Cardno posts surprising earnings guidance

The infrastructure consultancy spiked in morning trade after updating guidance at the top end of its previous forecast.

Cardno (CDD) shares jumped to a near three-month high this morning after the infrastructure consultancy said its full-year earnings would come in at the top end of its guidance.

Management is forecasting net profit of $77 million for the year ended June 30, 2013, which will mark a 5% increase from the previous year.

The company is also expecting to maintain its final dividend at last year’s level of 18 cents a share with gearing levels staying well within its target range.

The stock rallied 4.5% to $6.10 but is still down 25% over the past year on worries that a cut to project spending would put pressure on contractors like Cardno (see Roger Montgomery's Inside the mining services disaster).

The good news has also provided support for its peer, Coffey International (COF), with the stock gaining 1 cent, or 7.1%, to 14.5 cents in early trade.

However, some analysts think Cardno has room to climb with Morgan Stanley initiating coverage of the stock last week with an “overweight” recommendation and $7 price target.

Cardno will release its full-year results on August 20.