The earnings of engineering and construction companies are typically as lumpy as Thanksgiving gravy. And when one of these companies puts its numbers on the table, no one's in a thankful mood. Yet those are exactly the times when Fools should think about pouring more shares into their portfolios.
Take the latest results from Shaw Group
The fossil- and nuclear-power segment was fired up, as usual. Southern
The point here is that even though official new awards were lower for the quarter than they were last year, Shaw's unbooked but likely projects are worth more than the company's entire $14.2 billion backlog.
The company's maintenance segment, which counts Exelon
The only clear disappointment was Shaw's environmental and infrastructure business, but even in that case, the news isn't so bad. The segment's EBITDA fell short of management's expectations, but the losses were mainly writedowns of non-core businesses, such as a joint venture with KB Home
In all, Shaw Group appears to be on extremely solid footing as a power-plant builder. The rest is simply gravy.