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Shares of Matrix Service Company (MTRX) Fall to 52-Week Low Despite Better than Expected Earnings

Matrix Service Company (NASD: MTRX), a provider of general industrial construction, repair and maintenance services principally to the petroleum, petrochemical, power, bulk storage terminal, pipeline and industrial gas industries, recently announced its financial performance for the first fiscal quarter of 2008. The company’s total revenues for the first quarter increased 15.7 percent to $186.7 million, up from the $161.3 million recorded in the first quarter of fiscal 2008. Net income for the period totaled $9.5 million, or $0.36 per fully diluted share, up significantly from $6.3 million, or $0.23 per fully diluted share during the corresponding period one year earlier.

Despite the strong increase, the company’s shares declined to a 52-week low earlier this week. Analysts had expected net income of $0.30 per share. Matrix Service Company’s management team maintains its fiscal 2009 guidance of $800 million to $850 million in consolidated revenues, earnings of $1.35 per fully diluted share to $1.60 per fully diluted share and SG&A of 5.5 percent to 6.0 percent of revenues.

Commenting during a conference call earlier this week, Michael J. Bradley, the president and chief executive officer, stated, “We have maintained the positive momentum from fourth quarter into this year and achieved record operating income and earnings per share by executing our business plan exceptionally well. As we expected, our SG&A expenses increased to $12.1 million from $8.0 million in the same quarter of fiscal 2008. We are successfully executing our strategy to grow and diversify which requires us to add talent and infrastructure.” He concluded, “We strongly believe that our current share price does not reflect the fundamental value and long-term earnings prospects for our company.”

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