Exponent (NASDAQ:), in their recent earnings call, reported robust revenue growth and earnings for the third quarter of fiscal year 2023. According to InvestingPro Data, the company’s revenue growth for the last 12 months (LTM2023.Q3) was 7.94%, and quarterly revenue growth for the fiscal year 2023’s third quarter was 15.8%. The growth was spurred by heightened demand for their reactive services in the energy, utilities, and transportation sectors, along with proactive engagements in the chemicals and life sciences industries. A downturn was noted in the consumer electronics sector. The company anticipates revenues before reimbursements to grow in the mid-single digits for the fourth quarter and high single digits for the full year 2023.
InvestingPro Tips reveal that Exponent has been experiencing accelerating revenue growth and holds more cash than debt on its balance sheet, which positions the company favorably in terms of financial strength. Additionally, the company has a track record of maintaining dividend payments for more than a decade, which is a positive indicator for investors seeking consistent returns.
Key takeaways from the call include:
- Engineering and other scientific segment accounted for 83% of net revenues, while the Environmental & Health segment represented 17%.
- A 2% sequential decline in average technical full-time equivalent employees is expected in Q4.
- Utilization in Q4 is projected to be 66-68%, lower than the same quarter last year due to holidays and vacations.
- Other operating expenses are estimated to be $11.2-11.7 million in Q4 and $42-42.5 million for the full year.
- The tax rate for Q4 is expected to be approximately 28.2%, and the tax rate for the full year is projected to be 25.7%.
During the call, Exponent executives discussed plans to align resources with current and long-term demand trends. They also expressed confidence in their ability to drive long-term profitability and value for shareholders despite anticipating a decline in headcount and utilization in the fourth quarter. This confidence is backed by the company’s high return on assets of 17.39% as per InvestingPro Data.
The company expects a year-over-year realized rate increase of 4.75-5.25% in 2023. Other financial forecasts for Q4 include stock-based compensation of $4.5-5 million, G&A expenses of $6.6-7 million, interest income of approximately $1.8 million, and miscellaneous income of around $750,000.
Despite a $8 million headwind in Q3, the company achieved 8.5% growth, primarily driven by strong demand in transportation, advanced driver assistance, electric vehicles, life sciences, and risk work in utilities. Q4 is expected to see mid-single-digit growth due to factors outside of consumer electronics.
A decline in revenue was noted in the consumer electronics sector, specifically in the data collection human subject study area, attributed to clients undergoing organizational changes and deciding on project continuance. This decrease in revenue is expected to impact the EBITDA margin, leading to lower utilization and reduced leverage. Despite this, the company remains within its full-year revenue guidance.
The executives expressed optimism about the long-term portfolio, highlighting the cyclical nature of the business. As part of their strategy, they aim to align staffing levels with demand and improve utilization in 2024. For more insights like these, InvestingPro offers valuable tips and real-time metrics that can help investors make informed decisions.
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