Why NV5 Global Shares Were Down Friday

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What happened

Shares of NV5 Global (NASDAQ:NVEE) plunged nearly 30% on Friday after the engineering and construction project management firm issued tepid 2019 guidance and warned it would disclose a “material weakness” in its accounting when it files its upcoming form 10-K annual report.

So what

NV5 is a rapidly growing engineering firm serving the global infrastructure market from more than 100 locations worldwide. After markets closed March 7, the company reported adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of $0.91 per share on revenue of $116.1 million, missing consensus estimates for $0.94 per share in earnings on sales of $118.07 million.

Miami Art Museum under construction.

NV5’s project list includes the Miami Art Museum, where the firm provided soil boring, foundation design, concrete testing, and other services. Image source: NV5.

The company said that for 2019, it is expecting full-year earnings per share of between $3.51 and $3.93 on revenue of between $485 million and $520 million. Analysts had been expecting $3.79 per share in earnings on $522.75 million of sales.

The company also warned it had discovered some accounting issues related to the initial setup of project contracts. NV5 said its review of the matter has not resulted in any restatements, and company CEO Dickerson Wright, on a conference call with investors, said that if anything, the resulting changes would likely have a slight positive impact on future results. But the market often reacts poorly to companies admitting to problems with their accounting processes.

Now what

It wasn’t a great release for NV5, but the company’s track record should give it some credibility with investors. Since going public in 2013, NV5 has seen its sales climb more than 478%, helping send its stock price up nearly tenfold. Given trends including the world’s rising population, the emergence of an urban middle class in the developing world, and the desperate need to address crumbling infrastructure in the West, there should be plenty of opportunities for NV5 in the future.

The company’s backlog is growing, up 32% to $390 million as of Dec. 29, 2018, from $296 million a year prior. And the 2019 guidance, though somewhat modest compared to expectations, is calling for an increase of 8% to 21% in earnings per share and 16% to 24% in revenue.

Lou Whiteman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of NV5 Global. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.