Tetra Tech, Inc (NASDAQ: TTEK) is an engineering firm specializing in all things water: helping clients manage the use of natural sources and building the systems that deliver it to your home. The company provides services ranging from programs that help states better monitor and manage regional watersheds to design and construction of coastal water desalination plants to cleanup of contaminated groundwater around factories and military bases. In all, the company performed $1.28 billion worth of work in 2007 for government and commercial clients in the U.S. and abroad.
The American Society for Civil Engineers estimates that the United States will need to spend 1.6 trillion dollars by 2012 to modernize the country's aging infrastructure, with much of this spending directed at the nation's dams, bridges and levees. Additionally, for most of the 2000's many coastal states have had a crushing combination of record population growth and drought conditions, leaving their natural supply of fresh water nearly exhausted.  To ensure future water supplies, state and local governments have started investing in programs to better manage their existing water supplies, while simultaneously looking for new sources of fresh water--including the desalination of saltwater. All of these problems fall under Tetra Tech's core competencies and the company received more than half of its total revenue in 2007 from projects of these types. Higher future demand for these services generates the potential for more business and higher earnings for the company.
In 2007, 64.1% of TTEK's revenues came from Federal, State, and Local governments  and this exposure puts the company at a higher risk than many of its competitors from changes in yearly government budgets. This exposure can sometimes prove detrimental because government contracts often require substantial initial investment, but can be stalled or canceled at any time if congress cuts funding for the project. While Tetra Tech has traditionally focused on US operations--only 0.3% of total revenues came from international clients in 2005--its acquisition of ARD, Inc in 2007 marks a shift towards a more global perspective. In 2007, nearly 1% of all revenues came from international clients such as the United Nations, and that percentage is expected to grow further in coming years.
|Revenue, Net Subcontractor Costs||$911||$959||$1,013|
|Income Tax (expense) benefit||$11||$(28)||$(33)|
Tetra Tech divides its operations into three broad business segments: Resource Management, Infrastructure and Communications.
Federal, State and Local Government agencies in the United States accounted for a full 64.1% of Tetra Tech's revenues in 2007. Corporate clients in the US represented an additional 35%, leaving 0.9% from all clients outside of the United States.  The company is looking to expand its international business with its 2007 acquisition of ARD, Inc, a company managing significant international projects for the United Nations, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and foreign government aid organizations.
At the end of FY 2007, Tetra Tech reported a contract backlog worth $1.3 Billion dollars. This represented a 19.8% increase from the end of FY 2006, a rise due mostly to increased funding for reconstruction contracts with the Department of Defense in Iraq. The company expects to complete $900 million worth of the work in this backlog in FY 2008.
For most of the 2000's, states in the West, Southwest, and Southeast regions of the United States have encountered water shortages as a result of population growth and drought conditions often attributed to global warming. In Florida, residents used about 2.4 trillion gallons of fresh water in 2007, all but exhausting the state's natural supplies. By 2025, however, Florida's population is expected to grow by 24% and its water demand is expected to hit 3.3 trillion gallons per year.  Similarly in California, drought conditions and shrinking snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains are decreasing water supplies, just as the state's population is expected to grow by nearly 3 percent from 2007 to 2010. To span the rising gap between the demand for fresh water and natural supplies, states will need to turn to the types of services that Tetra Tech offers: improved watershed management programs and efficiency studies to reduce demand as well as desalination/water purification plant construction to increase supplies. In 2007, Tetra Tech performed more than 715 million dollars worth of engineering, design, and construction services for water purification and delivery services.  Those services accounted for nearly half of TTEK's total revenue in 2007. Sustained water shortages would have a significant positive effect on the company's earnings.
In November 2007, the United States Congress passed into law the Water Resources Development Act (WRPA) which appropriated $23 Billion for water-related infrastructure programs. Passage of this bill marks the first step in what the American Society of Civil Engineers $1.6 trillion worth of work that is needed to modernize American infrastructure.  With 32% of TTEK's operating income coming from Infrastructure projects and the company's focus on federal projects, the company stands to gain significantly from WRPA as well as from increased government infrastructure spending in the future.
With a full 43.9% of net revenues coming from the Federal Government in 2007, Tetra Tech is much more exposed to congressional volatility than its competitors. (By comparison, both Jacobs Engineering and CH2M Hill--serious competitors in Tetra Tech's environmental and infrastructure markets--receive less than 30% of their annual revenue from government contracts.) Most government contracts are subject to periodic approval and can be canceled at any time if congress does not budget for the project. The US Budget can vary greatly from year to year depending on tax revenues, the party in power, military realities, and public perception of a given issue. While WRPA demonstrated that congress favored infrastructure improvements in 2007, that favor can disappear quickly, leaving Tetra Tech with significant capital investments in stalled projects.
Tetra Tech identifies Aecom Technology, Arcadis NV (ARCAF), Black & Veatch, Brown & Caldwell, Camp Dresser & McKee, CH2M Hill, Jacobs Engineering Group (JEC), MWH Global, SAIC (SAI), Shaw Group (SGR), TRC Companies (TRR), URS (URS), and Weston Solutions as competitors in its infrastructure and environmental science markets. It also identifies CA (CA) and URS (URS) as competitors for its communications and computer infrastructure services markets.
|(in millions)||Total Revenue (FY 2007)||Backlog at end of FY 2007||Backlog as a Percentage of 2007 Revenues||2007 Net Margin||2007 Operating Margin|
|Tetra Tech, Inc||$1,554.00 ||$1,300.00||83.66%||5.5%||3.0%|
|Aecom Technology (ACM)||$4,237.27||$6,000.00||142%||2.37%||3.68%|
|Arcadis NV (ARCAF)||€ 1,510.00 ||N/A||N/A||3.64%||6.29%|
|Black & Veatch||(2006) $2,200.00||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Brown & Caldwell||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Camp, Dresser & Mckee Inc (CDM)||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|CA (CA)||$4,277.00 ||N/A||N/A||2.99%||5.43%|
|Jacobs Engineering Group (JEC)||$8,474.00 ||$13,600.00||160%||3.39%||5.22%|
|Shaw Group (SGR)||$5,723.71||$14,300.00||250%||0.39%||1.74%|
|TRC Companies (TRR)||$264.82||$285.00 ||108%||-1.29%||0.08%|
Note: Selected financial information often not available on private companies.
|||Company||Water Supply/Treatment Market Share||Company||Environmental Science/Studies Market Share|
|1||CH2M Hill||11.1%||Tetra Tech||10.8%|
|2||Tetra Tech||8.8%||Golder Associates Corp.||8.1%|
|3||Black & Veatch||7.6%||CH2M Hill||7.8%|
|4||MWH Global Inc.||7.5%||URS (URS)||7.4%|
|5||Layne Christensen Co.||4.4%||Battelle||7.1%|
|6||Kiewit Corp.||3.3%||Parsons Corp.||5.0%|
|7||Veolia Environment North America||3.2%||Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc.||3.7%|
|8||The Walsh Group Ltd.||3.1%||AMEC||3.5%|
|9||Garney Holding Co.||3.0%||HDR||3.3%|
|10||CDM||2.5%||Environmental Resources Management||3.2%|
|Rest of Industry||45.5%||Rest of Industry||40.1%|