viewPerma-Fix Environmental Services

Perma-Fix Environmental Services takes on the dirty job of handling radioactive waste


The Atlanta-based company's core nuclear waste services business treats radioactive and mixed waste for hospitals, research labs, and the US Department's of Defense and Energy

Perma-Fix Environmental Services - Perma-Fix Environmental Services does the dirty job of handling radioactive waste

Quick facts: Perma-Fix Environmental Services

Price: 6.9 USD

Market: NASDAQ
Market Cap: $83.8 m
  • Provides nuclear and waste-management services
  • Treats radioactive and mixed waste for hospitals, research labs and institutions, and top federal agencies
  • Expanded low-level radioactive waste treatment capacity with addition of new facility in Tennessee

What Perma-Fix Environmental does:

Perma-Fix Environmental Services Inc (NASDAQ:PESI) is a nuclear services company and a leading provider of nuclear and waste-management services.  Based in Atlanta, the company also offers engineering-consulting services to the industrial and commercial sectors.

Perma-Fix’s core nuclear waste services business manages and treats radioactive and mixed waste for hospitals, research labs and institutions, and federal agencies, including the Department of Energy (DoE) and the Department of Defense (DoD). The division also serves the commercial nuclear industry as well. 

Its nuclear services group handles the heavy work of environmental restoration, decontamination and decommissioning while providing radiological protection, safety and industrial hygiene services. The company can also construct new buildings.

How is it doing:

Heading into 2020, Perma-Fix continued to improve upon a very successful 2019. 

The company closed last year with a profit of $930,000 versus a loss of $2.4 million in 2018. It doubled fourth-quarter revenue to $22 million for a 88% year-over-year increase. And its services segment saw revenue jump by 341% year-over-year. 

For its 1Q of 2020, which ended March 31, Perma-Fix achieved a large profit of $1.2 million as revenue increased by 112% year-over-year to $25 million. Services revenue led the way, up 748% year-over-year due to the award of several contracts and task orders.

Another upbeat note heading into 2020 was news in late December, that the US Federal government had awarded the group's services segment, via a joint venture (JV) with Engineering/Remediation Resources Group Inc, a $15 million contract. The JV will support the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California through the DoE with remediation, construction, and waste-management services. The contract runs for 18 months and it could be expanded to nearly $20 million.

In early 2020, the company has made it a priority to build-out its infrastructure to handle radioactive waste.

In February, the company expanded its Low-Level Radioactive Waste (LLRW) processing and treatment capacity by adding the Perma-Fix Environmental Waste Operations Center (EWOC), an 8.7-acre facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  

The facility, which sits atop a former DoE site, is dedicated to supporting LLRW processing and disposition, including mechanical processing, to manage multiple waste streams from both government and commercial customers. Workers will prepare, package, and transport the LLRW to approved disposal facilities such as landfills and radiological waste repositories.

In May, Perma-Fix was awarded two federal contracts valued at $3.7 million to separate and treat radioactive materials from over 100,000 tons of soils, debris and dredged materials.

At the same time, the company said it had achieved a milestone target by completing the development of its new Perma-SortSM material sorting and segregation process system. It is a customized, conveyor-based radiological assay system designed to provide 100% characterization of material efficiently with industry-leading measurement quality. 

Like most companies, Perma-Fix has had to grapple with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The company in March and April had to curtail operations and initiate layoffs as well as work-from-home policies.

Heading into late spring 2020, the company is beginning to remobilize on certain projects as field crews are being reactivated, and a backlog of shipments is expected to resume in June.

Perma-Fix also has secured $5.6 million under the Paycheck Protection Program created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. The money should help the company recall all staff and avoid future furloughs and layoffs. 

In addition, the company recently extended a credit facility with PNC Bank to May 15, 2024, and increased its revolver capacity from $12 million to $18 million.

Inflection points:

  • Expects full operations at Waste Operations Center to begin in 2Q 2020
  • Seek US EPA certification for the Tennessee processing facility 
  • Monitor developments amid COVID-19 pandemic

What the boss says: 

Perma-Fix CEO Mark Duff has told shareholders that the group is “realizing the benefits of our recently implemented strategic plan and business development initiatives."

He added: “This is best illustrated by the fact we've been awarded over $65 million in new contracts since the beginning of 2019. We achieved this revenue growth despite the federal government's continuing resolutions, which temporarily reduced spending. Moreover, we have increased our sales pipeline and our Services Segment backlog."

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