When I wrote aboutDynamic Materials
On Monday, the company reported that its AMK Welding operation (5% of total sales last quarter) had received a five-year supply contract that would require a significant expansion of its manufacturing facility. Reuters later revealed that the deal was with General Electric
Igniting the stock today is the announcement that the company received a $7.5 million order for clad metal plates to be used in a North American refinery project. The order, scheduled to be delivered in the first two quarters, indicates that the company is poised for a strong start in 2006. The order backlog already stood at $34.1 million at the end of last quarter (about 1.7 quarters of sales by last quarter's numbers, which is pretty high by historical standards).
The stock hit a new 52-week high this morning with a 13.8% gain, but it has subsequently backed off and is trading up 4.4% in mid-afternoon activity.
The AMK order is significant for a very simple reason: It indicates that business is finally accelerating in this division. But any order momentum is great because the company is already delivering high 18% operating margins and a strong 39.6% return on equity.
The one analyst who follows the company expected it to earn $1.04 a share in 2006, but that was before the announcements over the past two days. That looks like what I'd call a rich valuation at 28.3 times forward earnings, until you realize that last quarter's year-over-year revenue grew 67.7% and quarterly earnings grew 277.9%. Income from continuing operations improved by 126%.
Still, the company is in a cyclical business. Although the oil and gas, petroleum refining, and power generation markets (to name a few the company supports) look strong, investors would be wise to think twice before chasing the stock. Dynamic has acknowledged that recent results and growth have been fueled by robust market conditions and a successful turnaround, which it expects to moderate. When the cycle turns, what will the earnings prospects be for this company -- currently selling at 38 times trailing earnings?
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