May 30, 2012
Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of management and technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE: BAH ) rallied as much as 16% today after reporting better-than-expected fourth-quarter results.
So what: Despite having "Booz" in the name, I assure you no one here is drunk; although you wouldn't know that by the excitement surrounding this company's fourth-quarter report. Attributing its results to organic growth across all government markets, Booz Allen Hamilton reported a 3% rise in revenue to $1.54 billion and $0.44 in adjusted profits. This compared to an adjusted profit of just $0.36 in a year-ago quarter that was laden with one-time charges. In addition, the company forecast flat-to-low-single-digit growth for the first half of the current fiscal year with an expectation of $1.71-$1.81 in annual EPS. That's on the high end of Wall Street's $1.72 consensus.
Now what: As icing on the cake, Booz Allen Hamilton also declared a special $1.50 dividend payable to shareholders on record in late June. This comes on top of the company's already robust 2.4% yield. Although today's results are encouraging, I'm always concerned when a company relies heavily on the government to pay its bills. Even at roughly 10 times current-year earnings, I'm willing to wait on the sidelines for this stock to offer a more attractive valuation.
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