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TTEK > SEC Filings for TTEK > Form 10-Q on 4-Aug-2014All 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 approximately 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 29,    June 30,   June 29,   June 30,
                                    2014        2013       2014       2013

Client Sector
International (1)                     22.5%      25.8%      26.2%      27.3%
U.S. commercial                        29.2       27.2       27.8       25.5
U.S. federal government (2)            32.2       30.6       31.0       32.5
U.S. state and local government        16.1       16.4       15.0       14.7
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.

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.

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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 United States and internationally, and commercial clients worldwide, in the areas of environmental remediation, infrastructure development, 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 29,    June 30,   June 29,   June 30,
                              2014        2013       2014       2013

Reportable Segment
ECS                             39.2%      40.9%      38.0%      40.1%
TSS                              37.5       36.0       36.2       35.9
RCM                              27.3       26.4       29.5       26.1
Inter-segment elimination       (4.0)      (3.3)      (3.7)      (3.1)
                               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 29,    June 30,   June 29,   June 30,
                       2014        2013       2014       2013

Contract Type
Fixed-price              44.3%      42.1%      46.2%      41.1%
Time-and-materials        36.3       39.1       35.9       40.4
Cost-plus                 19.4       18.8       17.9       18.5
                        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.

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 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.

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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.

In the second quarter of fiscal 2013, we acquired AEG, headquartered in Richfield, Ohio. AEG provides environmental, design, construction and maintenance services primarily to solid and hazardous waste, environmental, energy and utility clients. Also in the second quarter of fiscal 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 and TSS segments during fiscal 2013 and in the first quarter of fiscal 2014.

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 2014 and 2013.


General. In the first nine months of fiscal 2014, our revenue declined 2.8% compared to the year-ago period. Our year-over-year comparisons reflect project-related charges in the third quarter of fiscal 2013 that impacted our U.S. commercial, U.S. federal and U.S. state and local government revenues. These charges are described under "Fiscal 2013 Project-Related Charges". This decline was partially due to foreign exchange rate fluctuations as the U.S. dollar strengthened during fiscal year 2014 against most of the foreign currencies in which we conduct our international business. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange and the fiscal 2013 project charges, our revenue decreased 2.4% compared to the first nine months of last year. The revenue decline also reflects continued weakness in our U.S. federal government, global mining and Eastern Canada businesses. In addition, our construction activities declined compared to last year due to our exit from select fixed-price construction markets, the wind-down of large state and local transportation projects and abnormally severe weather conditions in several areas of the U.S. and Canada that hindered our field activities. We are currently reviewing the performance of business units within RCM to focus on higher margin projects, which may cause us to exit some businesses or project types, particularly those with fixed-price contracts.

Current economic conditions continue to be volatile, and there is ambiguity as to whether the U.S. or the global economy will grow slowly or modestly. Concerns over general economic conditions appear to be restraining some business owners from making the significant investment commitments needed to fund future growth. Strong economic expansion generally benefits our business while a tepid recovery could adversely impact the demand for our services. It is not possible to predict with certainty whether or when a stronger recovery may occur, or what impact this would have on our business, results of operations, cash flows or financial condition.

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International. Our international business decreased 6.9% in the first nine months of fiscal 2014 compared to the year-ago period. Foreign exchange rate fluctuations had a significant adverse impact on our international revenue in fiscal 2014. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange, our international business was flat compared to the same period last year. We experienced growth in our international oil and gas business in Western Canada, primarily related to the Parkland acquisition. This increase was offset by lower results in our Eastern Canada and global mining operations, which were strong in the first half of last year and significantly weakened beginning in the third quarter of fiscal 2013. We anticipate lower international revenue levels to continue for the remainder of fiscal 2014.

U.S. Commercial. Our U.S. commercial business increased 6.0% in the first nine months of fiscal 2014 compared to the same period last year. An increase in solid waste management operations, primarily due to the AEG acquisition, contributed to this growth. In addition, we experienced continued growth from services provided for oil and gas clients, which generate higher profit margins. Conversely, we have experienced a slowdown in commercial wind-related project opportunities. We are optimistic regarding increased spending by our energy-focused clients, particularly in oil and gas, as well as by our larger industrial clients. 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 2014, we would expect our U.S. commercial outlook to change correspondingly.

U.S. Federal Government. For the first nine months of fiscal 2013, our U.S. federal government business declined 7.3% compared to the year-ago period. Overall, this decline resulted from the broad-based slowdown in funding for discretionary U.S. federal government programs. The slowdown was due to the mandatory federal budget reductions, or sequestrations, that were in place in fiscal 2013, and the two-week federal government shutdown in October 2013. In addition, during the second quarter of fiscal 2014, many U.S. federal offices in which our employees perform services were closed due to severe weather conditions. Further, we are continuing to implement our strategy to exit select fixed-price construction markets. During periods of economic volatility, our U.S. federal government clients have historically been the most stable and predictable. However, increased Congressional debate on government spending and competing political agendas in the U.S. government, have created uncertainty in the spending habits of our clients. In December 2013, the Murray-Ryan Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 ("2013 Budget Act") was signed into law, raising government discretionary spending limits for fiscal years 2014 and 2015. The direct impact of the 2013 Budget Act on the programs we support is unclear at this point, and we remain cautious regarding the ability to grow our U.S. federal government revenue compared to fiscal 2013.

U.S. State and Local Government. Our U.S. state and local business decreased 0.6% in the first nine months of fiscal 2014 compared to the year-ago period. This stability followed a period of rapid growth in our state and local business, which increased 22.7% in fiscal 2013. The unusual growth in this sector last year resulted from increased spending on essential priority programs following a period of economic recession. In addition, we recorded significant revenue from several large transportation projects in fiscal 2013, which are currently winding down. Many state and local government agencies are 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, such as those focused on municipal water and solid waste, will progress despite budget pressures as demonstrated by the growth throughout fiscal 2013. We expect our U.S. state and local government business to decrease during the remainder of fiscal 2014 as a result of the completion of large, non-core transportation projects.

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