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TTEK > SEC Filings for TTEK > Form 10-Q on 9-Aug-2013All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for TETRA TECH INC

Form 10-Q for TETRA TECH INC


Quarterly Report

Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations


This Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, including the "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations," contains forward-looking statements regarding future events and our future results that are subject to the safe harbor provisions created under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements other than statements of historical facts are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about the industries in which we operate and the beliefs and assumptions of our management. Words such as "expects," "anticipates," "targets," "goals," "projects," "intends," "plans," "believes," "seeks," "estimates," "continues," "may," variations of such words, and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. In addition, any statements that refer to projections of our future financial performance, our anticipated growth and trends in our businesses, and other characterizations of future events or circumstances are forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned that these forward-looking statements are only predictions and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict, including those identified below under "Part II, Item 1A. Risk Factors" and elsewhere herein. Therefore, actual results may differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason.


We are a leading provider of consulting, engineering, program management, construction management, construction and technical services that focuses on addressing fundamental needs for water, the environment, energy, infrastructure and natural resources. We are a full-service company that leads with science. We typically begin at the earliest stage of a project by identifying technical solutions to problems and developing execution plans tailored to our clients' needs and resources. Our solutions may span the entire life cycle of consulting and engineering projects and include applied science, research and technology, engineering, design, construction management, construction, operations and maintenance, and information technology. Our commitment to continuous improvement and investment in growth has diversified our client base, expanded our geographic reach, and increased the breadth and depth of our service offerings to address existing and emerging markets. We currently have more than 14,000 staff worldwide, located primarily in North America.

We derive income from fees for professional, technical, program management, construction and construction management services. As primarily a service-based company, we are labor-intensive rather than capital-intensive. Our revenue is driven by our ability to attract and retain qualified and productive employees, identify business opportunities, secure new and renew existing client contracts, provide outstanding services to our clients and execute projects successfully. We provide our services to a diverse base of international and U.S. commercial clients, as well as U.S. federal and U.S. state and local government agencies. The following table presents the percentage of our revenue by client sector:

                                                       Three Months Ended              Nine Months Ended
                                                    June 30,        July 1,         June 30,        July 1,
                                                      2013            2012            2013           2012

Client Sector
International (1)                                    25.8 %          24.8 %          27.3 %         24.3 %
U.S. commercial                                      27.2            26.8            25.5           25.3
U.S. federal government (2)                          30.6            35.8            32.5           38.6
U.S. state and local government                      16.4            12.6            14.7           11.8
Total                                               100.0 %         100.0 %         100.0 %        100.0 %

(1) Includes revenue generated from foreign operations, primarily in Canada, and revenue generated from non-U.S. clients.
(2) Includes revenue generated under U.S. federal government contracts performed outside the United States.

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In the first quarter of fiscal 2013, we implemented a reorganization of our operations to improve future growth and profitability, including the consolidation and realignment of certain operating activities to achieve efficiencies in our segment management. This reorganization included the elimination of the EAS reportable segment, and the re-assignment of its operations to the ECS and TSS segments. Prior year amounts have been reclassified to conform to the current-year presentation. We manage our business under the following three reportable segments:

Engineering and Consulting Services. ECS provides front-end science, consulting engineering and project management services in the areas of surface water management, water infrastructure, solid waste management, mining, geotechnical sciences, arctic engineering, industrial processes and oil sands, transportation, and information technology.

Technical Support Services. TSS provides management consulting and engineering services and strategic direction in the areas of environmental assessments/hazardous waste management, climate change, international development, international reconstruction and stabilization, energy, oil and gas, technical government consulting, and building and facilities.

Remediation and Construction Management. RCM provides full-service support, including construction and construction management, to all of our client sectors, including the U.S. federal government in the U.S. and internationally, and commercial clients worldwide, in the areas of environmental remediation, infrastructure development, transportation, solid waste management, energy, and oil and gas.

The following table presents the percentage of our revenue by reportable segment:

                              Three Months Ended        Nine Months Ended
                             June 30,      July 1,     June 30,     July 1,
                               2013         2012         2013         2012

Reportable Segment
ECS                            40.9 %        43.4 %      41.1 %       43.0 %
TSS                            36.0          37.7        35.9         38.3
RCM                            26.4          22.5        26.1         21.7
Inter-segment elimination      (3.3 )        (3.6 )      (3.1 )       (3.0 )
                              100.0 %       100.0 %     100.0 %      100.0 %

We provide services under three principal types of contracts: fixed-price, time-and-materials and cost-plus. The following table presents the percentage of our revenue by contract type:

                       Three Months Ended        Nine Months Ended
                      June 30,      July 1,     June 30,     July 1,
                        2013         2012         2013         2012

Contract Type
Fixed-price             42.1 %        38.8 %      41.1 %       39.2 %
Time-and-materials      39.1          42.9        40.4         41.3
Cost-plus               18.8          18.3        18.5         19.5
                       100.0 %       100.0 %     100.0 %      100.0 %

Under fixed-price contracts, we receive a fixed price irrespective of the actual costs we incur. Under time-and-materials contracts, we are paid for labor at negotiated hourly billing rates and also paid for other expenses. Under cost-plus contracts, some of which are subject to contract ceiling amounts, we are reimbursed for allowable costs and fees, which may be fixed or performance-based. Profitability on our contracts is driven by billable headcount and our ability to manage our subcontractors, vendors and material suppliers. A majority of our contract revenue and contract costs are recorded using the percentage-of-completion (cost-to-cost) method. Under this method, revenue is recognized in the ratio of contract costs incurred compared to total estimated contract costs. Revenue and profit on these contracts are subject to revision throughout the duration of the contracts and any required adjustments are made in the period in which the revisions become known. Losses on contracts are recorded in full as they are identified.

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Other contract costs include professional compensation and related benefits, together with certain direct and indirect overhead costs such as rents, utilities and travel. Professional compensation represents a large portion of these costs. Our SG&A expenses are comprised primarily of marketing and bid and proposal costs, and our corporate headquarters' costs related to the executive offices, finance, accounting, administration and information technology. Our SG&A expenses also include a portion of stock-based compensation and depreciation of property and equipment related to our corporate headquarters, and the amortization of identifiable intangible assets. Most of these costs are unrelated to specific clients or projects and can vary as expenses are incurred to support company-wide activities and initiatives.

We experience seasonal trends in our business. Our revenue and operating income are typically lower in the first half of our fiscal year, primarily due to the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's holidays. Many of our clients' employees, as well as our own employees, take vacations during these holiday periods. Further, seasonal inclement weather conditions occasionally cause some of our offices to close temporarily or may hamper our project field work. These occurrences result in fewer billable hours worked on projects and, correspondingly, less revenue recognized. Our revenue is typically higher in the second half of the fiscal year due to favorable weather conditions during spring and summer months that may result in higher billable hours. In addition, our revenue is typically higher in the fourth fiscal quarter due to the U.S. federal government's fiscal year-end spending.


Acquisitions. We continuously evaluate the marketplace for strategic acquisition opportunities. Due to our reputation, size, financial resources, geographic presence and range of services, we have numerous opportunities to acquire privately and publicly held companies or selected portions of such companies. During our evaluation, we examine the effect an acquisition may have on our long-range business strategy and results of operations. Generally, we proceed with an acquisition if we believe that it would have a positive effect on future operations and could strategically expand our service offerings. As successful integration and implementation are essential to achieving favorable results, no assurance can be given that all acquisitions will provide accretive results. Our strategy is to position ourselves to address existing and emerging markets. We view acquisitions as a key component of our growth strategy, and we intend to use cash, debt or securities, as we deem appropriate, to fund acquisitions. We may acquire other businesses that we believe are synergistic and will ultimately increase our revenue and net income, strengthen our ability to achieve our strategic goals, provide critical mass with existing clients and further expand our lines of service. We typically pay a purchase price that results in the recognition of goodwill, generally representing the intangible value of a successful business with an assembled workforce specialized in our areas of interest.

On December 31, 2012, the first day of our fiscal 2013 second quarter, we acquired AEG, a solid waste management specialist headquartered in Richfield, Ohio. AEG provides environmental, design, construction and maintenance services primarily to solid and hazardous waste, environmental, energy and utility clients. On January 28, 2013, we acquired Parkland, headquartered in Alberta, Canada. Parkland serves the oil and gas industry in Western Canada, and specializes in the technical support, engineering support and construction of pipelines and oilfield facilities. AEG and Parkland are both included in our RCM segment. We also made other acquisitions that enhanced our service offerings and expanded our geographic presence in our ECS segment in the first half of fiscal 2103, and in our ECS and TSS segments in fiscal 2012 (see Note 4, "Mergers and Acquisitions" for further discussion).

Divestitures. To complement our acquisition strategy and our focus on internal growth, we regularly review and evaluate our existing operations to determine whether our business model should change through the divestiture of certain businesses. Accordingly, from time to time, we may divest certain non-core businesses and reallocate our resources to businesses that better align with our long-term strategic direction. We did not have any divestitures in the first nine months of fiscal 2013 and 2012.


General. In the third quarter of fiscal 2013, our revenue declined compared to the same period last year and we reported a net loss for the quarter. Our financial results were adversely impacted by weakness in our Eastern Canada and global mining operations, and we incurred significant costs to right-size these businesses. We also incurred significant charges on certain projects this quarter that further reduced revenue and earnings. To a lesser extent, we experienced an expected decline in revenue from U.S. federal government programs as uncertainty regarding the U.S. federal budget continued to delay project funding in the current fiscal year. Our earnings were also negatively affected by a non-cash goodwill impairment charge.

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Impact of Recent Business Environment. Current economic conditions have been somewhat volatile, and there is increased ambiguity as to whether the U.S. or the global economy will grow modestly or remain stagnant. The uncertainty regarding the U.S. federal budget and the impact of tax increases has added to the doubt regarding economic conditions generally. These conditions have been, and could continue to be, negatively impacted by mandatory federal budget reductions, or sequestrations, that became effective in our fiscal second quarter. In addition, concerns over these conditions appear to be restraining business owners from making the significant investment commitments needed to fund future growth.

In Eastern Canada, poor economic conditions, including budget deficits, reduced customer spending and an ongoing government investigation into political corruption in Quebec, have slowed procurements and business activity in that region. As a result, we experienced weaker than expected financial performance in our Eastern Canadian operations during the third quarter of fiscal 2013 and we took actions to right-size the business that resulted in significant severance and office closure charges.

Our work for mining customers also slowed more than expected during the third quarter of fiscal 2013 as these customers responded to lower global growth expectations. This was driven in large part by China's report in April 2013 of slower economic growth in the first quarter of 2013. As a result, our mining customers experienced a significant reduction in the global demand for commodities that caused a drop in mineral prices. Due to the subsequent slowdown in mining activities, we right-sized our global mining business by reducing staff and closing offices in the third quarter of fiscal 2013.

These events exacerbated negative business trends and adversely impacted our related operations. Consequently, we recorded a non-cash goodwill impairment charge this quarter. Persistent negative market conditions and financial results could result in additional goodwill impairment.

With these trends and overall uncertainty, it is difficult to confidently predict the future direction in which the U.S. and global economies are headed. Strong economic expansion generally benefits our business while a tepid financial recovery could adversely impact demand for our services. It is not possible to predict with certainty whether or when a recovery may occur, or what impact this would have on our business, results of operations, cash flows or financial condition.

International. For the first nine months of fiscal 2013, our international business grew 7.9% compared to the year-ago period. The growth was driven by the continued expansion of our services to the oil and gas industry, primarily as a result of acquisitions. We expect that our international business will continue its growth during fiscal 2013 as a result of our continued expansion in Canada and South America, and demand for our services from our largest industrial clients worldwide. However, this growth is expected to be tempered by anticipated reductions in our Eastern Canada and global mining operations.

U.S. Commercial. Our U.S. commercial business declined 2.9% in the first nine months of fiscal 2013 compared to the year-ago period. This decline resulted from a project charge to revenue during the third quarter of fiscal 2013. Excluding this charge, our U.S. commercial business was flat compared to last year. We experienced growth in many of our service offerings, including increased activity for oil and gas clients that generates relatively high profit margins. In addition, our solid waste management operations increased, primarily due to an acquisition in fiscal 2013. The increased activity was offset by delays in infrastructure capital spending by several U.S. commercial clients in reaction to economic uncertainty. Although we expect some economic weakness may continue in certain sectors of our U.S. commercial business, we are cautiously optimistic regarding increased spending by our energy-focused clients, particularly in oil and gas. As such, we expect that our U.S. commercial business will grow in fiscal 2013. Our U.S. commercial clients typically react rapidly to economic change. Accordingly, if the U.S. economy experiences a slowdown or pickup in the remainder of fiscal 2013, we would expect our U.S. commercial outlook to change accordingly.

U.S. Federal Government. For the first nine months of fiscal 2013, our U.S. federal business declined 19.2% compared to the year-ago period. This decline resulted from a broad-based slowdown of U.S. federal government programs due in part to the impact of the sequestration, and reduced activities on certain construction and discretionary programs. Significant project-related charges to revenue in the third quarter of fiscal 2013 further reduced revenue this quarter. During periods of economic volatility, our U.S. federal government clients have historically been the most stable and predictable. However, due to the U.S. federal budget uncertainties and the effect of sequestration, we remain cautious.

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U.S. State and Local Government. For the first nine months of fiscal 2013, our U.S. state and local government business increased 20.4%. This growth was driven by increased revenue from essential programs. Many state and local government agencies are now experiencing improved financial conditions compared to recent years. Simultaneously, states are facing major long-term infrastructure needs, including the need for maintenance, repair and upgrading of existing critical infrastructure and the need to build new facilities. The funding risks associated with our U.S. state and local government programs are partially mitigated by legal requirements that drive some of these programs, such as regulatory-mandated consent decrees. As a result, some programs will progress despite budget pressures as demonstrated by the growth in fiscal 2012 and the first nine months of fiscal 2013. Although we anticipate that many state and local government agencies will continue to face economic challenges, we expect our U.S. state and local government business to continue its growth in fiscal 2013 compared to fiscal 2012 because of our focus on essential programs.

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