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Tetra Tech Inc. (TTEK - Analyst Report) reported fourth quarter 2012 earnings per share (excluding one-time items)of 48 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 49 cents and 14.3% higher than the year-ago level of 42 cents.

Profits during the quarter were driven by strong performances across the company’s businesses. The international business, which is the largest client sector and the fastest growing market, grew 32% organically in the fourth quarter.

In the U.S., commercial revenue was up 15% year over year, marking the eighth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth for the segment and driven by a very broad base of commercial clients including oil and gas, industrial manufacturing, energy, commercial utilities and mining.

The state and local work also increased on the back of few larger projects and some localized pickups in some select municipal orders, but overall, was relatively stable. Federal work was up supported by the healthy book of orders.

Total Revenue

Total revenue in the quarter was $719.4 million, an increase of 6.5% year over year. Revenue, net of subcontractor costs, was $536.3 million, up 12.7% from the prior-year quarter.

Subcontractor cost in the quarter was $183.1 million. Backlog at the end of the reported quarter was at a record high of $2.14 billion versus $1.95 billion at the end of the prior-year quarter.

Income & Expenses

Operating income in the quarter amounted to $48.5 million, up 11.6% year over year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased 11.5% year over year to $56.4 million. Interest expenses were $1.38 million in the quarter compared with $1.45 million in the previous-year quarter.

Cash Flow

Tetra Tech generated cash flow from operations of $29.8 million in the quarter compared with $33.2 million in the prior-year period.

Outlook

The company expects diluted earnings per share to be within 37 cents to 41 cents in the upcoming first quarter of fiscal 2013. Revenue, net of subcontractor cost, is projected to be in the range of $490 million to $540 million for the same period.

The company expects fiscal 2013 earnings per share to be in the range of $1.80- $1.95. The revenue, net of subcontractor cost, is likely to be within $2.1 billion to $2.3 billion for fiscal 2013.

Tetra Tech Inc. is a leading provider of consulting, engineering, program management, construction and technical services focusing on resource management and infrastructure. It serves its clients by providing cost-effective and innovative solutions to fundamental needs for water, environmental and alternative energy services.

Tetra Tech Inc., which faces stiff competition from Pall Corp. (PLL - Analyst Report) and Pentair Inc. (PNR - Analyst Report), currently holds a Zacks #4 Rank, which implies a short-term Sell rating on the stock.

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