Aecom 4Q Profit Tops Street on Emerging Markets Growth

Aecom Technology (NYSE:ACM) said its fourth-quarter earnings jumped 29%, trumping analysts' estimates, as the company's expansion into emerging markets helped fueled growth in its professional technical group.

The Los Angeles, Calif.-based provider of technical and management support services to government and commercial clients posted net income of $88.4 million, or 75 cents a share, compared with $69.77 million, or 58 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

The earnings are ahead of average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of 73 cents. Revenue for the three-month period was $2.12 billion, up from $1.8 billion in the year-earlier period, just below the Street’s view of $2.17 billion. Growth in its professional technical services was partially offset by a slight drop in management support services, which the company blamed on a “mix in the business.”

“Overall, 2011 was a good year for AECOM,” said John Dionisio, the company’s chief officer. “During the year, we integrated a number of acquisitions, which strengthened our capabilities in important end markets, including construction, power, energy, mining, and cyber security and intelligence.”

Those improvements allowed the company to deliver record new wins of $9.3 billion, backlog of $15.6 billion and earnings growth of 14% in fiscal 2011.

Looking ahead, the company predicts it will earn between $2.45 and $2.65 a share for the full year, which is below the Street’s view of $2.69 a share, but says it is positioned for continued growth in 2012 with the help of its positions in robust and well-funded infrastructure markets.

Aecom continues to expand in emerging markets and saw 59% of its net service revenue come from non-U.S. markets last quarter.