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Governmental red tape causes delays in almost every project originated at the federal level.  Back in 2015 President Obama signed into law the $305 billion Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (ironically dubbed the FAST Act), and the funding is just getting to the States in 2017.  These projects include $205 billion for U.S. highways, and $48 billion on transit projects.  The funding is set to expire in 2020, just about the time now President Trumps expected U.S. Infrastructure plan will be getting off the ground (given the current speed of congress).  This brings us to our Zacks Bull of the Day, TrueBlue Inc. (TBI - Free Report) who provides staffing solutions for a myriad of labor and construction positions.  

This Zacks Ranked #2 (Buy) company is the parent company of Labor Ready, Spartan Staffing, CLP Resources, and PlaneTechs. TrueBlue's brands provide general labor, light industrial and skilled trades services to small to mid-sized businesses in the construction, warehousing, hospitality, landscaping, transportation, light manufacturing, retail, wholesale, facilities, sanitation, and aviation industries.

Recent Earnings Results

The company reported Q4 16 results where they beat the Zacks consensus earnings estimate, but came in just short of the Zacks consensus revenue estimate (there was issue that some consensus estimates included a 14th week in the quarter where some did not.  By adding the 14th week TBI would have met the consensus estimate and been in line with their initial expectations).  

Management’s Take

TrueBlue’s CEO Steve Cooper stated, “Our recent acquisitions have accelerated our growth strategy. The recruitment process outsourcing business acquired from Aon Hewitt makes PeopleScout the RPO leader in the U.S., as well as a global leader, positioning us for continued long-term success in this fast-growing, high-margin business. The SIMOS acquisition enhances our PeopleManagement business with productivity-based pricing that is highly appealing to customers."  Cooper continued, “Along with our recent branding changes, these acquisitions position us better than ever to respond to a broad assortment of customer needs, whether it’s on-demand staffing from PeopleReady, strategic workforce management solutions from PeopleManagement, RPO from PeopleScout, or a total talent solution.”

Price & EPS Surprise

As you can see from the graph below, the company’s stock price has been rising since the end of 2016, and last quarter’s earnings beat set shares even higher.

 

TrueBlue, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

TrueBlue, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise | TrueBlue, Inc. Quote

Current levels of future estimates

The Zacks consensus earnings estimate that TBI will earn $0.12 in Q1 17, and $0.42 in Q2 17.  Estimates have risen for FY 17 and FY 18 from $1.80 to $1.81 for FY 17, and from $1.96 to $2.00 for FY 18.  On May 1st, management will release Q1 17 earnings data after the market closes, and most likely comment on guidance for the remainder of 2017.  The focus will be on the integration of their recent acquisitions, and improved revenue outlook due to those acquisitions.  

Bottom Line

With the unemployment rate has hitting a 10-year low at 4.5%, and the economy at almost full employment, the need for staffing services has increased to fill these new infrastructure and transportation job opening needs.  Further, this is not just a summer, or seasonal issue, these projects will take years to complete.  Lastly, given TBI’s recent acquisitions they have positioned themselves to take advantage of the upcoming surge in demand for labor.

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