A Deeper Look Heckmann’s Results

Environmental solutions provider, Heckmann (NYSE: NES  ) reported its fourth-quarter and full-year results. This past year has been a truly transformative one for the company and the fourth quarter marked its culmination as Heckmann closed its acquisition of Power Fuels. Despite some headwinds in the quarter the company really cleaned up. 

Going into the report, analysts had expected the company to lose $0.07 a share for the full year, with a consensus loss of $0.04 in the fourth quarter. Instead, the company delivered $0.03 of earnings in the fourth quarter which enabled it to eke out full-year earnings of $0.02 a share. This beat was enough to send the company's shares up more than 10% today.

Revenue for the quarter hit $113.2 million, which is amazing when you consider that the company delivered just $156.8 million in revenue in all of 2011. This year revenue was affected by the aforementioned Power Fuels acquisition as well as the acquisition of Thermo Fluids earlier in the year. When you add it all up, the company delivered total revenue of $352 million for the full year.

This growth was despite the fact that the company's business was affected by a fourth-quarter slowdown in drilling activity. The company was able to maneuver past this by curtailing capital expenditures to deliver a profit. The other contributing factor behind the earnings beat is that the Power Fuels business really outperformed expectations in the quarter. The company's operations, which were solely focused on the Bakken, really benefited from the growth in oil production coming from the region.

Those Bakken production numbers have been truly outstanding with the future looking even brighter. For example, Bakken focused driller Kodiak Oil & Gas (NYSE: KOG  ) saw its oil and gas sales jump 267% last year while its proved reserves grew by 138%. The company sees 950 future drilling locations among its Bakken acres. Meanwhile, top Bakken producer Continental Resources (NYSE: CLR  ) saw its production grow 58% year over year while its reserves jumped 54% year over year. These are truly breathtaking numbers especially when you consider that a larger oil and gas company with international operations like ConocoPhillips only expects to grow its production by 3%-5% each year. 

However, the Bakken is just part of the Heckman story. This is a company that now has a national footprint that's focused on capturing revenue alongside our domestic oil and gas production growth. Its business is focused on providing a complete environmental solution in all of the major shale plays and one that is highly levered to the growth in oil and natural gas liquids production. The company is deriving 70% of its shale-related revenue from faster-growing liquids plays. This model is one that bodes well for the company in the years ahead.

This was an exceptional quarter for the company and a great ending to a truly transformative year. Looking ahead, 2013 looks even better as the company rebrands to take its business to the next level by capturing additional opportunities created from its strategic initiatives over the past year. Despite the recent rise in Heckmann's shares, the company still doesn't get much love from the market which is one of the reasons why I've named it my top stock to buy this month.

Heckmann's newly acquired Bakken business is exciting, as that's the place to be for energy investors these days. Kodiak Oil & Gas is already there, making it a dynamic growth story with great opportunities ahead but also great risks. Before you hitch your horse to this carriage let us help you with your due diligence. To see if Kodiak is currently a buy or sell, check out our new premium report.


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