PowerSecure International, the Wake Forest energy services company, reported a record first quarter as the company appears on course to double its sales every few years.
First-quarter sales rose 35.5 percent, to $45 million. Per share earnings increased to 4 cents, up from a loss of 3 cents a year ago.
The 700-employee company also reported a record backlog of $206 million, an indication of future sales. PowerSecure, which reported annual sales of $162 million last year, has set a goal for itself of reaching $300 million in annual sales by 2015.
"It's unbelievable the number of big opportunities we're blessed to be chasing," CEO Sidney Hinton told investors Wednesday as he described the give-and-take of heavy industry negotiations.
"They make take some of our ideas and try to do it with somebody else to save money," Hinton advised. "But in the long haul, they'll end up back at our door.
"Who do you want doing the work?" he said. "The person who invented it or somebody who's copying it?"
PowerSecure has several lines of business: high-efficiency lighting, solar panel installations, emergency power generators and utility infrastructure. The latter involves building substations, distribution lines and transmission systems, and providing engineering work to electric utility companies.
The emergency generator business originally started out by supplying grocery stores but has since expanded to hospitals, municipal governments, manufacturing sites and data centers. The generators, which are essentially locomotive engines, not only kick in during outages but can be used during times of peak demand to offset high-cost electricity from the grid with cheaper, self-generated power.
"We had never been positioned as strongly for a year as we were going into 2013," Hinton told analysts, "and our first quarter results reflect the execution that we expected to deliver."