U.S. markets close in 4 hours 41 minutes

Sterling Reports First Quarter 2020 Results

Record EBITDA (1)

Record Backlog of $1.2 billion and Backlog Gross Margin of 12.7%

Sterling Construction Company, Inc. (NasdaqGS: STRL) ("Sterling" or "the Company") today announced financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2020.

Consolidated First Quarter 2020 Financial Results Compared to First Quarter 2019:

  • Revenues were $296.7 million compared to $223.9 million;
  • Gross margin was 11.9% of revenues compared to 8.7%;
  • Plateau acquisition related costs totaled $0.5 million or $0.02 per diluted share;
  • Net income attributable to Sterling common stockholders was $3.1 million or $3.5 million on an adjusted basis(1) compared to $1.8 million or $2.0 million on an adjusted basis(1);
  • Net income per diluted share attributable to Sterling common stockholders was $0.11 or $0.12 on an adjusted basis(1) compared to $0.07;
  • Cash flows from operations was $10.8 million, an improvement of $30.0 million; and,
  • Adjusted EBITDA(1) was $20.8 million compared to $9.0 million.

Consolidated Financial Position and Liquidity at March 31, 2020:

  • Cash and Cash Equivalents were $73.9 million;
  • Debt, net of cash totaled $385.1 million; and,
  • Remaining availability of $25 million under our $75 million Revolving Credit Facility.

Heavy Civil and Specialty Services Backlog Highlights

  • Combined Backlog at March 31, 2020 was $1.43 billion, up from $1.34 billion at December 31, 2019. Combined Backlog consists of $1.19 billion of Backlog and $241 million of Unsigned Low-bid Awards as of March 31, 2020 compared to $1.07 billion and $273 million at December 31, 2019, respectively. No residential contracts are included in Backlog.
  • Total margin in Backlog has increased approximately 120 basis points, from 11.5% at December 31, 2019 to 12.7% at March 31, 2020. Combined Backlog gross margin improved from 11.0% at December 31, 2019 to 12.1% at March 31, 2020.

Due to the uncertain future COVID-19 financial impacts over the balance of the year, we have withdrawn our previously articulated guidance until we have greater visibility.

CEO Remarks and Outlook

Sterling’s Chief Executive Officer, Joe Cutillo, stated, "I’m very proud of our 3,000 employees and their ability to take care of our customers, protect themselves and their families and adapt to a rapidly changing environment associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Their hard work, ingenuity and quick actions enabled us to deliver record first quarter results that were consistent with our expectations heading into the quarter. Additionally, our first quarter results were aligned with our strategic objectives to continue to grow our bottom line profits faster than top line revenue. Our recently acquired Plateau business, which is the largest component of the Specialty Services segment, exceeded our expectations in financial performance and booked over $100 million of new business in the quarter. Our Residential operating income was slightly lower than the prior year quarter due to heavy March rains, but was up sequentially over the fourth quarter of 2019 as we continue to expand into the Houston market. The Heavy Civil segment saw the largest unfavorable productivity impact in the first quarter related to the pandemic as customers and back offices began to work virtually and new procedures and protocol were developed and implemented into field operations. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic headwinds, the Heavy Civil segment managed to approach achieving our first quarter financial expectations."

"As we look forward, all our segments have been deemed to be a component of "Essential Critical Infrastructure" per the National Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency. We have record backlogs in both the Heavy Civil and Specialty Services segments and remain in an enviable position versus many other businesses. However, we expect to begin to see more significant impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic in the second and third quarters as our home builder customers expect demand to slow, and new commercial projects related to multifamily and offices may be delayed."

Mr. Cutillo concluded, "Due to the anticipated slowdown in project activity for our residential, multi-family and commercial markets, along with the high potential of other unforeseen impacts, we have decided to withdraw our previously articulated guidance until we have greater visibility into these markets. Despite the near-term challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the profit and cash flow generated by of each of our businesses in the first quarter exemplify the continued execution of our strategy. Importantly, we generated positive free cash flow in our seasonally weak first quarter, and our liquidity position remains strong, providing us with the financial flexibility to continue to execute on our record combined backlog even if business conditions worsen, and leaving us well prepared to resume the growth trajectory of our bottom line when the economic environment normalizes."

Conference Call

Sterling’s management will hold a conference call to discuss these results and recent corporate developments on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. ET/8:00 a.m. CT. Interested parties may participate in the call by dialing (201) 493-6744 or (877) 445-9755. Please call in ten minutes before the conference call is scheduled to begin and ask for the Sterling Construction call. To coincide with the conference call, Sterling will post a slide presentation at www.strlco.com on the Investor Presentations & Webcast section of the Investor Relations tab. Following management’s opening remarks, there will be a question and answer session.

To listen to a simultaneous webcast of the call, please go to the Company’s website at www.strlco.com at least fifteen minutes early to download and install any necessary audio software. If you are unable to listen live, the conference call webcast will be archived on the Company’s website for thirty days.

About Sterling

Sterling Construction Company, Inc., ("Sterling" or "the Company"), a Delaware corporation, is a construction company that has been involved in the construction industry since its founding in 1955. The Company operates through a variety of subsidiaries within three operating groups specializing in heavy civil, specialty services, and residential projects in the United States (the "U.S."), primarily across the southern U.S., the Rocky Mountain states, California and Hawaii, as well as other areas with strategic construction opportunities. Heavy civil includes infrastructure and rehabilitation projects for highways, roads, bridges, airfields, ports, light rail, water, wastewater and storm drainage systems. Specialty services projects include construction site excavation and drainage, drilling and blasting for excavation, foundations for multi-family homes, parking structures and other commercial concrete projects. Residential projects include concrete foundations for single-family homes.

Important Information for Investors and Stockholders

Non-GAAP Measures

This press release contains "Non-GAAP" financial measures as defined under Regulation G of the amended U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Company reports financial results in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"), but the Company believes that certain Non-GAAP financial measures provide useful supplemental information to investors regarding the underlying business trends and performance of the Company’s ongoing operations and are useful for period-over-period comparisons of those operations.

Non-GAAP measures include adjusted net income, adjusted EPS and adjusted EBITDA, in each case excluding the impacts of certain identified items. The excluded items represent items that the Company does not consider to be representative of its normal operations. The Company believes that these measures are useful for investors to review, because they provide a consistent measure of the underlying financial results of the Company’s ongoing business and, in the Company’s view, allow for a supplemental comparison against historical results and expectations for future performance. Furthermore, the Company uses each of these to measure the performance of the Company’s operations for budgeting, forecasting, as well as employee incentive compensation. However, Non-GAAP measures should not be considered as substitutes for net income, EPS, or other data prepared and reported in accordance with GAAP and should be viewed in addition to the Company’s reported results prepared in accordance with GAAP.

Reconciliations of these Non-GAAP financial measures to the most comparable GAAP measures are provided in the tables included in this press release.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains statements that are considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which may include statements about: the scope and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and its continuing impact on national and global economic conditions; and our business strategy; financial strategy; and plans, objectives, expectations, forecasts, outlook and intentions. All of these types of statements, other than statements of historical fact included in this press release, are forward-looking statements. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "may," "will," "could," "should," "expect," "plan," "project," "intend," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "potential," "pursue," "target," "continue," the negative of such terms or other comparable terminology. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are largely based on our expectations, which reflect estimates and assumptions made by our management. These estimates and assumptions reflect our best judgment based on currently known market conditions and other factors. Although we believe such estimates and assumptions to be reasonable, they are inherently uncertain and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that are beyond our control. In addition, management’s assumptions about future events may prove to be inaccurate. Management cautions all readers that the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are not guarantees of future performance, and we cannot assure any reader that such statements will be realized or the forward-looking events and circumstances will occur. Actual results may differ materially from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements due to factors listed in the "Risk Factors" section in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and elsewhere in those filings. The forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made, and other than as required by law, we do not intend to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. These cautionary statements qualify all forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf.

 

STERLING CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC. & SUBSIDIARIES

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

(In thousands, except per share data)

(Unaudited)

 

Three Months Ended March 31,

 

2020

 

2019

Revenues

$

296,688

 

 

$

223,949

 

Cost of revenues

(261,443

)

 

(204,446

)

Gross profit

35,245

 

 

19,503

 

General and administrative expense

(17,604

)

 

(11,889

)

Intangible asset amortization

(2,837

)

 

(600

)

Acquisition related costs

(473

)

 

 

Other operating expense, net

(2,228

)

 

(2,294

)

Operating income

12,103

 

 

4,720

 

Interest income

99

 

 

364

 

Interest expense

(7,803

)

 

(3,060

)

Income before income taxes

4,399

 

 

2,024

 

Income tax expense

(1,184

)

 

(163

)

Net income

3,215

 

 

1,861

 

Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests

(100

)

 

(46

)

Net income attributable to Sterling common stockholders

$

3,115

 

 

$

1,815

 

 

 

 

 

Net income per share attributable to Sterling common stockholders:

 

 

 

Basic

$

0.11

 

 

$

0.07

 

Diluted

$

0.11

 

 

$

0.07

 

 

 

 

 

Weighted average common shares outstanding:

 

 

 

Basic

27,736

 

 

26,377

 

Diluted

27,992

 

 

26,723

 

 

STERLING CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC. & SUBSIDIARIES

SEGMENT INFORMATION

(In thousands)

(Unaudited)

 

Three Months Ended March 31,

 

2020

 

% of
Revenue

 

2019

 

% of
Revenue

Revenue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heavy Civil

$

155,615

 

 

53%

 

$

150,505

 

 

67%

Specialty Services

104,723

 

 

35%

 

30,679

 

 

14%

Residential

36,350

 

 

12%

 

42,765

 

 

19%

Total Revenue

$

296,688

 

 

 

 

$

223,949

 

 

 

Operating Income (Loss)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heavy Civil

$

(3,622

)

 

(2.3)%

 

$

(2,147

)

 

(1.4)%

Specialty Services

11,114

 

 

10.6%

 

1,048

 

 

3.4%

Residential

5,084

 

 

14.0%

 

5,819

 

 

13.6%

Subtotal

12,576

 

 

4.2%

 

4,720

 

 

2.1%

Acquisition related costs

(473

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Operating Income

$

12,103

 

4.1%

 

$

4,720

2.1%

 

STERLING CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC. & SUBSIDIARIES

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(In thousands, except per share data)

(Unaudited)

 

March 31,
2020

 

December 31,
2019

Assets

 

 

 

Current assets:

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

$

73,905

 

 

$

45,733

 

Accounts receivable, including retainage

221,268

 

 

248,247

 

Costs and estimated earnings in excess of billings

54,791

 

 

42,555

 

Receivables from and equity in construction joint ventures

10,789

 

 

9,196

 

Other current assets

10,335

 

 

11,790

 

Total current assets

371,088

 

 

357,521

 

Property and equipment, net

117,818

 

 

116,030

 

Operating lease right-of-use assets

14,790

 

 

13,979

 

Goodwill

191,892

 

 

191,892

 

Other intangibles, net

253,486

 

 

256,323

 

Deferred tax asset, net

27,149

 

 

26,012

 

Other non-current assets, net

172

 

 

183

 

Total assets

$

976,395

 

 

$

961,940

 

Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity

 

 

 

Current liabilities:

 

 

 

Accounts payable

$

123,172

 

 

$

137,593

 

Billings in excess of costs and estimated earnings

79,293

 

 

85,011

 

Current maturities of long-term debt

50,211

 

 

42,473

 

Current portion of long-term lease obligations

7,410

 

 

7,095

 

Income taxes payable

1,656

 

 

1,212

 

Accrued compensation

14,187

 

 

13,727

 

Other current liabilities

10,403

 

 

6,393

 

Total current liabilities

286,332

 

 

293,504

 

Long-term debt

408,828

 

 

390,627

 

Long-term lease obligations

7,465

 

 

6,976

 

Members’ interest subject to mandatory redemption and undistributed earnings

49,186

 

 

49,003

 

Other long-term liabilities

5,654

 

 

619

 

Total liabilities

757,465

 

 

740,729

 

Stockholders’ equity:

 

 

 

Common stock, par value $0.01 per share; 38,000 shares authorized, 28,282 and 28,290 shares issued, 27,966 and 27,772 shares outstanding

283

 

 

283

 

Additional paid in capital

250,689

 

 

251,019

 

Treasury Stock, at cost: 316 and 518 shares

(4,247

)

 

(6,142

)

Retained deficit

(21,918

)

 

(25,033

)

Accumulated other comprehensive loss

(7,270

)

 

(209

)

Total Sterling stockholders’ equity

217,537

 

 

219,918

 

Noncontrolling interests

1,393

 

 

1,293

 

Total stockholders’ equity

218,930

 

 

221,211

 

Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity

$

976,395

 

 

$

961,940

 

 

STERLING CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC. & SUBSIDIARIES

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

(In thousands)

(Unaudited)

 

Three Months Ended March 31,

 

2020

 

2019

Cash flows from operating activities:

 

 

 

Net income

$

3,215

 

 

$

1,861

 

Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by (used in) operating activities:

 

 

 

Depreciation and amortization

8,285

 

 

4,302

 

Amortization of debt issuance costs

1,022

 

 

833

 

Gain on disposal of property and equipment

(393

)

 

(38

)

Deferred taxes

913

 

 

141

 

Stock-based compensation expense

2,234

 

 

1,021

 

Loss on interest rate hedge

171

 

 

 

Changes in operating assets and liabilities

(4,676

)

 

(27,362

)

Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities

10,771

 

 

(19,242

)

Cash flows from investing activities:

 

 

 

Capital expenditures

(7,354

)

 

(3,814

)

Proceeds from sale of property and equipment

512

 

 

137

 

Net cash used in investing activities

(6,842

)

 

(3,677

)

Cash flows from financing activities:

 

 

 

Borrowings on revolving credit facility

30,000

 

 

 

Repayments of long-term debt

(5,082

)

 

(5,610

)

Distributions to noncontrolling interest owners

 

 

(5,100

)

Purchase of treasury stock

 

 

(3,201

)

Other

(675

)

 

(501

)

Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities

24,243

 

 

(14,412

)

Net change in cash and cash equivalents

28,172

 

 

(37,331

)

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period

45,733

 

 

94,095

 

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period

$

73,905

 

 

$

56,764

 

 

STERLING CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC. & SUBSIDIARIES

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Supplemental Adjusted Financial Data (1)

(In thousands, except per share data)

(Unaudited)

The Company reports its financial results in accordance with GAAP. This press release also includes several Non-GAAP financial measures as defined under the SEC’s Regulation G. The following tables reconcile certain Non-GAAP financial measures used in this press release to comparable GAAP financial measures.

 

 

 

 

 

Three Months Ended March 31, 2020

As Reported
(GAAP)

 

Adjustment

 

Adjusted
(Non-GAAP)

Revenues

$

296,688

 

 

$

 

 

$

296,688

 

Cost of revenues

(261,443

)

 

 

 

(261,443

)

Gross profit

35,245

 

 

 

 

35,245

 

General and administrative expense

(17,604

)

 

 

 

(17,604

)

Intangible asset amortization

(2,837

)

 

 

 

(2,837

)

Acquisition related costs

(473

)

 

473

 

 

 

Other operating expense, net

(2,228

)

 

 

 

(2,228

)

Operating income

12,103

 

 

473

 

 

12,576

 

Interest income

99

 

 

 

 

99

 

Interest expense

(7,803

)

 

 

 

(7,803

)

Income before income taxes

4,399

 

 

473

 

 

4,872

 

Income tax expense (2)

(1,184

)

 

(99

)

 

(1,283

)

Net income

3,215

 

 

374

 

 

3,589

 

Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests

(100

)

 

 

 

(100

)

Net income attributable to Sterling common stockholders

$

3,115

 

 

$

374

 

 

$

3,489

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income per share attributable to Sterling common stockholders:

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

$

0.11

 

 

$

0.02

 

 

$

0.13

 

Diluted

$

0.11

 

 

$

0.01

 

 

$

0.12

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weighted average common shares outstanding:

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

27,736

 

 

 

 

27,736

 

Diluted

27,992

 

 

 

 

27,992

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1)

 

 

The summary unaudited adjusted financial data is presented excluding the costs of acquiring Plateau, net of tax. This presentation is considered a non-GAAP financial measure, which the Company believes provides a better indication of our operating results prior to the excluded items.

(2)

 

Adjusted Non-GAAP income tax expense of $1,283 includes non-cash federal income tax expense of $1,012.

 

STERLING CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC. & SUBSIDIARIES

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Supplemental Adjusted Financial Data (1)

(In thousands, except per share data)

(Unaudited)

The Company reports its financial results in accordance with GAAP. This press release also includes several Non-GAAP financial measures as defined under the SEC’s Regulation G. The following tables reconcile certain Non-GAAP financial measures used in this press release to comparable GAAP financial measures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Months Ended March 31, 2019

 

As Reported
(GAAP)

 

Adjustment

 

Adjusted
(Non-GAAP)

Revenues

$

223,949

 

 

$

 

 

$

223,949

 

Cost of revenues

(204,446

)

 

 

 

(204,446

)

Gross profit

19,503

 

 

 

 

19,503

 

General and administrative expense

(11,889

)

 

 

 

(11,889

)

Intangible asset amortization

(600

)

 

 

 

(600

)

Other operating expense, net

(2,294

)

 

 

 

(2,294

)

Operating income

4,720

 

 

 

 

4,720

 

Interest income

364

 

 

 

 

364

 

Interest expense

(3,060

)

 

 

 

(3,060

)

Income before income taxes

2,024

 

 

 

 

2,024

 

Income tax (expense) benefit

(163

)

 

141

 

 

(22

)

Net income

1,861

 

 

141

 

 

2,002

 

Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests

(46

)

 

 

 

(46

)

Net income attributable to Sterling common stockholders

$

1,815

 

 

$

141

 

 

$

1,956

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income per share attributable to Sterling common stockholders:

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

$

0.07

 

 

$

 

 

$

0.07

 

Diluted

$

0.07

 

 

$

 

 

$

0.07

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weighted average common shares outstanding:

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

26,377

 

 

 

 

26,377

 

Diluted

26,723

 

 

 

 

26,723

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1)

 

 

The summary unaudited adjusted financial data is presented excluding the non-cash taxes. This presentation is considered a non-GAAP financial measure, which the Company believes provides a better indication of our operating results prior to the excluded items.

 

STERLING CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC. & SUBSIDIARIES

EBITDA Reconciliation

(In thousands)

(Unaudited)

 

Three Months Ended March 31,

 

2020

 

2019

Net income attributable to Sterling common stockholders

$

3,115

 

 

$

1,815

 

Depreciation

5,448

 

 

3,702

 

Amortization

2,837

 

 

600

 

Interest expense, net of interest income

7,704

 

 

2,696

 

Income tax (benefit) expense

1,184

 

 

163

 

EBITDA (1)

20,288

 

 

8,976

 

Acquisition related costs

473

 

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA (2)

$

20,761

 

 

$

8,976

 

 

 

 

 

(1)

 

The Company defines EBITDA as GAAP net income (loss) attributable to Sterling common stockholders, adjusted for depreciation and amortization, net interest expense, taxes, and loss on extinguishment of debt.

(2)

 

Adjusted EBITDA excludes the impact of acquisition related costs.

 

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200504005750/en/

Contacts

Sterling Construction Company, Inc.
Ron Ballschmiede, Chief Financial Officer
281-214-0800

Investor Relations Counsel:
The Equity Group Inc.
Fred Buonocore, CFA 212-836-9607