WATSONVILLE — Granite Construction saw revenue grow during the year and had double-digit increases in its three key segments the fourth fiscal quarter, but still reported a net loss of $36.4 million or 96 cents earnings per share for 2013.
The loss, taken in the fourth quarter, was due in large part to a board decision to dispose of real estate and construction assets resulting in a $52.2 million non-cash hit and the accrual of lease termination costs. The goal was to “optimize” the company’s investment portfolio.
Excluding those charges, the company’s numbers would have resulted in earnings per share of 2 cents for the fourth quarter and a loss of 17 cents for the year ending Dec. 31.
“It’s a modest improvement from what we reported in the third quarter of 2013,” said James H. Roberts, Granite president and CEO. The company encountered ongoing significant cost issues on a project in Washington, which it hopes to recover at least in part in the future. Despite the challenges, the company’s large project division had a net increase of about $25 million during the year.
The company’s traditional Western markets continued to be highly competitive environment, however, and while Granite was recovering, it was slower than expected, Roberts said. He predicted the company’s construction and construction materials businesses would perform “substantially better” in 2014 than they had in 2013.
Roberts told investors and analysts on a telecast conference call Thursday that 2013 was a year of diversification. He noted new pushes into underground, tunnels and power construction and said the company was committed to growing in new areas.
“Our backlog entering 2014 is excellent and the bidding pipeline is as large and robust as we have ever seen,” Roberts said. The backlog is increasingly diverse and will grow this year, Roberts said.
“This year, we expect to bid on more than $13 billion of large projects, and, beyond 2014, we are tracking an additional $20 billion in large projects.”
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WHAT: Granite Construction Inc. is the holding company for Granite Construction Co.
HEADQUARTERS: 585 W. Beach St., Watsonville.
BACKGROUND: Founded in 1922, the company incorporated in 1990.
LEADERSHIP: James H. Roberts, CEO and president.
EMPLOYEES: Granite reported employing about 5,000 salaried and hourly workers last quarter.
INFORMATION: 831-724-1011 or visit www.graniteconstruction.com
STOCK PRICE: On Friday, GVA shares climbed $1.46 to close at $36.76. In the last year, shares have traded from $26.07 to $37.02.