ICF (NASDAQ:ICFI), a consulting and technology services provider to government and commercial clients around the world, reported results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2016.
Third Quarter and Nine Month 2016 Results
“As expected, third quarter results represented a strong start to the second half of this year. We achieved significant year-on-year revenue growth across our key markets and reported increased profitability in line with higher labor utilization and substantial growth in our higher margin commercial business,” said ICF Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sudhakar Kesavan.
“Revenues from our commercial energy markets and digital marketing services in the aggregate increased 13.7 percent in the third quarter and accounted for 79 percent of commercial revenues for the period, reflecting ICF’s market leadership in energy efficiency and energy advisory work, and the combination of new accounts and expanded assignments from existing clients at ICF Olson.
“At the same time, our federal government revenue increased 4.6 percent year-on-year and state and local government revenue grew by 20 percent, both of which benefited from additional health, energy, environment and infrastructure project assignments, while revenues from international government clients declined, representing 5 percent of total third quarter revenues.
“Earnings per share increased at a rate that was significantly ahead of revenue growth in the third quarter of 2016. Further, this was a record-setting quarter for ICF with respect to year-to-date contract wins, backlog and pipeline. It reflected investments we have made to diversify our revenue sources and capture market share through a combination of deep subject matter expertise and the addition of relevant implementation services,” Mr. Kesavan noted.
Third quarter 2016 revenue was $306.5 million, a 6.1 percent increase from $289.0 million in the third quarter of 2015. Service revenue2 increased 3.1 percent to $223.2 million from $216.4 million for the comparable period in 2015. Net income was $13.4 million in the third quarter of 2016, or $0.70 per diluted share, up 18.6 percent from $0.59 per diluted share in the prior year period. Non-GAAP EPS increased 8.0 percent to $0.81 per share in the third quarter of 2016 compared to $0.75 in the prior year. EBITDA2 was $31.0 million, up from $30.1 million in the third quarter of 2015. Third quarter 2016 EBITDA margin was 10.1 percent in the quarter, and adjusted EBITDA2, which excludes special charges related to severance for staff realignment and international office closures of $0.4 million, was $31.5 million, or 10.3 percent of revenues, up from last year’s $31.1 million.
Backlog and New Business Awards
Total backlog was a record $2.2 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2016. Funded backlog was $1.1 billion, or approximately 50 percent of the total backlog. The total value of contracts awarded in the 2016 third quarter was $578.7 million. Trailing twelve month contract awards were $1.4 billion for a book-to-bill ratio of 1.21.
Government Business Third Quarter 2016 Highlights
- U.S. federal government revenues increased 4.6 percent year-on-year to $149.7 million in the third quarter of 2016 and accounted for 49 percent of total revenue, the same percentage as in last year’s third quarter.
- U.S. state and local government revenues increased 20 percent year-on-year and accounted for 11 percent of total revenue, compared to 10 percent in the year-ago period.
- International government revenues, which accounted for 5 percent of total revenues, decreased by 18.9 percent year-on-year due to delays in activation of programs and the impact of changes in foreign currency exchange rates.
Key Government Contracts Awarded in the Third Quarter
ICF was awarded more than 100 U.S. federal contracts and task orders and more than 200 additional contracts from state and local and international governments. The largest awards were:
- Program Support: Multiple contracts with a combined value of $71.5 million with the U.S. Administration for Children and Families to support clearinghouse development, the prevention of human trafficking, childhood development, childcare, child welfare, health, Head Start and general support services.
- Technical Assistance: Multiple contracts with a combined value of $41 million with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide IT, validation and verification, international, training and technical assistance, communications, data management and other services.
- Program Support: A $35 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense, Deployment Health Clinical Center to provide psychological health interdisciplinary and support services.
- Critical Infrastructure Protection: A $34 million contract with the U.S. Navy’s Cyber Warfare and Engineering Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center to support the Defense Critical Infrastructure Program.
- Technical Assistance: A $33.4 million contract with the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime to provide training and technical assistance.
- Program Management: Three contracts with a combined value of $22.8 million with the U.S. National Institutes of Health to provide program management and technology support services.
- Program Evaluation: An $11 million contract to provide program evaluation of effectiveness and learning for the U.S. Agency for International Development-led Feed the Future initiative.
- Communications: A €9.5 million framework contract with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts to raise awareness and engage audiences.
Other government wins with a value greater than $5 million included: technical, IT and management support for the U.S. Department of Energy; program management with the U.S. Administration for Community Living; travel demand management solutions for a Northeastern state’s transportation authority; and support for fraud detection and predictive analytics efforts for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Commercial Business Third Quarter 2016 Highlights
- Commercial revenues were $107.1 million, 9.4 percent above the $97.9 million in last year’s third quarter.
- Digital marketing services accounted for 43 percent of commercial revenues. Energy markets, which includes energy efficiency, represented 36 percent of commercial revenues.
Key Commercial Contracts Awarded in the Third Quarter
Commercial sales were a record $198 million in the third quarter, and ICF was awarded more than 500 commercial projects globally during the period. The largest awards were:
- Contracts with a combined value of $95.9 million with a major utility holding company to support energy efficiency programs for commercial and industrial clients.
- A $23 million contract with a major Midwest U.S. utility to provide energy efficiency implementation services and proprietary marketing, analytics and IT platforms to support residential energy efficiency programs.
- Two contracts with a combined value of $17.9 million with a major utility in the Eastern U.S. to support residential, commercial and industrial energy efficiency programs.
- Multiple contracts with a combined value of $7.3 million with a major utility in the Western U.S. to provide authorization, pipeline safety, maintenance and other services.
- Three contracts with a combined value of $4 million with a major international hotel chain to provide customer loyalty program and communications services.
- Multiple contracts with a combined value of $2 million with an international tracking technologies and services company to provide digital solutions.
Other commercial wins with a value of at least $1 million included: brand support for a major national health care company; public relations support for a major international beverage company; digital solutions for a real estate investment trust; brand building for a national tourism bureau; environmental documentation with a major rail program in the Midwest U.S.; environmental compliance monitoring services for a major wind energy project in the Western U.S.; energy market consulting services for a law firm in the Eastern U.S.; and commercial energy advisory services for a group of utilities in the Northeast U.S.
Summary and Outlook
“This was an excellent quarter for ICF, demonstrating the strength of our business model, supporting our expectations for higher profitability in the second half of 2016 and setting the stage for continued growth in 2017.
“Based on year-to-date results and current visibility, we are narrowing our full year 2016 revenue and diluted EPS guidance ranges. Our expectations for full year 2016 are as follows:
- Revenues in the range of $1.185 billion to $1.195 billion, approximately five percent ahead of 2015 levels;
- Diluted EPS of $2.45 to $2.50, which represents year-on-year growth of 23.8 percent at the midpoint;
- Non-GAAP EPS of $2.91 to $2.96, which represents year-on-year growth of 11.2 percent at the midpoint;
- And, we continue to expect full year cash flow from operations of between $85 million to $95 million for fiscal 2016,” Mr. Kesavan concluded.
Per share guidance assumes weighted average shares outstanding of approximately 19.3 million and a full year effective tax rate of no more than 38.0 percent.