Quanta Services, the Houston-based specialty contractor, proved itself to be a formidable competitor and consistent profit machine in 2020.
The company reported net income of $446 million, on revenue of $11.2 billion in 2020, compared to $402 million on $12.1 billion, in 2019.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, the company reported net income of $170 million on $2.9 billion in revenue, compared to $118 million on $3.1 billion for the prior year. Rewarding investors, Quanta bought back $250 million of its own stock in the fourth quarter and increased dividends by 25%.
Quanta (PWR-NYSE) basically builds power lines for electric utilities and industrial customers. A smaller part of its business serves communications companies. It enjoys double-digit profit margins on some of its electrical infrastructure work.
Unlike other companies that work in civil infrastructure and saw their backlogs shrink, Quanta's backlog held steady at about $15 billion.
Grid modernization and hardening and a growing demand for electric vehicles are contributing to the company's optimistic market forecasts.
Climate change and carbon-reduction goals, the company stated, mean money must be invested in transmission, substation and distribution infrastructure to connect renewable-energy sources and ensure reliability.
Outsourcing of operations and maintenance by electric utilities also is promising. The company is part of a joint venture that recently won a contract to maintain Puerto Rico's electric power-distribution system for the next 15 years.
Quanta spent $400 million buying seven smaller companies during the year. CEO Earl C. Austin told investors in a Feb. 25 conference that the acquisitions help serve customers and "add to our self-perform capabilities, which typically accounts for approximately 85% of our work and are key to providing cost certainty."