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What: Shares of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (NASDAQ:GLDD) were sinking today, down as much as 15% after reporting second-quarter earnings.

So what: The marine-construction and dredging specialist turned in a per-share loss of $0.42, coming off a $0.02 profit in the quarter a year ago, though after backing out a goodwill impairment charge of $21.5 million, the loss would have been about $0.07 a share. Analysts had projected a profit of $0.08. Meanwhile, revenue slid 6.3% to $152.9 million, well below projections of $191.8 million. The demolition segment was especially weak with sales falling 40.4% and a negative gross margin. Dredging margins also fell.  

Now what: While the above adds up to a pretty dismal quarter, management expressed optimism about the second half of the year and said that quarterly results can vary "significantly due to the project nature of the business." Great Lakes has thus far this year won 62% of the available dredging bid market in the U.S., and the company pointed to the beginning of the PortMiami project and a $100 million project in the Middle East as evidence of improvements on the horizon. Given the nature of the business with its inconsistent revenue streams, I'd give Great Lakes at least a couple quarters to redeem itself.  

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