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Don't You Die on Me, Dycom

By Chris Jones - Updated Apr 5, 2017 at 8:08PM

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This telecom infrastructure play has staying power.

Dycom Industries (NYSE:DY) should survive the current recession -- and I'd be willing to bet it can endure a couple more, to boot. For nearly four decades now, Dycom has helped support U.S. telecommunication infrastructure with contracting services for engineering, construction, installation, and maintenance projects. In short, it has plenty of experience in weathering difficult economic climates, and its management should have a good handle on the current financial turbulence.

In last Tuesday's earnings conference call, covering Dycom's first quarter for fiscal 2009, the company reported net income from continuing operations of $0.27 per diluted share on $334 million in total revenue, helped by a $15 million boost in contracts for repairing hurricane damage in the southern United States. Expectations for next quarter's results range from $0.02 to $0.07 per share, on $250 million to $270 million in net sales.

That's an expected revenue decrease of around 20% to 25% from last quarter. To soften the blow, Dycom is lowering general and administrative expenses, moderating capital spending, and focusing on strong free cash flow. It has also entered a new credit agreement for $195 million in borrowing capacity. In and of itself, that testifies to Dycom's strength, since banks aren't  lending to just anyone these days.

Dycom's golden geese are its telecommunications clients, which produced nearly 80% of its top line last quarter; Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) alone contributed more than one-third of last quarter's revenue. The rest of the top five -- AT&T (NYSE:T), Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), and Embarq (NYSE:EQ) -- accounted for almost another third.

In other words, the bulk of Dycom's sales depend upon the aggregate capital-expenditure forecasts of a handful of its telecom clients. That's one reason why Dycom should be able to survive this crisis: Its business is tied to a sector that hasn't been hit as hard as others. Dycom has solid customer relationships, it should be a major contributor to the rewiring of the nation's communications grid, and other than MasTec (NYSE:MTZ), it faces little competition.

I'm not saying that Dycom is a defensive stock that can't lose money. I will say, however, that what doesn't kill Dycom only makes it stronger. This company has the staying power and wherewithal to emerge from this recession in pretty good shape. Investors should test their own valuation of Dycom against current market prices and decide for themselves.

Further Foolishness:

Fool contributor Chris Jones does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He also just died in The Motley Fool's disclosure policy tonight. It must have been something in its preamble.

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Stocks Mentioned

Dycom Industries, Inc. Stock Quote
Dycom Industries, Inc.
$108.69 (0.68%) $0.73
Comcast Corporation Stock Quote
Comcast Corporation
$39.40 (1.13%) $0.44
Verizon Communications Inc. Stock Quote
Verizon Communications Inc.
$44.78 (-0.13%) $0.06
AT&T Inc. Stock Quote
AT&T Inc.
$18.04 (0.17%) $0.03
MasTec, Inc. Stock Quote
MasTec, Inc.
$81.75 (1.49%) $1.20

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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