It's not just oil drillers and service companies like Baker Hughes
For the second quarter, the company reported sales growth of 23%, income growth of 24%, and EPS growth of 25%. Convenient, no?
Revenue was led once again by the company's water resources business, where sales growth was just shy of 23% for the quarter. Mineral exploration revenue was also strong at nearly 27%, while geoconstruction revenue fell by a little more than 4%. Growth in the company's energy business was extremely strong -- a 264% increase -- but it's important to keep that number in perspective, considering that energy contributed barely more than 2% of the company's total revenue for the quarter.
Although the reported numbers weren't bad, they could have been even better. Excess downtime and cost overruns on various water supply contracts hurt profits, and the water business actually saw pre-tax income fall by about 10%. Likewise, geoconstruction margins worsened, and income dropped about 33%. On a more positive note, income grew by 49% in the minerals business and contributed nearly as much to total profits as the water business.
Layne Christensen was already one of the largest soup-to-nuts providers of water and wastewater services, but it will be getting even larger. The company announced that it will acquire privately held Reynolds for $60 million in cash and 2.22 million shares of stock, making the total deal worth about $116 million. Although Reynolds has lower margins than Layne, the deal should produce some synergies and competitive advantages, and Layne appears to be paying a pretty reasonable price.
Layne Christensen has a tricky stock to evaluate. There really aren't many suitable publicly traded peers, since most of the company's competitors are small local operators. What's more, the company doesn't help matters by not providing a balance sheet and cash flow statement with results.
Aggressive Fools might be intrigued by this underfollowed company. After all, it has some meaningful operational expertise in important markets -- oil drillers can't just switch over to drilling for water or minerals. While the cleanup, recovery, and restoration of services to the Gulf Coast might spike some interest in this company, investors should be careful to perform their own due diligence.
For more on the world of water:
Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).