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Quanta Services (PWR) Misses Q1 Earnings, Outlook Raised

Quanta Services Inc. PWR reported first-quarter 2016 adjusted earnings from continuing operations of 20 cents per share, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 22 cents by 9.1%.

The company’s non-GAAP adjusted earnings stood at 23 cents, down 17.8% from the prior-year quarter tally of 28 cents. The weak top-line performance by the company’s segments dragged down profits.

Inside the Headlines

Total revenue in the quarter came in at $1,713.7 million, down 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. Also, the figure missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,735 million. The decline in revenues can be attributed to a host of headwinds including harsh weather, obtaining sighting and permission for energy infrastructure projects, project delays and so on.

Of the total first-quarter 2016 revenue, the Electric Power Infrastructure segment accounted for 69.3% and the Oil and Gas Infrastructure segment represented 30.7%.

Segment-wise, revenues from Electric Power Infrastructure declined about 4.3% year over year to $1,187.0 million.

On the other hand, Oil and Gas Infrastructure segmental revenues fell 15.2% to $526.7 million.

In first-quarter 2016, operating income came in at $37.3 million, down from $84.1 million in the prior-year quarter.

As of Mar 31, 2016, Quanta Services’ consolidated backlog stood at $10,083.2 million, up from $9,121.5 million at the end of Mar 31, 2015.

Liquidity

Quanta Services exited the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $155.3 million, up from $128.8 million as of Dec 31, 2015. Moreover, total shareholders’ equity stood at $3,170.5 million, up from $3,085.5 million as of Dec 31, 2015. On Mar 31, 2016, the company’s long-term debt and notes payable stood at $404.1 million, down from $475.3 million as of Dec 31, 2015.

Shares Repurchases

Subsequent to the end of first-quarter 2016, Quanta Services completed the company's previously announced accelerated stock repurchase arrangement and bought back around $750 million worth of shares.

Notable Developments

During the quarter, Quanta Services booked large pipeline projects worth $800 million which will be carried out through 2016 and 2017. The company’s project includes pipeline infrastructure works in North America to transport natural gas from production regions to load centers and natural gas power plants. Also, the company signed a contract to construct a pipeline project in Australia.

In addition, the company implemented some key changes on its internal structure. Mr. Doyle Beneby and Mr. David McClanaha have been appointed as board of directors. This apart, Mr. Duke Austin succeeded Jim O'Neil as president and chief executive officer of the company.

2016 Outlook

Concurrent with the earnings release, Quanta Services raised its earnings guidance for the full year. The company expects adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations in the range of $1.61--$1.81 (from the previously guided range of $1.58 to $1.78). Despite the raised earnings guidance, Quanta Services reiterated the revenue guidance for the year at the band of $7.5 billion to $8.0 billion.

Our Take

Quanta Services witnessed a dismal first-quarter 2016 largely because of adverse factors like weather and regulatory issues. One of the biggest challenges for the company is obtaining the sighting and permission of energy infrastructure projects, including major electric transmission programs, and this is weighing on its profitability.

In addition to this, the current volatility in the oil and gas market, along with reduced consumer spending, has been affecting the company’s projects and orders. The Canadian economy has been severely affected by the collapse in oil prices, which in turn proved to be a significant headwind to the company’s growth momentum.

Despite these negatives, solid execution of core transmission and distribution operations is acting as a positive. Moreover, its lucrative contract wins and historic backlog levels signal at bright days ahead. Moreover, the company’s recent guidance hike reflects its internal resiliency to combat some of the macroeconomic challenges.

Quanta Services current carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the broader industrial products sector include AECOM ACM, Donaldson Company, Inc. DCI and Ingersoll-Rand Plc IR, all carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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