While Street sentiment on the sector remains arguably “subterranean,” underlying trends (e.g., analog to digital, utility spending, solid balance sheets and healthy M&A activity) remain resilient looking into ’13, despite fx headwinds. That said, we expect continued volatility as near-term prospects should remain variable by company.
Itron (ITRI : NASDAQ : $41.22 | BUY):
While European exposure (EMEA ~35% of mix) and AMI backlog levels are driving bearish expectations for guidance, we find the outlook likely to be more constructive given the platform breadth. On the call, we’ll be looking for final shipments to BC Hydro, updates on the CEO search and restructuring, as well as timetables/probabilities on European smart meter roll-outs (more ‘14/15 in our view). Our target goes to $55 from $58 as we adjust our multiple to account for FX headwinds (full-year outlook factors USD/EUR fx rate of $1.37 – we note given the natural hedge of localized manufacturing, revenues are likely more impacted than EPS). Street $562.3M/$0.94.
After a very tough TTM for shares, visibility is improving into ’13, as order flow and margins stay healthy and a return to execution is the focus. That said, new accounting for PJM causes Q2 numbers to be a tough compare (i.e. we are comfortable below the Stre t). Recent PJM ‘15/16 auction results are encouraging, while we are monitoring current discussions around the use of back-up diesel generators for DR (as independent power producers try to push-back on the EPA). We maintain our BUY rating. Street estimates$33.2M/$(1.08)
AECOM reports Q3/F2012 (June) results on 7 Aug.
Wwe expect US$1.4Bn in net revenue and EPS of US$0.60. MSS margin should improve q/q as activity in Afghanistan ramps (the SPA was signed 1 May) and execution issues dissipate. F2012 (Sept.) EPS guidance of US$2.30-US$2.45 looks safe. We’re comfortable owning the stock into the print as valuation is depressed at 4.7x ‘13E EBITDA. The TTM FCF yield is 11%, best in the space.
GENIVAR (GNV:TSX │HOLD, $22.00 Target
We expect $150M in net revenue, EBITDA of $25.5M, and EPS of $0.40 when GENIVAR reports Q2/2012 results on 9 Aug. We are in line with the consensus. While the top line should grow 14% y/y we expect only 6% EPS growth due to dilution ($160M PP in Dec.). Transaction costs associated with the WSP acquisition represent a downside risk. We’e cautious heading into the print.GENIVAR trades at 6.9x ‘3E EBITDA (9% TTM FCF yield).
Stantec (STN:NYSE/TSX BUY, $35.00 Target
Stantec will release Q2/2012 results on 2 Aug. and we expect net revenue of $358M and EPS (diluted) of C$0.58 (+4% y/y) while the consensus sits at $0.60. Recall, EBITDA margin slipped in Q1/12 (costs to complete revisions in Buildings due to two large P3 projects and an upgrade to its enterprise management system) but we expect this to improve in Q2/12. STN trades at 12x trailing EPS versus (1) an ROE consistently in the 14-17% range; (2) a long track record of excellent execution; and (3) an 8% TTM FCF yield (2.2% Div. yield).