Here are two companies that should be on investors’ radars due to strengthening prospects.
Aecon Group Inc. (TSX:ARE)
After a strong fourth quarter of 2015, Aecon followed up with a strong first quarter of 2016. Revenues increased 38% with revenue up in all segments. The infrastructure segment increased 32%, the mining segment increased 72%, and even the energy segment saw an increase of 20%.
Backlog increased an impressive 65% year over year and 40% sequentially to $4.6 billion, as the infrastructure segment saw backlog increase 65%, the energy segment saw a 122% increase and the mining segment’s backlog declined 55%. Overall, this backlog is very strong and offers promise for a very good year.
The first quarter is the seasonally weak quarter for Aecon; as such, it is even more encouraging that the company saw such strong revenue and backlog growth during this quarter. And to top this off, management announced a 15% increase in its dividend, and the current dividend yield stands at 2.88%.
Finally, investors should remember the positive backdrop to this story. That is, the fact that the Liberal government has made a commitment to boost spending on infrastructure is very bullish for Aecon. Trudeau’s plans are to double federal infrastructure spending in the next two years and to almost double infrastructure investment to nearly $125 billion over the next decade. There will be new dedicated funding to provinces, territories, and municipalities for public transit infrastructure, social infrastructure, and green infrastructure.
Pure Technologies Ltd. (TSX:PUR)
As a global player in the development and application of innovative technologies for the inspection, monitoring and management of physical infrastructure, mainly water pipeline infrastructure, Pure Technologies has an opportunity to capitalize on the aging infrastructure that is such a big problem in many cities around the world.
This latest quarter showed clear signs of strength, as revenue growth was a strong 71%, or 35% organically, and adjusted EBITDA turned a positive $1.1 million versus a loss of $2.1 million in the same quarter last year.
While margins got hit as the company is seeing increased operating expenses due to the Wachs Water acquisition, higher marketing spending, and higher R&D, the company has a plan in place that will generate cost savings of between $6 and $8 million this year. This quarter, Pure achieved $1 million in savings and expects another $5-7 million in cost savings to come during the rest of the year.
With zero debt on its books, the balance sheet remains strong and the company is favourably positioned to benefit from the secular growth that is expected in its industry.
So in closing, these are two companies that are benefiting from real positive trends in their respective industries, and as such, they are good opportunities for investors to earn strong returns.