What happened

Shares of Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives (NASDAQ:IEA) soared on Tuesday, rising as much as 35% at one point early in the trading day. The stock didn't hold onto all of those gains, but as of roughly 12:50 p.m. EST, it was still up by almost 20%. The big story was a positive earnings update.

So what

Construction- and engineering-focused Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives has two main business lines -- building renewable energy projects (about 70% of revenues) and civil projects (roughly 30%) such as roads and railways, and running large-scale cleanup projects. Both divisions posted solid numbers in the third quarter, with revenues up nearly 9% year over year on the civil projects side of the business and just shy of 35% in the renewable power division. While the company noted that new business awards have slowed down because of the pandemic, ongoing projects have not been significantly impacted. That said, the company's backlog is $1.9 billion, up from $1.8 billion at the end of the second quarter, so things may be starting to improve with regard to new business, too.   

Two people looking at blueprints at a construction site.

Image source: Getty Images.

When you put it all together, Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives' top line grew nearly 24% year over year, hitting a record high. Net income came in at $0.32 per share, up from $0.24 in Q3 2019. And adjusted EBITDA increased a bit more than 11% in the quarter. All in, it was a pretty good report, and investors reacted accordingly.  

Now what

Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives' stock is up by more than 550% since the start of April. That's a major advance in a relatively short period of time. Although the company put up solid third-quarter results, long-term investors should probably tread cautiously here. There may be a lot of good news priced into the company's stock at this point, considering that through the first nine months of 2020, the company is essentially only breaking even on the bottom line. 

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