difficult sometimes to flex down in the off seasons. But they can just flex up a little bit on a turnaround versus what they were planning, they can have an outsized impact. And we don't know that right now.

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Mark A. Pompa, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Executive VP, CFO & Treasurer [17]

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Yes. And I guess the only other thing I would add which is one of the reasons why margin contribution was down in quarter 3, as I mentioned earlier, is the shops aren't as busy right now as they were at this time a year ago and order levels currently, as we sit here today, really haven't significantly changed. So -- and just from a revenue mix perspective, the shop work, as I'm sure you remember, is the most profitable work that's executed within that segment. So we'll see how that develops as we go forward.

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Operator [18]

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We have your next question coming from the line of Adam Thalhimer from Thompson, Davis.

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Adam Robert Thalhimer, Thompson, Davis & Company, Inc., Research Division - Director of Research [19]

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So Tony, I know you're not going to give 2020 guidance. But from a top line standpoint, guys like me are modeling low single digits. I mean is that kind of roughly in line with your high-level thoughts?

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Anthony J. Guzzi, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [20]

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You're right. I'm not going to talk about 2020. But look, with backlog stable, we're bringing in BKI, we would expect to grow the rest of the business whatever non-res is going to grow. Your guess is as good as mine on what that's going to be right now. We expect low single digits on non-res, flat to low single digits plus the addition of BKI. Mark talked about the other acquisitions. For the most part, those other ones have impacted -- the bigger ones have impacted 2019 already. The smaller ones, you'll lose in the rounding the incremental year-over-year. So yes, I think that's fair to say.

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Adam Robert Thalhimer, Thompson, Davis & Company, Inc., Research Division - Director of Research [21]

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And then I want to make sure I understand the electrical margins in Q3 because 6.1%, it was down 100 basis points year-over-year. You talked about some early-stage projects. Was there anything else in there? And then how quickly does that snap back to kind of more of

that 7%, 8% range where you've been?

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Mark A. Pompa, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Executive VP, CFO & Treasurer [22]

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Yes. So -- this is Mark. The earlier-stage projects I mentioned were specific to Mechanical Construction, not to electrical. What's going on with the margins in electrical is a year ago at this time when we were ramping up some large transportation and infrastructure projects in the Northeast geography. And that work is just not existent this year. Clearly, if you look at the margin performance of both of our domestic construction operations on a year-to-date basis, they're performing ahead of where they've certainly been on a 5-year average or an 8-year average. So as Tony has mentioned numerous times on prior calls, quarter-to-quarter development in margins in each of these segments is difficult just because of the mix of revenues and where we are in project life cycles. Having said that, with where the RPOs for both electrical and mechanical and the type of work we're executing, we're happy with the mix, and we're clearly happy with the execution that our operating company teams are providing.

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Adam Robert Thalhimer, Thompson, Davis & Company, Inc., Research Division - Director of Research [23]

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That's just mix, no bad jobs?

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Anthony J. Guzzi, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [24]

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No. Actually, it's quite the opposite. I mean if you look 12 months trailing, 7%; 18-month trailing in electrical, 7.1%; 24 months trailing in electrical, 7.3%. They're remarkably steady when you look back. Again, margins will fluctuate, like Mark said, quarter-to-quarter. We've had a remarkable -- (inaudible). We've had a remarkable absence of badness really over the last 6 quarters.

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Adam Robert Thalhimer, Thompson, Davis & Company, Inc., Research Division - Director of Research [25]

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Yes. Okay. Understood. And then -- this is almost more of a comment than a question. But your Building Services business, Tony, I mean that's amazing to see 6.6% margin, almost your highest-margin segment. Whereas I don't know, 6, 7 years ago, maybe more when you bought USM, I mean it took years to get that good. I guess the question will just be like high-level Building Services, where are we versus kind of what you wanted to build when you bought USM?

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Anthony J. Guzzi, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [26]

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I think we have a real good mix of work right now. We continue to take advantage of project opportunities across our portfolio. We're fully integrated, we said we needed to implement some large projects and facility projects -- I mean, management contracts and we are and we're doing it well. We're getting good absorption on our labor overall. And look...

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Mark A. Pompa, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Executive VP, CFO & Treasurer [27]

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We're going to get good project flow through from our maintenance contract customers.

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Anthony J. Guzzi, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [28]

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Yes. We're doing well. 6.6% is terrific performance, what it is, 4 quarters in a row, Mark, of double-digit growth. I mean one of the things we had to wrestle through, Adam, is if you remember, we had a big decrease in revenue as we lost some government contracts and some large site-based contracts.

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Mark A. Pompa, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Executive VP, CFO & Treasurer [29]

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We had to right-size the portfolio and as a result of that it was painful on margins during that time period. So now I -- not to interrupt Tony, but I interrupted Tony, so my apologies. But the book of business is extremely strong in that segment. And the businesses that we've added over the last 5-plus years, have been quite exceptional and it's provided a more diverse service offering than we've had before. And as a result of that, we clearly have had some margin improvement opportunities, which we've taken advantage of.

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Anthony J. Guzzi, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [30]

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The other side of that, as Mark was saying is, all -- everybody at EMCOR is known as being very frugal. We're sort of no-frills guy. But this team led by their -- Mike Bordes, their CEO and Anthony Sada, especially, their CFO, these guys are really, really cost crazy. I mean, they watch every nickel. Everybody does at EMCOR, but these folks really watch it. And I think that's borne of what they experienced when they lost the contracts. They not only right-sized the portfolio, they right-sized how they think about incremental SG&A every day. And they chase productivity constantly. We do that everywhere. But these folks got how to get ahead of it because of what happened to their portfolio.

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Operator [31]

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We have your next question coming from the line of Sean Eastman from KeyBanc Capital Markets.

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Sean D. Eastman, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - Senior Equity Research Analyst [32]

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Compliments to the team on the quarter. Nice work. First question from me is just on the top line. Tony, you do sound pretty pumped up overall. I'm not picking up on any change at all and kind of that velocity of activity you're highlighting on the last call. I just wondered, as we look out to next year, revenues -- the revenue guide has moved up pretty nicely as we move through '19. I'm just wondering, is there any reason why you can't sort of grow in line with that non-res backdrop next year? Or should we be considering this a bit of a tough comp as we go into next year?

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Anthony J. Guzzi, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [33]

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So I mean, clearly with 13.7%, trailing 12 months, Mark, growth and 8% organic of that, right? I mean, that is a tough comp. I mean let's be clear, that is a tough comp. I always tell people, most of the choices people make with us are binary, I mean our customers. We get the project or we don't, usually don't get a piece of a project once they've decided how they're going to award it. We won more than our fair share of that. And yes, 13.7% over the trailing 12 months and 10.8% organic, it's exceptional. I mean, my hat's off to not only the team I'm assembled with here but we would take our hats off to the folks in the field. We're obviously winning much more than we're losing. With non-res market that's growing 1% to 3rd%, I think 1% to 3% maybe next year, maybe 2% to 4%. I think the way you asked your question is the right way to think about it. Can we grow in line with that non-res market? I think the answer to that is, yes, we would expect to do that. Now we're going to do that every quarter? No. Are we going to exceed that some quarters? Yes. I mean, I certainly -- I'm not signing up for 10.8% organic revenue growth next year. And you're certainly not paying us for that right now or the stock would be $140, right? I wouldn't say this is unsustainable. But we certainly have a tough comp in the first half of next year and we know that. Think about what we try to do as a management team on growth overall I think is a good way to look at it. We think of growth like this. We have good underlying businesses in each of our segments and each of those segments have good underlying businesses in theirs, from Mechanical Construction who owns a lot of our industrial construction assets, so does electrical. So in ECS is a good industrial construction base too. Building Services, we're taking advantage of a very strong mechanical services, energy efficiency market right now as well as customers' desire now, they come all the way back around to say, the love affair with the real estate guys might be diminishing some and they're realizing you actually have to have people that can deploy technical labor in a very efficient manner and training. And then, in industrial, we continue -- the team there is as creative as you get in developing niche product opportunities organically because we think that's a better way to do it right now. What we try to do is get, I always call, more lines in the water, look at growth opportunities broadly and then really concentrate the resources of EMCOR to do those with customers overall. So you think about the 5 acquisitions we've made year-to-date and now you're going to add BKI to it. You add it all altogether, we had a heck of a year acquisition-wise. And we're teed up next year to have a heck of a year, we think. Now, again, each one of those decisions is binary, too. And we do really good due diligence. And it's our operations and our staff teams do really good due diligence to make sure that we're ready to integrate day one. We do this better than we have in a long time. So growth for us is about putting growth engines into the business, both capability-wise, geography-wise and end-market sector-wise. And then, we're contractors. Once we find out we can do something well, we try to exploit that at as many places as we can to serve our customers as many cases as we can responsibly and to really drive results across the business. So that's a long-winded answer to it to say, yes, we ought to be able to grow with non-res market next year but I'm pretty sure that modeling 10.8% organic growth would not be a good thing to do.

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Sean D. Eastman, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - Senior Equity Research Analyst [34]

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Very helpful. And just shifting gears a little bit over to the Industrial Services segment. Margins this quarter a little below our forecast. I think you guys mentioned you have a path back to the mid-single-digit type range in that segment. Maybe you can just provide us a little more color on bridging there? And speak to the mix of work coming out between shop and field and the types of turnarounds, whether they're more welding, more hardware. Just trying to understand kind of the margin mix of work coming out here.

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Anthony J. Guzzi, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [35]

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Yes. I'm not sure about welding versus houseware. I don't understand that. But I do understand that most of the turnaround work we do, we have electrical capability and that's in our electrical segment, most of the turnaround work we do is mechanically related and it centers on steamfitters and pipe fitters and experienced welders. I think the path back comes to 2 things, right? More repair work in the shops, getting our [cleaning stand] up to full capacity in the first quarter. I think it's capturing more repair work in those shops, and we do that for all the turnarounds, not just ours. I think it's continuing to add niche product offerings that have higher margins, and we continue to do that with refractory, some midstream and upstream services and also some of the work -- we have HF Alky work we do, cat cracker work. We are back into California in a good way. We have a sort of unique way we can do that because we're a union contractor there. And Mark, I think the path back has been just like it's been. We've had 6 quarters of recovery, and we continue to look to rebuild that base. And there's been a lot going on, right? You have mix crew slates, you have a consolidation in the industry and we need to stay on top of all that. Mark, anything you want to add?

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Mark A. Pompa, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Executive VP, CFO & Treasurer [36]

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Yes. Sean, Tony is obviously spot on. I think clearly, that team down there is working extremely hard to extract the best returns in the work that they have in front of them. The issue there is -- the workforce there is a little bit more transient than some of our other businesses and with some of the changes in schedules from our customers' perspective, we do find ourselves at times with unabsorbed labor, which we've talked about in the past calls. And the fact of the matter is, we've continued to make both productivity and capital investments in that business with regards to providing additional services in local markets where we don't have capabilities, wash stands, in particular. And -- but those things have to be in place well in advance of either the spring or fall turnaround season in order for us to get through-put and some of the weather issues we've had in the Southwest region of the country with a lot of rain. We were able to get out of the ground but unfortunately, we were not operational to take advantage of certainly the spring turnaround season, and we're hopeful that we're going to see better pull-through this fall turnaround season as well as the spring of 2020. And our customers -- Tony mentioned consolidation. Our customers are being a little bit more disciplined in their procuring of services. And a lot of our competitive landscape there is local in nature. And there are certain price concessions that have been made with regards to some of our customers that unfortunately, are being imposed on other people that are providing some of those services. So it's -- clearly, the opportunity is there relative to margin enhancement, all have to be driven by mix of work and our productivity as opposed to absorption of labor in the market and those who control the labor dictating pricing. So we're hopeful we'll get back to that at some point in time in the future but we're just not there yet.

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Anthony J. Guzzi, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [37]

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Yes. I mean, I think if you look -- take a 2- to 3-year look at this thing from this point forward. I think consolidation actually helps people like us. And Mark is right, in the short term, you have a disruption, you have local companies that are subscale, trying to hang on. But as these consolidation happens and you deal with the majors and they have sophisticated organizations that understand it's not just about the cost of labor, it's about the productivity of that labor. It's about your ability to schedule. It's about the mix of your crew on that workforce -- on that site. It's about your ability to bring large amounts of labor when needed, like Mark said, how they flex up. That takes a lot of working capital to do. It takes a lot of training to do. It takes a lot of safety programs to do. It takes equipment to have already. We are uniquely well positioned to do all of the above. And we've proven that in the past. So you go through this period of customer consolidation. And it's been my experience now in other parts of our business and in other businesses, many years ago. That the initial phase of consolidation brings all kind of decision-making that really isn't as rigorous as it's going to be long term. And the more rigorous that decision-making becomes, the more rigorous that decision-making centered on your ability to execute and not just price, the more rigorous that decision-making becomes on your ability to have the right people at the right time, the more that favors -- more significant contractors, like us, that still operate with local control. Put all that together, I think 2 to 3 years from now, whatever is available in the market I expect us to be operating in a very good way against that market long-term.

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Operator [38]

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We have your next question coming from the line of Joe Mondillo from Sidoti & Company.

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Joseph Logan Mondillo, Sidoti & Company, LLC - Research Analyst [39]

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Most of my questions have been answered. But thanks for squeezing me in. I just wanted to ask 1 or 2 questions. Just was wondering what you sort of generally look at that you can see sort of indications of whether it's an inflection on the upside or it's a downturn in the market? And I'm just asking, just because you see the Dodge nonresidential construction starts being flat to down, the Architecture Billings Index, which is theoretically supposed to be sort of pointing to a downturn and obviously, it's not necessarily reflective in your tone, in your commentary as well as actually many of the companies that we've already heard from related to the non-res construction space, they're more in line with what you're saying. So I'm just wondering what sort of you look at it? Is there anything macro or anything you can point to that would be giving signs of any inflection in your business?

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Anthony J. Guzzi, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [40]

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So we look at the macro data to give us a sense are we missing something. We look at everything you talked about, ABI, Dodge, I mean -- and numerous others, FMI, I mean, pick one.

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Mark A. Pompa, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Executive VP, CFO & Treasurer [41]

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Significant numbers.

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Anthony J. Guzzi, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [42]

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Right. I mean, Kevin, we look at least 5 or 8 different sources. All right. That tells you macro. And then I get into, like I said before, what I've learned in our space is every decision is binary. So macro might be flat to even down a little bit, maybe people are stopping to predict. But then they say, it's still a big market. And so that says, okay, where are we? And then what I look at is, what do we look like, right? I mean, we spend a lot of time trying to get pulse from people that are actually at the tip of the sphere, right? They're actually doing the work, they're bidding the work, they're in front of the work. And what do they think is going on, right? And we have bid logs that we look at every week for jobs over $10 million. We look at that velocity. We look at how we're winning. We look at -- one of the things I watch is labor absorption and specific crafts. What's going on with the sprinkler fitter national union because that's across the country. So we look at all those things. And somehow that gives us an idea of what the market's going to do overall. And then, we worry a lot less about what the market is doing overall and we took at our individual places that we have strength and we say are they going to continue to have strength. And I caveat at all this, the good visibility we actually have is about 6 months. And that lets us know that say, okay, it looks relatively stable to up maybe for the next 6 to 12 months. So you put all that in and then you apply judgment, which is what we get paid to do. And that's how we get where we go.

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Joseph Logan Mondillo, Sidoti & Company, LLC - Research Analyst [43]

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Okay. Great. I appreciate that color. Just a sort of follow-up on that, especially, the -- specifically, the second part of your answer there. On the manufacturing side of things, I think you guys mentioned that you're continuing to see some strength there. One of your peers actually reported last week sort of saying the same type of thing. Are you surprised at, I guess, the CapEx projects that are coming through from the manufacturing side? Because that's one thing, one part of the economy where we can certainly point to where we're seeing significant slowdown. So is there any caution at all within that market? It sound like it's continuing to trend pretty well, but are you surprised to see the strength in that, on the manufacturing side?

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Anthony J. Guzzi, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [44]

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Yes. No, long term. Yes, I mean in a sense I don't know how things move quarter-to-quarter, and why, I mean I'm not in the capital planning with all of our customers on a multiyear basis. Here is what I think. I think we have to make investments in your plants and facilities to make them more productive, more automated and more efficient. So you have to make them more energy-efficient. You've got to make them more automated and you've got to make the logistics work for you. You do all those things, you have a manufacturing facility that can compete and win. I think there are some exogenous factors that are going on now. And this is just my opinion. I think the China trade, in a lot of ways, has already had its impact. And what I mean by that is, it's good for EMCOR in that people are relocating their supply chain back to the U.S. and that doesn't have to happen in a major way to have an impact on people like us. Go back to the first point. I have to have a manufacturing facility that's more efficient, more automated and more productive. I'm bringing things back from China and we're seeing that and when I do that, companies like EMCOR are positioned to help us achieve that in the Southeast, the Midwest and other places. So yes, big picture, there's a manufacturing slowdown, maybe in things like steel and other things. But I think people are repositioning their supply chains for the long-term.

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Operator [45]

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And we have your next question coming from the line of Tate Sullivan from Maxim Group.

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Tate H. Sullivan, Maxim Group LLC, Research Division - Senior VP & Senior Industrials Analyst [46]

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Just a quick follow-up. You mentioned a robust acquisition pipeline, any -- can you single out any target geographies at this point. I think you have in the past if you can't comment?

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Anthony J. Guzzi, EMCOR Group, Inc. - Chairman, President & CEO [47]

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Not, no. We start to get a little too specific as we get closer to acquisitions. I would say, we continue to fill in our white space and also build capability in markets we're already in and add [new] capability where we can.

Great. Thanks for the great questions today. This will be the last time we talk collectively until next year. We'll be into 2020, we'll be reporting out on 2019, which we say right here it's going to be another record year. Wish you all a great end of the year and everybody, be safe. Thank you all for your interest in EMCOR. Goodbye.

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Operator [48]

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Thank you, everyone, for participating. This concludes today's conference. You may now disconnect. Have a lovely day.