ICF International Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2014 Results

Fairfax VA


Feb 26, 2015

Lynn Morgen
AdvisIRy Partners
Barbara Cano
MBS Value Partners

ICF International, Inc. (NASDAQ:ICFI), a leading provider of consulting services and technology solutions to government and commercial clients, reported results for the fourth quarter and 12 months ended December 31, 2014.

Fourth Quarter 2014 Results

"Fourth quarter performance illustrates ICF's success over the last several years in diversifying our revenue sources and building scale in growth markets. Revenues in the fourth quarter included a significantly increased share from private sector clients, helped by the acquisition of digital services provider Olson. In addition to the 8-week contribution from Olson, commercial revenue performance benefitted from the double-digit growth of both our existing digital services/strategic communications business and our energy markets consulting and implementation work. International government revenue growth continued to be strong, almost doubling on a year-over-year basis and accounting for 8 percent of total revenues, up from 5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. State and local government increased 16 percent to account for 10 percent of fourth quarter revenues. This double-digit growth across a large portion of our revenue base more than offset the flat year-on-year performance of our federal government business, where spending headwinds continue to impact workflow.

"Our two major markets, 'Energy, Environment & Infrastructure' and 'Health, Social Programs & Consumer/Financial,' each posted double-digit revenue growth in the fourth quarter and accounted for 92 percent of total revenues. ICF's recognized expertise in the key domain areas of health, energy, environment and consumer engagement provides us with an important competitive advantage in retaining and winning business from commercial and government clients.

"Operating income growth was significantly higher than revenue growth, reflecting the increased contribution of commercial business, which accounted for 36 percent of revenues, up from 30 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013," said ICF International Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sudhakar Kesavan.

For the fourth quarter, revenue was $276.4 million, a 20 percent increase over the $229.8 million reported in the 2013 fourth quarter. Adjusted EBITDA was $26.6 million, or 9.6 percent of revenues. Net income, exclusive of certain international office closures and acquisition-related costs, was $10.0 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, representing increases of 23 percent and 28 percent, respectively, over the comparable year-ago period.

Reported EBITDA, net income and diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter were $24.5 million, $8.8 million and $0.44, respectively.

Last year's fourth quarter results were affected by the 16-day federal government shutdown in October 2013.

Full Year 2014 Results

For 2014, revenue was $1,050.1 million, up 11 percent over the $949.3 million reported for full year 2013. Adjusted EBITDA was $98.6 million, or 9.4 percent of revenues, and up 14.3 percent from the prior year. Net income, exclusive of acquisition and restructuring-related costs was $43.8 million, or $2.19 per share, increases of 10 percent and 11 percent, respectively, over the comparable period in 2013.

"This was another record year for ICF in contract wins. Continued investments in business development over the last several years, and our added scale combined with subject matter knowledge, have enabled ICF to capture an increasing number of implementation contracts, which are often natural follow-ons to our advisory work," Mr. Kesavan noted.

Backlog and New Business Awards

Backlog was $1.9 billion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2014. Funded backlog was $850 million, or 45 percent of the total. The total value of contracts awarded to ICF in the 2014 fourth quarter was $262 million, up 17 percent from the same period for the prior fiscal year. The value of full year 2014 contract awards was a record $1.3 billion, an increase of 11 percent over the comparable year-ago period.

Commercial Business Fourth Quarter 2014 Highlights

Revenues from commercial clients increased to $100 million in the fourth quarter, up 46 percent from the same period last year, and accounted for 36 percent of total revenues. Revenues from energy advisory and energy efficiency clients were $38 million, up 13.2 percent from the same period last year. Energy advisory and energy efficiency clients accounted for 38 percent of commercial revenues and digital services/strategic communications clients accounted for 37 percent of commercial revenues.

Key Commercial Sales Highlights in the Fourth Quarter

Commercial sales were $104 million in the fourth quarter and $369 million for 2014.  ICF was awarded more than 500 commercial projects globally in the fourth quarter. The largest awards were:

Other wins with a value of more than $1 million each include business development work with a major U.S. international airport, digital marketing for a major U.S. consumer products company and energy efficiency and environmental management work for several major utilities.

Government Business Fourth Quarter 2014 Highlights

  • U.S. federal government revenues were flat with the comparable period in 2013, posting a slight 0.3 percent increase in the fourth quarter and accounting for 46 percent of total revenues, compared with 55 percent in the fourth quarter of the prior fiscal year. ICF saw growth in a number of areas, including the departments of Health and Human Services, State and the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • U.S. state and local government revenues increased 15.5 percent and accounted for 10 percent of total revenues, led by increased disaster recovery work related to Superstorm Sandy.
  • International government revenues increased 91.4 percent and accounted for 8 percent of total revenues, up from 5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, resulting from the Mostra acquisition which was completed in February 2014, and contract wins with the European Commission and the U.K. government.

Key Government Contracts Awarded in the Fourth Quarter

ICF was awarded more than 100 U.S. federal contracts and task orders and more than 200 additional contracts from other U.S. state and local governments and international governments. The largest awards include:

  • Cybersecurity: A $27 million subcontract that supports the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD) cybersecurity efforts to protect and defend itself against malicious intent. This is the third program of this nature that ICF supports at DOD.
  • Environmental Claims Processing: A $14.5 million contract with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to administer reimbursement claims regarding underground storage tanks' environmental damage.
  • Technical Assistance: A $12.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide technical assistance across a range of programs.
  • Health and Social Programs: An $8.4 million contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support the Responsible Fatherhood information clearing house.
  • Health and Social Programs: A $5 million contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support responsible drinking initiatives.

Additional awards of more than $1 million each from international governments include integrated marketing and communications support as well as education policy support for the European Commission and urban infrastructure investment assistance for a European aid agency. U.S. state government awards of more than $1 million each include work on a behavioral risk survey, education program evaluation, an energy efficiency business partners program and environmental impact reviews.

Summary and Outlook

"Our revenue diversification strategy has firmly positioned ICF in the commercial and international government arenas, which in the aggregate represented approximately 44 percent of fourth quarter revenues, up from 35 percent just one year ago. We have balanced this shift in client categories with a continued commitment to building our areas of subject matter expertise and expanding our digital services capabilities around customer and stakeholder engagement.

"Looking ahead, we anticipate continued growth in our commercial business led by digital services and our energy markets areas. Additionally, we expect to see continued positive year-over-year comparisons in our international government business on a local currency basis, but we expect that to be more than offset due to the strong U.S. dollar. Our Superstorm Sandy recovery work for state and local clients will start to wind down in the second quarter. We entered 2015 with a higher total contract backlog than we had at the comparable period in 2014, but we are assuming that federal government revenues in 2015 will slightly decline compared to 2014. To summarize, we are expecting year-over-year revenue growth of 14.3 percent, adjusted EBITDA growth of 24.7 percent and non-GAAP diluted EPS growth of 13.9 percent at the midpoint of our guidance," Mr. Kesavan concluded.

The table below summarizes ICF’s full year 2015 guidance.

 Revenue(1)  $1.175 billion-$1.225 billion
 EBITDA margin  10-10.5 percent
 Non-GAAP Diluted EPS(2)  $2.78 - $2.93
 GAAP Diluted EPS  $2.25 - $2.40
 Cash flow from operating activities  $90 million - $100 million

(1)Includes estimated impact of foreign exchange translations and revenues lost as a result of international office closures of approximately $20 million.

(2)Excludes $17 million amortization of intangibles, which equates to $0.53 of diluted earnings per share.

All per share guidance assumes weighted average shares outstanding of approximately 20 million and a full year effective tax rate of 38 percent.

To view the full release, including financial tables, download the PDF.

ICF International, Inc. and Subsidiaries Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income 2014 Q4

ICF International, Inc. and Subsidiaries Consolidated Balance Sheets 2014 Q4

ICF International, Inc. and Subsidiaries Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows 2014 Q4

ICF International, Inc. and Subsidiaries Supplemental Schedule 2014 Q4

About ICF

ICF (NASDAQ:ICFI) is a global consulting and technology services provider with more than 5,000 professionals focused on making big things possible for our clients. We are business analysts, policy specialists, technologists, researchers, digital strategists, social scientists and creatives. Since 1969, government and commercial clients have worked with ICF to overcome their toughest challenges on issues that matter profoundly to their success. Come engage with us at icf.com.

Caution Concerning Forward-looking Statements

Statements that are not historical facts and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties are "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements may concern our current expectations about our future results, plans, operations and prospects and involve certain risks, including those related to the government contracting industry generally; our particular business, including our dependence on contracts with U.S. federal government agencies; and our ability to acquire and successfully integrate businesses. These and other factors that could cause our actual results to differ from those indicated in forward-looking statements are included in the "Risk Factors" section of our securities filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements included herein are only made as of the date hereof, and we specifically disclaim any obligation to update these statements in the future.