AECOM Technology Corp., an engineering and consulting company, rose the most since it went public after it said free cash flow in the third quarter was higher than it expected.
Shares of the Los Angeles-based company advanced 18 percent to close at $18.82 in New York, the biggest gain since its initial public offering in May 2007.
Free cash flow, the difference between revenue from operations and capital expenditures, was $186 million, compared with $1 million a year ago, the company said today in a statement.
“The company had a big jump in free cash flow, and management reaffirmed its guidance for the full year, which has been rare among the industrial names this earnings season,” Nathaniel Gabriel, an analyst at Argus Research in New York, said in an e-mail.
AECOM’s third-quarter profit was 63 cents a share, compared with 62 cents a year ago. The average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for earnings of 64 cents a share.
The company’s free cash flow results “exceeded our expectations” and illustrate “the progress we are making to improve our balance of growth, profitability and liquidity,” Michael S. Burke, AECOM’s president, said in a statement.
AECOM expects full-year profit at the low end of its May forecast of between $2.30 and $2.45 a share, the company said in the statement.
Shares of AECOM have declined 8.5 percent this year.
The company got about 22 percent of its revenue from the U.S. government in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2011.