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KBR Rides High on Contract Winning Spree, Competition Ail

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KBR, Inc. (KBR - Free Report) has been gaining traction on its solid contract-winning spree and robust project execution strategy. Its solid backlog level of $15.39 billion (as of Jun 30, 2022) reflects its underlying strength.

Recently, the company received a three-year UK nuclear infrastructure contract to provide expert project, program and portfolio support to UK Nuclear Waste Services (NWS). NWS — a part of the UK's Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) — will leverage KBR's decades of experience and growing domain knowledge of the nuclear energy sector. A wholly-owned subsidiary of KBR, Frazer-Nash Consultancy, will offer its deep technical expertise to NWS.

KBR will coordinate Geological Disposal Facility program-related work within the NWS. In this regard, president of KBR's Government Solutions International business, Paul Kahn, stated, "It will leverage KBR's expanding capabilities in the UK, and it aligns with our mission to deliver innovative solutions that help our customers accomplish their most critical business objectives with safety and sustainability at the core."

KBR’s GS Business to Boost Profitability: KBR’s GS unit has been performing pretty well, thanks to the strength of the business to optimize its growth potential. The performance of the particular business is exceeding the market’s expectations, adding to KBR’s bliss. KBR is witnessing higher revenues in the segment, given solid organic growth across each of its government businesses, including new work supporting Operation Allies Welcome ("OAW") and the acquisition of Centauri in October 2020.

GS generated revenues of $3.33 billion in the first half of 2022, up 11.1% from the year-ago period’s levels. The segment witnessed healthy growth across all four business units — Defense & Intel was up 0.4%, Science & Space rose 2.7%, Readiness & Sustainment increased 40.4% (all organic) and International grew 18.9% (Frazer-Nash in Australia being the main drivers) — in the said period.

Presence in Nuclear Energy Sector: KBR has been working for the nuclear energy landscape for more than five decades. In fact, it has strengthened its presence in the sector by supporting UK nuclear energy projects through expansion strategy and local community support. KBR is a trusted delivery partner to clients in the nuclear energy sector. It delivers full life cycle solutions from concept through to operations and decommissioning.

Solid Backlog Level, Upbeat Views: KBR’s impressive 2021 and first-half 2022 performances demonstrated its unwavering focus and superb business execution. Solid double-digit top-line growth, strong organic growth in the GS unit and robust adjusted EBITDA growth are commendable. The impressive performance was backed by a solid contract winning spree, strong project execution, backlog level and potential government and technology businesses.

Backed by favorable market tailwinds, good booking momentum, a strong first-half 2022 and more than 90% work under contract, KBR provided strong 2022 guidance. For 2022, the company expects total revenues in the range of $6.4-$6.8 billion and an adjusted EBITDA margin of 10%. Also, it expects adjusted earnings per share in the band of $2.53-$2.65. It expects adjusted operating cash flow in the range of $360-$400 million.

Industry Woes Ail

KBR and other Zacks Engineering - R and D Services industry players like Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (J - Free Report) , AECOM (ACM - Free Report) and Quanta Services Inc. (PWR - Free Report) have been working in a highly-fragmented industry. KBR’s domestic and foreign operations are subject to significant competitive pressure. To survive the competition, the company needs to keep itself constantly updated about state-of-the-art construction procedures, which involve huge capital expenditure, which hurts near-term margins and operating income.

A Brief Discussion of the Above-Mentioned Stocks

Jacobs is one of the leading providers of professional, technical and construction services to industrial, commercial and governmental clients.

J’s expected earnings growth rate for fiscal 2022 is 10.3%.

AECOM provides professional, technical and management solutions to diverse industries across end markets like transportation, facilities, government and environmental, energy and water businesses.

ACM’s expected earnings growth rate for fiscal 2022 is 22.7%.

Quanta is a leading national provider of specialty contracting services and one of the largest contractors serving the transmission and distribution sector of the North American electric utility industry.

PWR’s expected earnings growth rate for 2022 is 27.2%.


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