What happened

Shares of Chicago Bridge & Iron (NYSE:CBI), a company offering conceptual design, technology, engineering, and construction, among other services, to customers in the global energy infrastructure market, are jumping 12% Thursday as of 11:15 a.m. EDT after the company released preliminary first-quarter results.

So what

Management expects to report $1.7 billion to $1.8 billion in revenue, which is significantly higher than consensus estimates calling for $1.55 billion. On the bottom line, Chicago Bridge & Iron expects first-quarter adjusted earnings per share to check-in between $0.37 and $0.43 per share, compared to estimates calling for $0.39 per share. Beyond the better-than-anticipated results, investors were likely pleased with operating performance across the company's projects, which include the Cameron, Freeport LNG, and Calpine natural gas power project. Those reached 84%, 82%, and 84% completion, respectively, with no material project charges during the first quarter.

Construction worker holding hard hat looking at energy infrastructure.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

It's a breath of fresh air for Chicago Bridge & Iron investors who endured a near 50% decline in stock price last year. Better-than-expected first-quarter results is a good first step, but investors could have a much better 2018 as the company's list of potential new project awards is long and management expects customer decisions to be made this year. If the company continues to beat estimates and ink new projects, 2018 will certainly be a better year for investors.