As to those first-half results, revenue clocked in more than 6% higher, and the company slightly beat last year's 10% growth in EBITDA. EBITDA gains came in across all segments, but were especially strong in the energy services and environment business lines. The energy services segment undertakes energy efficiency and emissions reduction projects, while environment covers waste management and water treatment and distribution.
The Energy Europe and Energy International lines also showed no lethargy. The former has become the top operator in European biomass, while the latter realized the biggest organic growth in sales and operating income of any segment, thanks to a flurry of global liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects.
If you haven't noticed by now, pretty much every element of Suez's vast business touches on a long-term global growth trend. If you think that buying a domestic industrial titan like General Electric
I'm not prepared to come out with a valuation call on Suez, because I don't have a handle on all the moving pieces just yet -- especially in light of the recently confirmed tie-up with Gaz de France. The merger agreement, which is first and foremost a move to protect a French national asset from foreign takeovers, requires Suez to spin off part of its environment line. Oh, don't go making that face -- the U.S. did the same dance when CNOOC
While I can't pinpoint the value of the shares today, I do know that over the past five years, the firm has trounced the Dow while growing its dividend per share at a healthy double-digit clip. Among the three firms mentioned earlier, only United Technologies can make the same claim. Even without the water services business, I expect Suez's shareholder returns to come in at better than a trickle for many years.
For related Foolishness:
- Honeywell is a conglomerate that makes some fast cash.
- GE and United Technologies can both help you save some money and the planet.