EMCOR Group Inc. (NYSE:EME) Q4 2014 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Feb 26, 2015 • 11:00 am ET
positive for us as a result of heavier snowfall in most regions in the country in 2014 versus 2015. 2015's first quarter was colder, but a lot less snowy than first quarter 2014. We did continue to generate backlog growth as it is up 11% year-over-year and most end markets is steadily improved as the year progresses.
We generated revenues of $1.589 billion and earned $0.52 per diluted share, from continuing operations in the first quarter. The reality is, we are not a big fan of excuses at EMCOR. But these quarterly impacts from these external factors are real and had significant bottom-line impact in the quarter. The refining operator strike cost us at least $25 million in revenues and at least $0.06 to $0.07 in diluted EPS from continuing operation.
That $0.06 to $0.07 does not account for any leverage work we gain from increased work scopes, specialized welding services and just as important our high margin shop repair work. The extreme cold weather costs us $30 million to $40 million in revenues across our construction and building services segments and at least $0.03 to $0.05 in diluted EPS from continuing operations.
The reality is, if the refinery operator strike does not happen, we'd be reporting a record or near record first quarter. Our Building Services and Mechanical Construction segments both had strong quarters. Our Building Services performances driven by strong demand and very good execution in our Mechanical Services business. Our Mechanical Construction segment improved operating margins and grew operation profit 9.4%. Although performance was down in our Electrical Construction segment, we expect performance to improve as the year progresses.
Our SG&A percentage was higher than we like at 10.2%. We would have expected it to be 9.7% to 9.8% in the quarter, but the revenue loss in the quarter identified above coupled with a lack of absorption in our industrial sector caused this to be higher. We do expect this to normalize as the year progress and fall back into the mid 9% range. Mark is going to cover this in detail in his remarks.
We had a very good book-to-bill 1.06% and grew backlog by 2.8% sequentially and a 11% on a year-over-year basis. Most of our end market backlog areas are up and I'll cover that. We now have backlog of $3.736 billion versus $3.366 billion last year. We returned $26.1 million in cash to shareholders through repurchases and dividends. In summary, with a little less cold weather and no refinery operator strike, we would have had a very good first quarter.
Our balance sheet remains liquid and strong and with that, I'll turn the call over to Mark.
Thank you, Tony and good morning to everyone participating on the call today. For those accessing this presentation by the webcast, we're now of Slide 6. As Tony indicated in his opening commentary, I will begin with detailed discussion of our first quarter 2015 results before moving to key financial data derived from our consolidated financial