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MasTec (MTZ) Stock Up on Q1 Earnings Beat, Raised Outlook

MasTec, Inc. MTZ reported breakeven results in the first quarter of 2016 (excluding one-time items barring non-cash stock compensation expense). The Zacks Consensus Estimate was a loss of 4 cents. The figure, however, plunged 100% from 4 cents per share earned in the prior-year quarter. For the first quarter of 2016, MasTec had projected an adjusted bottom line between a loss of 3 cents per share and breakeven results.

MasTec shares gained 1.2% after the company reported quarterly results on May 5 and gave an upbeat guidance for 2016. The company expects strong performance in 2016 on the back of an active bidding environment in many of its end-markets.

Including one-time items, MasTec incurred a loss of 3 cents per share, narrower than the year-ago loss of 8 cents per share.

Operational Update

MasTec’s net sales decreased 3% year over year to $974 million in the quarter. Revenues, however, were above both the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $952 million and management’s guidance of 950 million. Revenues at the Oil and Gas segment tanked 10% to $292.7 million, while Electrical Transmission sales plunged 26% to $86.3 million. Revenues at the Power Generation and Industrial segment also fell 3% to $81.4 million. The Communication segment was the only segment to record growth in the quarter with revenues climbing 9% to $511.6 million.

Cost of sales in the quarter decreased 0.2% year over year to $884 million. Gross profit declined 23% to $89.8 million from $116 million in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin contracted 240 basis points to 9.2% in the quarter.

General and administrative expenses decreased 19% to $60 million. MasTec reported operating loss of $9.2 million in the quarter. In the prior-year quarter, the company had posted profit of $0.2 million. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were $54 million, compared with $64 million in the prior-year quarter.

Financial Details

MasTec ended the first quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $3.9 million, down from $28.7 million as of 2015 end. The company generated cash flow from operations of $15.8 million in the first quarter, compared with $119 million in the prior-year quarter. Long-term debt was $939 million as of Mar 31, 2016, compared with $933 million as of Dec 31, 2015. MasTec’s board has authorized the repurchase of up to $100 million worth of shares.

The company’s 18-month backlog as of Mar 31, 2016 was $5.7 billion, up 35% from $4.2 billion as of Mar 31, 2015 and $5.7 billion as of Dec 31, 2015.

Guidance

For the full year, MasTec has raised its adjusted earnings per share guidance to $1.37 to $1.47 from the prior guidance of $1.35–$1.45. Revenues are now projected in the range of $4.8 billion to $5 billion, up from the previous projection of $4.6–$4.8 billion. Adjusted EBITDA guidance range has been reaffirmed at $415 million to $430 million. The revised guidance reflect encouraging first-quarter results and performance trends, including improved expectations from the Communications, and Oil and Gas segments; and lower expectations from the Electrical Transmission segment.

During the second quarter of 2016, MasTec plans to significantly expand its construction activities related to two major pipeline projects to the Mexican border and begin construction of the large long-haul oil and gas project later in the quarter. These projects are expected to drive revenue and earnings growth over the rest of the year. For the second quarter, MasTec expects revenues of approximately $1.1–$1.25 billion, adjusted EBITDA of $80–$95 million and adjusted earnings per share of 17–27 cents.

Coral Gables, FL-based MasTec is a leading infrastructure construction company that operates primarily in North America and caters to a range of industries. Its services include engineering, building, installation, maintenance and upgrade of energy, utility and communications infrastructure as well as industrial infrastructure.

At present, MasTec has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the construction sector are Tutor Perini Corporation TPC, Simpson Manufacturing Co., Inc. SSD and NCI Building Systems Inc. NCS. While both Tutor Perini and Simpson Manufacturing sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), NCI Building Systems carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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