Tom Konrad CFA
Performance contractor Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE:AMRC) reported earnings on May 9th. Revenues were below analyst expectations, but Chairman, CEO, and President George Sakellaris put this down to timing issues, and stuck by his full year guidance. Strong growth in the firm’s backlog and awarded project’s seem to back up this relatively optimistic view. From the earnings call transcript
[W]e are very confident about the improving market conditions in few of our regions, as well as continued growth in our all other offerings. These are expected to be the growth drivers for the near-term. We are also very confident about the medium to long-term pipeline development, as shown by the continued increase in awarded projects. Where we are cautiously optimistic near term, is the select areas where we continue to see softness in the awarded project conversion rates. The varying conversion rates at the local level lead us to believe that overall market conditions will improve gradually over time. We continue to believe, however, that energy efficiency represents a large growth opportunity over the long-term. We are excited about our own growth or potential within this market opportunity, given our leadership role, as well as our current pipeline development. As a result, we are very optimistic about the long-term fundamentals of our business.
Sakellaris’ comment re-affirm my view of the company, which I have been repeating all year. At $7.50, this is a great opportunity to acquire one of the leading companies in the energy efficiency space.
Leading North American transit bus manufacturer New Flyer Corp (TSX:NFI, OTC:NFYEF) reported increased revenue on higher bus deliveries and the acquisition of Orion’s aftermarket parts business. The company continues to grow its backlog rapidly, and demand for new buses looks likely to remain strong, despite a 5% cut in US federal funding for transit buses due to sequestration. Bus ridership and state tax revenues (which also fund bus purchases) have been strong.
The company continues to look for attractive acquisition targets (such as Orion’s parts business), to be funded by the investemtn from Brazillian bus manufacturer Marcopolo announced in January.
New Flyer expects to maintain its current C$0.585 annual dividend.
Green Building company PFB Corporation (TSX:PFB, OTC:PFBOF) also announced first quarter results. Year over year, comparable revenues and earnings were slightly down from the first quarter last year. In my opinion, this is most likely due to the much colder weather than in 2012, which would have slowed building conditions. Going forward, I expect to see earnings growth for the rest of the year. The first quarter also included a previously announced sale and leaseback of four of PFB’s Canadian properties, resulting in a one-off after tax gain of C$6.2 million, or 92 cents a share. The proceeds will be used to pay off all PFB’s debt and pay a special C$1 dividend, in addition to its regular C$0.06 quarterly dividend.
Management has good reason to return cash to shareholders when they can: the company is 70% owned by insiders.
Oh, yeah, and Tesla (NASD:TSLA) also announced very strong earnings. Long time readers know I don’t follow “popular” stocks, but I’m happy to see good news for electric cars. The fairy dust from high profile stocks like Tesla tends to fall on all green stocks, and increase valuations across the board.
Disclosure: Long AMRC, PFB, NFI.
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