AECOM reports third quarter fiscal year 2018 results

August 7, 2018

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug 7, 2018--AECOM (NYSE:ACM), a premier, fully integrated global infrastructure firm, today reported third quarter revenue increased by 13% to $5.1 billion, which set a new quarterly all-time high. Net income and diluted earnings per share were $61 million and $0.37 in the third quarter, respectively. On an adjusted basis, diluted earnings per share 1 was $0.62.

Third Quarter 2018 Accomplishments:

Organic 4 revenue increased by 10% over the prior year, which marks the seventh consecutive quarter of positive organic growth, led by the higher-margin DCS and MS segments and growth in all three segments. Adjusted EBITDA of $223 million increased by 15% year-over-year after adjusting for the large AECOM Capital gain in the prior-year quarter; sequential adjusted EBITDA growth of 11% was ahead of prior guidance for slight growth. Total backlog reached a new record of $54 billion, a 16% 3 increase over the prior year, which includes a continued favorable mix shift to the higher-margin DCS and MS segments. Wins of $9.4 billion also set a new record, resulting in a 1.7x book-to-burn 5 ratio, and included solid performance across the business. Delivered positive free cash flow 2 for the 23 rd time in the past 25 quarters, and total debt declined by $69 million; cash flow was impacted due to working capital used to support 13% revenue growth, primarily from increased storm recovery work in the Americas.

Prioritizing Stock Repurchases to Create Shareholder Value:

AECOM plans to commence its share repurchases ahead of its prior expectation by entering into a $150 million accelerated stock repurchase (ASR) once its trading window opens on August 9 th due to confidence in the strength of its business and outlook for its markets. The Company continues to believe its shares are undervalued and that repurchases represent a compelling avenue to generate long-term value for both AECOM and its shareholders. Upon completion of the ASR, the Company intends to then deploy substantially all free cash flow towards ongoing debt reduction and repurchases under its $1 billion Board authorization. The Company reiterates its target net leverage 6 of 2.5x, which it expects to achieve through a combination of ongoing debt reduction and EBITDA growth.

Strategic Decisions Update:

On June 25 th, the Company completed the sale of its Canadian Industrial Services Division and expects to complete the second non-core Oil & Gas business sale over the next several months. Construction of the Alliant combined cycle gas power plant remains on schedule and budget.

“Our record revenue and all-time high backlog are evidence that our design, build, finance, and operate vision, along with our leading scale and broad geographic reach, are resulting in a differentiated competitive offering and strong performance,” said Michael S. Burke, AECOM’s chairman and chief executive officer. “In addition to our accomplishments in the quarter, we are off to a strong start in the fourth quarter, including sizable wins that increase our confidence in continued backlog growth. As a result, we are moving forward with share repurchases under a $150 million ASR, reflecting our industry-leading track record of superior cash generation and the strong tailwinds driving our performance. We believe buying our shares at current prices will create long-term value for our shareholders.”

“Our strong third quarter results demonstrate the progress we are making on our five-year financial plan through fiscal 2022 to deliver a 5%+ revenue CAGR, 7%+ adjusted EBITDA CAGR, 12-15% adjusted EPS CAGR, and at least $3.5 billion of cumulative free cash flow,” said W. Troy Rudd, AECOM’s chief financial officer. “In fact, we are already outperforming our revenue growth targets and, after adjusting for the large AECOM Capital gain in the year-ago period, our EBITDA growth is also outperforming. We are on track to maximize shareholder value through our capital allocation commitments.”

Wins and Backlog

Wins were $9.4 billion, which set a new record for the Company, and resulted in a book-to-burn ratio 5 of 1.7x. Wins were highlighted by strength across the business, including a 6.6x book-to-burn ratio in the MS segment. Total backlog increased by 16% 3 over the prior-year period to $54 billion and continued to reflect a favorable mix shift to the higher-margin DCS and MS segments.

Business Segments

Design & Consulting Services (DCS)

The DCS segment delivers planning, consulting, architectural and engineering design services to commercial and government clients worldwide in markets such as transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government.

Revenue in the third quarter was $2.1 billion. Constant-currency organic 4 revenue increased by 12% and included 17% growth in the Americas, which was driven by strong growth in the Company’s transportation and water markets, including accelerating work related to storm recovery efforts following last year’s hurricane season in the Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean.

Operating income was $120 million compared to $94 million in the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis, operating income 1 was $128 million compared to $104 million in the year-ago period. Profitability in the Americas and APAC regions was strong, which was partially offset by slower growth and reduced profitability in the EMIA region.

Construction Services (CS)

The CS segment provides construction services for energy, sports, commercial, industrial, and public and private infrastructure clients.

Revenue in the third quarter was $2.1 billion. Constant-currency organic 4 revenue increased by 8%, led by double-digit growth in the Building Construction business. This strength was partially offset by a decline in the Power business due to the completion of a large project and the Company’s decision to exit the fixed-price combined-cycle gas power plant construction market.

Operating income was $9 million compared to operating income of $33 million in the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis, operating income 1 was $34 million compared to $42 million in the year-ago period, reflecting a decline in the Power business, as anticipated, and strong underlying performance in the Building Construction business.

Management Services (MS)

The MS segment provides program and facilities management and maintenance, training, logistics, consulting, technical assistance and systems-integration services and information technology services, primarily for agencies of the U.S. government, national governments around the world and commercial customers.

Revenue in the third quarter was $936 million. Organic 4 revenue increased by 9%, which was driven by solid conversion on the Company’s recent significant wins.

Operating income was $66 million, which was effectively unchanged from the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis, operating income 1 was $76 million compared to $79 million in the year-ago period. This performance included a benefit from an anticipated recovery on a federal project.

Tax Rate

The effective tax rate in the third quarter was 30.6%. On an adjusted basis, the effective tax rate was 26.0%. The adjusted tax rate was derived by re-computing the expected annual effective tax rate on earnings from adjusted net income. 7 The adjusted tax expense differs from the GAAP tax expense based on the taxability or deductibility and tax rate applied to each of the adjustments.

Cash Flow

Operating cash flow for the third quarter was $72 million and free cash flow 2 was $48 million. The Company expects to achieve at least $600 million of free cash flow in fiscal 2018.

Balance Sheet

As of June 30, 2018, AECOM had $801 million of total cash and cash equivalents, $3.1 billion of net debt and $1.2 billion in unused capacity under its $1.35 billion revolving credit facility.

Financial Outlook

AECOM’s fiscal year 2018 financial guidance is as follows:

Conference Call

AECOM is hosting a conference call today at 12 p.m. Eastern Time, during which management will make a brief presentation focusing on the Company’s results, strategies and operating trends. Interested parties can listen to the conference call and view accompanying slides via webcast at http://investors.aecom.com. The webcast will be available for replay following the call.


AECOM (NYSE:ACM) is built to deliver a better world. We design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organizations in more than 150 countries. As a fully integrated firm, we connect knowledge and experience across our global network of experts to help clients solve their most complex challenges. From high-performance buildings and infrastructure, to resilient communities and environments, to stable and secure nations, our work is transformative, differentiated and vital. A  Fortune 500  firm, AECOM had revenue of approximately $18.2 billion during fiscal year 2017. See how we deliver what others can only imagine at aecom.com and @AECOM.

All statements in this press release other than statements of historical fact are “forward-looking statements” for purposes of federal and state securities laws, including any projections of earnings, revenue, cash flows, tax rate, share count, stock repurchases, interest expense, capital expenditures, amortization of intangible assets and financial fees, or other financial items, non-core Oil & Gas business sales, any statements of the plans, strategies and objectives for future operations and any statements regarding future economic conditions or performance. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in our forward-looking statements are reasonable, actual results could differ materially from those projected or assumed in any of our forward-looking statements.

Important factors that could cause our actual results, performance and achievements, or industry results to differ materially from estimates or projections contained in our forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: our business is cyclical and vulnerable to economic downturns and client spending reductions; we are dependent on long-term government contracts and subject to uncertainties related to government contract appropriations; governmental agencies may modify, curtail or terminate our contracts; government contracts are subject to audits and adjustments of contractual terms; impacts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts; we may experience losses under fixed-price contracts; we have limited control over operations run through our joint venture entities; we may be liable for misconduct by our employees or consultants or our failure to comply with laws or regulations applicable to our business; we may not maintain adequate surety and financial capacity; we are highly leveraged and may not be able to service our debt and guarantees; we have exposure to political and economic risks in different countries where we operate as well as currency exchange rate fluctuations; we may not be able to retain and recruit key technical and management personnel; we may be subject to legal claims and we may have inadequate insurance coverage; we are subject to environmental law compliance and we may have inadequate nuclear indemnification; there may be unexpected adjustments and cancellations related to our backlog; we are dependent on partners and third parties who may fail to satisfy their obligations; we may not be able to manage pension costs; we may face cybersecurity issues and IT outages; as well as other additional risks and factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our forward-looking statements set forth in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not intend, and undertake no obligation, to update any forward-looking statement.

This press release contains financial information calculated other than in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”). In particular, the Company believes that non-GAAP financial measures such as adjusted EPS, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted operating income, adjusted tax rate, adjusted interest expense, organic revenue, and free cash flow also provide a meaningful perspective on its business results as the Company utilizes this information to evaluate and manage the business. We use adjusted EBITDA, EPS and operating income to exclude the impact of non-operating items, such as amortization expense, taxes, acquisition and integration expenses, and non-core operating losses. We use free cash flow to represent the cash generated after capital expenditures to maintain our business. Our non-GAAP disclosure has limitations as an analytical tool, should not be viewed as a substitute for financial information determined in accordance with GAAP, and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP, nor is it necessarily comparable to non-GAAP performance measures that may be presented by other companies. A reconciliation of these non-GAAP measures is found in the Regulation G Information tables at the back of this release.

When we provide our long term projections for organic revenue growth, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EPS growth, and free cash flow on a forward-looking basis, the closest corresponding GAAP measure and a reconciliation of the differences between the non-GAAP expectation and the corresponding GAAP measure generally is not available without unreasonable effort due to length of the forecasted period and potential high variability, complexity and low visibility as to items that would be excluded from the GAAP measure in the relevant future period.

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