Aegion Corporation AEGN reported first-quarter 2018 adjusted earnings of 13 cents per share, which declined 28% year over year. Earnings, however, beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny.
Including one-time items, Aegion reported loss of 6 cents per share in the quarter, against earnings of 17 cents per share posted in the prior-year quarter. Operational Update
Total revenues in the quarter remained flat year over year, at $325 million, as record revenues of the Energy Services segment were offset by lost contribution from the large deepwater pipe coating and insulation project. The revenue figure beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $299 million.
Aegion Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Aegion Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Aegion Corporation Quote
Adjusted cost of sales increased 2% to $263 million from $258 million in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted gross profit decreased 9% to $61.5 million from $67.6 million in the prior-year quarter. Adjusted gross margin shrunk 180 basis points (bps) year over year to 19%.
Adjusted operating expenses edged down 0.6% year over year to $52.7 million. Adjusted operating income plummeted 39% year over year to $8.8 million. Operating margin in the quarter came in at 2.7%, contracting 180 bps from the year-ago quarter.
Revenues from the Infrastructure Solutions segment improved 4%, year over year to $134 million. The segment's adjusted operating income plunged 47% year over year to $3.2 million.
The Corrosion Protection segment's revenues declined 20% to $98 million from $123 million recorded in the prior-year quarter. The segment posted an adjusted operating profit of $2.9 million, down from the $7.2 million reported in the year-ago quarter.
Revenues in the Energy Services segment increased 27% year over year to $92 million. The segment's adjusted operating profit increased two-fold to $2.7 million, year over year.
Aegion reported cash and cash equivalents of $87.2 million at the end of the first quarter, down from $105.7 million witnessed at the end of 2017. The company posted cash flow from operations of $1.3 million during the quarter compared with cash usage of $27.7 million recorded in the comparable quarter last year.
Aegion's consolidated backlog came in at $718 million as of Mar 31, 2018, up 9% year over year. New orders inched up 1% to $353 million during the reported quarter.
Update on Strategic Actions
In 2017, Aegion had embarked on a series of strategic actions targeted to generate more predictable and sustainable long-term earnings growth. Among others, the company initiated a process to divest the Corrosion Protection's pipe coating and insulation business in Louisiana. It expects the sale to be completed by first half of 2018.
In addition, the company has made progress in restructuring activities associated with the decision to exit the Infrastructure Solutions' North American activity for non-pressure pipe contracting applications of the Tyfo Fibrwrap system. Aegion will also focus on realigning its Infrastructure Solutions' operations in Australia and Denmark under the restructuring efforts.
The company was also involved in restructuring activities associated with Corrosion Protection's operations in Canada, which also included downsizing activities, reflecting current and anticipated market conditions.
Aegion incurred total restructuring charges of $5 million during the first quarter. For 2018, total restructuring and impairment charges are estimated to be between $117 and $120 million, with total cash charges of $19-$21 million, most of which are expected to be completed before the end of first half of 2018. The company's restructuring and cost-saving initiatives are anticipated to generate more than $20 million in 2018.
Aegion reaffirmed its adjusted earnings per share growth outlook of more than 30% in 2018. This is backed by its focus on strategic actions, along with ongoing market and order strength. The company will also benefit from the positive momentum in its U.S. and Canada cathodic-protection businesses.
Share Price Performance
In a year's time, Aegion has outperformed the industry with respect to price performance. The stock has gained around 11%, while the industry recorded growth of 7%.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Aegion currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Better-ranked stocks in the same sector include Patrick Industries, Inc. PATK , Simpson Manufacturing Company, Inc. SSD and PGT, Inc. PGTI . While Patrick Industries and Simpson Manufacturing sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), PGT, Inc. carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .
Patrick Industries has a long-term earnings growth rate of 12.7%. The stock has appreciated 22% in a year's time.
Simpson Manufacturing has a long-term earnings growth rate of 5%. The company's shares have been up 38% during the past year.
PGT, Inc. has a long-term earnings growth rate of 17.9%. Its shares have rallied 63% over the past year.
5 Medical Stocks to Buy Now
Zacks names 5 companies poised to ride a medical breakthrough that is targeting cures for leukemia, AIDS, muscular dystrophy, hemophilia, and other conditions.
New products in this field are already generating substantial revenue and even more wondrous treatments are in the pipeline. Early investors could realize exceptional profits.
Click here to see the 5 stocks >>
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report PGT, Inc. (PGTI): Free Stock Analysis Report Simpson Manufacturing Company, Inc. (SSD): Free Stock Analysis Report Aegion Corporation (AEGN): Free Stock Analysis Report Patrick Industries, Inc. (PATK): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here.