Shaw Group , a construction and engineering company based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, took its turn in the earnings confessional this morning. In its third-quarter reporting period, the company swung to a profit of $54.6 million, or 67 cents per share, topping a year-ago loss of $16.7 million, or 21 cents per share. Revenue jumped 33% higher to $1.6 billion.
Analysts were projecting per-share results of 34 cents on $1.55 billion in revenue.
Ahead of the open, Shaw shares are higher by nearly 8%. The stock has been on an upward tear of late, rallying nearly 50% from its mid-August peak and hugging support at its 10-day and 20-day moving averages. This rally has lifted the shares through potential chart resistance at the site of their mid-July peak. SGR is now taking aim at its all-time high of 63.48, hit in May 2001.
There are signs of skepticism on the shares, which bodes well from a contrarian perspective. Just 3 of the 9 analysts following the stock have named it a buy, despite strong price action and improving fundamentals. Should any upgrades come down the pike, SGR could see increased short-term buying power. Additionally, Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) for SGR is currently in the top one-quarter of the past year's readings, indicative of bearish speculation. These bearish options positions can potentially unwind in the form of increased demand.