Shares of PowerSecure International rose 8 percent Wednesday after the Wake Forest energy services company reported record first-quarter earnings Wednesday and handily beat Wall Street estimates.
The company posted first-quarter revenue of $79.5 million, a 50.6 percent increase over the same period in 2014. The consensus among analysts who cover the company was revenue of $73.25 million.
PowerSecure had earnings per share of 1 cent, compared to a loss of 19 cents per share in the first quarter of last year. Analysts had forecast a loss of 3 cents in the quarter.
The company’s surprising performance this year emboldened CEO Sidney Hinton to predict strong growth for more than a year out.
“We love where we sit right now,” Hinton told analysts during a conference call. “With these substantial backlog gains and the increasing size and quality of the projects in our pipeline, we feel very good about the outlook for 2015 and 2016.”
PowerSecure provides a range of services, from utility work crews, equipment maintenance, backup emergency generators and energy efficiency consulting. The company employs about 800 people, including about 250 at three North Carolina locations: Wake Forest, Raleigh and Morrisville.
PowerSecure struggled much of last year, reporting losses in the first three quarters of 2014, making the recent turnaround all the more dramatic.
“There is no question that in 2015 we will be delivering the largest number of projects with he greatest diversity of project type to the largest group of customers across the broadest geography that we ever have in our history,” Chris Hutter, chief operating officer, told investors.
PowerSecure reported a record backlog of $402 million in anticipated future revenue. The company’s investors look to the backlog amount as a gauge of the company’s financial health.
Hinton also said the company sees the potential for strong growth in its data center business, for which PowerSecure provides backup emergency power generators. Last fall, PowerSecure bought a Florida data center business for $13 million.
PowerSecure announced its fourth-quarter earnings before the markets opened Wednesday. The company’s stock closed Wednesday at $$14.19, up $1.05. The shares are up nearly 22 percent this year.