First quarter 2013 revenues in the heavy construction materials segment increased by 8% to $68.2 million, compared to $63.1 million for 2012. We experienced revenue growth in CCP services provided to utilities, as incremental revenue from new projects more than offset the effect of unplanned outages and lower electricity demand at other utility sites. Primarily due to seasonality, CCP service revenue as a percent of total segment revenue is higher in the December and March quarters, and represented approximately 33% of total revenue for the December 2013 quarter, compared to 28% for the 2012 fiscal year. Revenues from the sale of fly ash were relatively flat in the quarter, notwithstanding the impact of normalized winter weather patterns in the Texas and Midwest markets and the completion of major projects in the West.
Gross profit decreased by 9% to $14.6 million in the first quarter of 2013, compared to $16.0 million in 2012 and gross margin decreased by 400 basis points to 21.4%. Operating income was $7.6 million in 2013 compared to $8.7 million in 2012, and Adjusted EBITDA was $10.8 million compared to $13.3 million. The declines in gross profit, operating income, and Adjusted EBITDA were primarily due to lower demand for services from certain utilities, geographic changes in fly ash sales, and to non-recurring high-margin project revenue recorded in 2012.
The Portland Cement Association (PCA) recently increased its cement consumption forecast for calendar 2013 to an estimated annual growth rate of 8.1%, citing improved new residential construction as the major driver. The PCA also indicated that the year-over-year comparison for the March 2013 quarter may not be positive due to a more normal weather pattern in 2013 as compared to the mild winter conditions in 2012.
EPA UpdateDuring the quarter, there were no further developments in Congress related to a legislative solution for the EPA's proposed rules for the disposal of fly ash. A senior EPA official indicated in early January that the EPA still cannot provide a definitive time line for promulgating final coal ash disposal regulations. However, the official also said the EPA “wants to continue to support the safe beneficial reuse of coal ash and believes the safe and environmentally sound recycling of coal ash is protective of all public health and provides economic opportunities and jobs. The proposed rule maintains the regulatory exemption for beneficial reuse.”
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