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ICF International (ICFI) Banking on Prudent Strategies, Costs Ail

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ICF International, Inc. (ICFI - Free Report) is currently focused on expanding its commercial businesses and strengthening its technology-based offerings.

The company recently reported fourth-quarter 2021 non-GAAP earnings of $1.19 per share that surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a slight margin but decreased 12.5% on a year-over-year basis. Revenues of $388 million missed the consensus mark by 1.6% and decreased 10.7% year over year.

ICFI’s shares have declined 14.2% year to date compared with 4% decline of the industry it belongs to.

How is ICFI Doing?

ICF continues to witness increase in demand for its advisory services, driven by trends such as increased government focus on environmental initiatives; emphasis on transparency and accountability; efficiency and mission performance management; generational changes; and increased demand for integrating domain knowledge of client missions and programs with innovative technology-enabled solutions. The company is also seeing growth opportunities for technology-based solutions like digital services and strategic communications across all the markets it serves.

ICF continues to focus on the expansion of its commercial businesses, strengthening its technology-based offerings, expanding its presence in U.S. federal, state and local government markets, pursuing large contract opportunities, and utilizing its business model across geographies. These initiatives come under its long-term strategy to increase revenues and shareholder value.

Acquisitions are an important element of ICF International’s growth strategy. The January 2022 buyout of Creative Systems and Consulting is expected to expand ICF International’s federal IT modernization/digital transformation capabilities with leading Salesforce and Microsoft implementation teams. The January 2020 acquisition of Incentive Technology Group has expanded the company’s IT modernization services to better serve U.S. federal government clients, adding best-in-class IT platform expertise and partnerships.

ICF sees an escalation in costs as it makes significant investments in internal infrastructure and acquisitions. The company’s operating costs and expenses increased 3.9% in 2021. These expenses rose 5.1% year over year in 2020 and 9.2% in 2019.

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

ICF currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader Business Services sector that investors may consider are Cross Country Healthcare (CCRN - Free Report) , Accenture (ACN - Free Report) and Clean Harbors (CLH - Free Report) .

Cross Country Healthcare sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The company has a long-term earnings growth of 6.6%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Cross Country Healthcare delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 41.5%, on average. CCRN’s shares have surged 89.1% in the past year.

Accenture carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company has an expected earnings growth rate of 19.8% for the current year. It delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 5.3%, on average.

Accenture’s shares have surged 25.2% in the past year. The company has a long-term earnings growth of 10%.

Clean Harbors’ carries a Zacks Rank #1. The company pulled off a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 43.2%, on average.

CLH’s shares have jumped 15.5% in the past year.