Senior Analyst John Caucis reports on three federal IT services providers this week, each delivering robust, double-digit revenue growth amid the strongest federal technology market witnessed in many years. “The strongest performance was tendered by CACI, whose revenue rose 16.9% year-to-year to $1.36 billion in 3Q19, showing the tight alignment of its differentiated solutions with high-priority spending areas in the defense and intelligence markets. CACI is beating incumbents on large-scale program recompetes and defending its incumbency on its own legacy engagements, while the strength of its fiscal performance points to a high-value solutions mix highly relevant to its core customers. CACI’s $1 billion in acquisitions in 1Q19 is also boosting revenue, adding between $115 million and $120 million in inorganic sales in 3Q19 (by TBR estimates), though also generating margin pressures.
“Booz Allen Hamilton’s (BAH) revenue rose 12.7% year-to-year to $1.82 billion in 3Q19, consistent with the company’s plan to aggressively execute on its FY20 growth objectives during the first half of the fiscal year (calendar 2Q19 and 3Q19). BAH is realizing balanced growth across its government-focused business lines. Growth in BAH’s Global Commercial business has been more variable but has stabilized and is on solid footing for continued expansion in 2020. Finally, Leidos’ revenue rose 10.1% year-to-year to $2.84 billion in 3Q19. The company’s backlog continues to surge to new highs owing to a strong sustained pace of net-new contract bookings across the defense, civilian and, particularly, healthcare areas. Leidos also successfully defended its position on a handful of large projects, including the $2.9 billion, 10-year NASA End-User Services & Technologies (NEST) program and the $927 million IT and logistics support contract with the Transportation Security Administration.”
Additional assessments publishing this week from our analyst teams
“With the Syntel acquisition fully integrated globally, Atos’ next step is to explain Syntel’s capabilities to its internal sales and delivery teams and existing clients to successfully cross-sell its solutions and to effectively deliver services for cloud revenue growth and improved profitability. TBR does not expect the stepping down of Atos CEO Thierry Breton on Oct. 31 and appointment of Elie Girard, previously deputy CEO and CFO, to change the company’s strategic direction or negatively impact Atos’ performance. Girard will continue to steer the strategic direction of the company over the next two years around delivering business outcomes for customers utilizing Atos’ technology and services expertise in cloud and cybersecurity.” — Elitsa Bakalova, Senior Analyst
“Throughout 2019, Cognizant’s emphasis on evolving from its traditional roots to a digital transformation leader has resulted in multiple acquisitions and a flurry of restructuring efforts, such as the Digital Transformation Office. The Digital Transformation Office’s latest announcement is a two-year plan, 2020 Fit for Growth, which will result in additional layoffs and reskilling efforts around key technology areas such as data, IoT, digital engineering and cloud. The 2020 Fit for Growth plan is Cognizant’s furthest reaching plan so far in 2019, impacting 12,000 employees and resulting in the divesture of nonessential businesses to free up capital for digital growth and improve Cognizant’s cost structure. TBR believes the success of Cognizant’s restructuring and go-to-market realignment will require active involvement of its partner ecosystem to rapidly expand the scale of its new offerings and strengthen its positioning against competitors in the digital space.” — Kelly Lesiczka, Analyst
“Ongoing restructuring efforts to improve delivery and cost structure enabled Fujitsu Services to grow revenues and profitability in 3Q19 but could set the company back relative to peers. However, the speed of Fujitsu’s transition will dictate the extent to which its portfolio and delivery network can generate profitable growth in FY22.” — Lesiczka
“T-Mobile will end 2019 on a high note, with the company’s annual postpaid net additions and adjusted EBITDA surpassing initial guidance expectations. T-Mobile’s momentum will continue in 2020 regardless of the outcome of the proposed Sprint merger, as the company’s widespread 5G coverage and expanding portfolio and service options will attract new customers.” — Steve Vachon, Analyst
“AT&T’s 3Q19 earnings highlight the challenges the company is experiencing as a result of extensive expansion over the past five years due to the acquisitions of Time Warner and DIRECTV and the launch of AT&T Mexico. Market challenges and shifting consumer preferences contributed to AT&T’s revenue declines in most segments, and the company remains debt-laden from its large-scale investments.” — Vachon
Notwithstanding the increased integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and process bots into government operations, the U.S. federal services sector decidedly remains a people business. At a recent Washington Technology Power Breakfast forum, industry leaders talked talent strategies and how they hope to succeed as digital transformation fundamentally changes the types of people sought for government work. A few key themes emerged as near-universal top-of-mind concerns for forum participants and audience members, such as the importance of developing a brand and messaging values that resonate with the emerging workforce; the criticality of public-private partnerships to develop talent in the greater Washington, D.C., area and beyond; and the concern and uncertainty about the human capital impact of Amazon’s (Nasdaq: AMZN) recent decision to become a much closer neighbor of Uncle Sam.
The trends and issues discussed often repeated themes TBR touches on regularly in its analysis of the IT industry, both within the federal market and across public and private sectors globally. While the perspectives shared were both validating and enlightening, there was just as much value in paying attention to what the panelists did not talk about at length. Today’s pressing HR demands leave little time for talent strategists to worry about the looming disruptive impacts of AI and robotic process automation (RPA), the fundamental changes in labor amid the rise of asset-based services, forward-thinking venture-capital-like approaches to partnerships, or the uncomfortable and growing issue of ethics conflicting with the eagerness to apply innovative IT to government missions. HR leaders and strategic decision makers at the leading services firms will need to grapple with these difficult topics today if they want to stay ahead of disruption that is just around the corner in the dynamic and rapidly changing IT industry.
Washington Technology Power Breakfast: TBR Public Sector Analyst Joey Cresta was recently invited to participate in a panel discussion on talent strategies of government contractors at a breakfast forum hosted by Washington Technology. The event provided an outlet for executives, HR experts and industry thought leaders to share how they intend to win talent in a competitive labor market while maintaining profitability and bracing for the impact of Amazon’s impending move into Crystal City.
Before we celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday and recover from all that food on Friday, we will publish some of our periodic analysis of IT services vendors, management consulting profiles, and special reports. Here’s what’s coming:
Monday: TBR’s 3Q18 Booz Allen Hamilton full report will provide analysis on one of the federal market’s most forward-thinking and risk-taking services providers. While peers struggle to cultivate a relevant data science workforce, BAH aims to cement its advantage by leading the charge around data science standardization. Its fast-mover advantage enables BAH to set the rules and challenges competitors to fall in line. Such efforts support scalability of more mature capabilities while BAH continues to evolve by exploring new business models, investing in IP and delving into emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and directed energy.
- TBR’s 3Q18 CACI full report examines how a traditional defense-led federal services contractor is adjusting to the incursion of commercial IT best practices into its core market areas. The report analyzes how these market disruptors can work to the advantage of a company like CACI, which is investing in software-defined open architecture systems in high-end defense technologies, such as electronic warfare and signals intelligence, to disrupt traditional military suppliers rooted in old procurement models focused on hardware-defined, proprietary and bespoke solutions.
- In June we described BCG in our Management Consulting Benchmark as the best-positioned for acceleration among immediate peers, including McKinsey and Bain. Our new profile on the firm furthers that assessment, with a caveat the firm will need to retain talent, especially in emerging technology areas, to remain competitive, particularly with Big Four firms like PwC and EY.
- Last week in Dallas we heard directly from Atos and the new Atos-Syntel leadership about the strategy and expectations for this multibillion-dollar, North America-centric acquisition. Our special report will detail why we think Atos’ renewed approach to the U.S. market will have a substantial impact on the company’s performance in the near term.
Growth opportunities across defense and civilian agencies uplift vendor performance
The results of TBR’s 2Q18 Public Sector IT Services Benchmark demonstrate clear top-line benefits for services providers as government agencies accelerate IT modernization initiatives. Revenue for the 16 benchmarked vendors improved 5.3% year-to-year, which does not even factor in General Dynamics IT essentially doubling in size through its acquisition of CSRA. Including the impact of the acquisition, revenue grew 13.5% from 2Q17.
Industry consolidation remains a prevailing theme in the market as the near-term opportunities tied to U.S. federal budget growth and the pursuit of innovation create a sense of urgency for vendors to capitalize. Scale advantages, complementary capabilities and broadened customer relationships make consolidation a compelling tool to facilitate near-term deal capture. Consolidation will remain a prominent strategic concern, evidenced by the announcement after the close of 2Q18 that SAIC (NYSE: SAIC) plans to acquire Engility (NYSE: EGL). However, in the long run, TBR anticipates the importance of scale will diminish as rapid technological change disrupts legacy business models.
TBR believes that the door is open for industry stalwarts to be disrupted if they elect to ignore the prevailing signs that the federal government, in particular the U.S. Department of Defense, seeks change in how it procures and fields technology.
TBR’s Public Sector IT Services Benchmark examines the key strategies, investments and performance metrics of leading government consultants, systems integrators, and IT and professional services providers. The benchmark examines 16 vendors across three groups: services units of aerospace and defense firms, U.S. federal government pure play vendors, and public sector verticals of commercially led IT services companies. We mix qualitative analysis of key investments and strategic initiatives with quantitative analysis of financial performance to uncover the drivers of business success for vendors that offer services to government customers.
On Wednesday, July 11, Reuters released an exclusive report citing unnamed sources that U.S. federal services contractor Engility (NYSE: EGL) is exploring a sale. The report noted interest in Engility from federal services peers CACI (NYSE: CACI) and SAIC (NYSE: SAIC), which both dwarf Engility in size at $4.45 billion and $4.55 billion, respectively, in TBR-estimated 2018 revenues, compared with Engility’s $1.87 billion. The report was no surprise to TBR, as we have been monitoring the consolidation trend within the federal services sector over the past several years, including past deals such as CACI’s acquisition of L-3 National Security Solutions, Leidos’ purchase of Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions and General Dynamics’ recently completed acquisition of CSRA.
CACI would do well to acquire a systems integrator, potentially a federal subsidiary of a commercial-led company, with strong relationships with cloud and next-generation technology partners to improve its market position. — Joey Cresta, Analyst
“We are consumed by how do we fill gaps in capabilities and in customer communities,” says CEO Ken Asbury as the company posts record third-quarter revenue.