Wednesday, 8 May 2024

Why BWX Technologies Stock Is Sinking Today

by BD Banks

Nuclear supplier BWX Technologies (NYSE: BWXT) started the year strong, but the company’s pipeline might not turn into sales quite as quickly as investors had hoped. Investors are disappointed, sending shares of BWX down 10% as of noon Eastern.

Slow but steady in the nuclear business

BWX is a major supplier of nuclear fuel and components to the U.S. government and commercial customers, including providing the power plants for the Navy’s arsenal of nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers.

The company earned $0.76 per share in the quarter on revenue of $604.9 billion, outpacing Wall Street’s $0.69 per share on revenue of $600 million consensus estimate. Revenue was up 6% year over year, but operating income on the government side fell due to increased staffing levels and product mix.

Commercial income offset those declines thanks to improved margins on sales to medical device companies.

“We started 2024 with solid operating results in each of our business segments, both financially and strategically,” CEO Rex. D. Geveden said in a statement. “We continued to see good organic revenue growth across our business in the first quarter with profitability tracking well given the significant onboarding of new team members and the programs we are executing to address our customers’ expanding missions.”

But investors were more focused on what lies ahead. BWX affirmed its full-year forecast for earnings of between $3.05 and $3.20 per share and revenue of $2.6 billion. That implies some downside risk to Wall Street’s $3.14 per share on $2.61 billion in sales consensus estimate.

Is BWX stock a buy?

There’s great potential in nuclear, but also significant uncertainty and near-constant delays. For example, BWX’s pipeline will be impacted by delays in the U.S. Navy’s shipbuilding plans. Geveden, on the post-earnings call, said that the company’s submarine work remains unchanged, but the Navy’s decision to push a new carrier to 2030 from 2028 will delay any benefit for BWX to 2026.

BWX is a vital part of the nuclear supply chain, which makes the stock intriguing. But investors considering buying in must be focused on the long term.

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Lou Whiteman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends BWX Technologies. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.