Canadian Consulting Engineer

Executives see tough times ahead, but Canadian engineering company share prices hold their own

February 9, 2009
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

Not surprisingly, an international survey of executives in engineering and construction companies, found their conf...

Not surprisingly, an international survey of executives in engineering and construction companies, found their confidence in the prospects for business has dropped sharply since last year.

PricewaterhouseCoopers interviewed 80 executives and found that only 18% of them believed they could increase revenues over the next 12 months, compared with 56% in last year’s survey.

Some 29% of the executives expected to reduce their staff this year.

Another concern was low cost competition. Companies are already pricing work more aggressively, apparently, based on the assumption that material prices will fall.


The survey authors concluded: “Notwithstanding the hope that the infrastructure stimulus will provide to the sector, the marketplace is certainly challenging and engineering and construction CEOs will need to make tough decisions about what actions are required to ensure his or her company’s short term survival.”  However, they warned against cutting staff too drastically.

On a more positive note share prices for the publicly traded Canadian consulting engineering companies appear to be holding their own middle ground after they bottomed out last October.

The Toronto Stock Exchange share price for Stantec (STN) of Edmonton was trading at around $29 on February 9, roughly the same price as at the beginning of 2009. The share’s lowest price last year was around $16, and its highest price around $35.

The share price for SNC-Lavalin Group of Montreal (SNC) on February 9 was trading around $37, a few dollars below the $40 price at the beginning of 2009, but much higher than the $26 low recorded in October last year. SNC’s highest share price last year was approximately $62.

For GENIVAR Income Fund of Montreal GNV.UN), shares were trading around $24 on February 9, around the same price they were at the beginning of this year. In October last year the shares were trading at their lowest point at $16.50. Genivar’s highest share price over the past 52 weeks was $29 last March.

For AMEC, a U.K. company with a large contingent of consulting engineers in Canada, the share price was 582 pounds sterling on February 9 according to the FTSE Index. That’s up from 373.50 pounds of last October, but far below the 961 pounds of last June.

AECOM was trading on the New York Stock Exchange on February 9 at around US $27. This price was again around the middle ground of its 52-week history. AECOM’s highest share price over 52 weeks was US $34.50 in June 2008, and its lowest price was around US $14 in October 2008.




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