Contractor bosses clean-up
Contractor bosses clean-up

The shares of WA's top resources contractors are hitting all-time highs this month after running hard since the beginning of the year, driving up the personal fortunes of their chief executives.

Mining services providers NRW Holdings and Ausdrill set records in yesterday's trading, leaving their stock respectively up 65 and 42 per cent for the year to date.

Both companies wielded impressive numbers in their half-year reports and have surged past the $1 billion market capitalisation milestone.

Engineering group Monadelphous, while growing a relatively sober 16 per cent, is now worth more than $2 billion.

The bonanza has added millions of dollars to the value of shareholdings held by the companies' top executives.

Ausdrill managing director Ron Sayers' 12 per cent stake is now worth $156.6 million, Monadelphous managing director Rob Velletri's holding is $52.6 million, and NRW chief executive Jules Pemberton's shares are up to $10.8 million.

Mining and civil contractor Macmahon Holdings' 55 per cent spike has seen the value of long-time chief executive Nick Bowen's stake hit $18.1 million.

Drilling products supplier Imdex also hit a record yesterday, clocking up a 58 per cent rise for the year and bolstering managing director Bernie Ridgeway's holding to $7.1 million.

Decmil Group non-executive chairman Denis Criddle's 13 per cent stake in the engineering and construction company is now $63.4 million, thanks to a 43 per cent price hike.

Paterson Securities industrials analyst David Gibson said the sector's market performance was a reflection of fading macroeconomic concerns, leading to risk capital re-entering the market.

"A lot of that money's been chasing higher growth stocks and mining services is one industrial which is going to grow quite strongly this year and that's what you're seeing reflected in the share prices," Mr Gibson said.

He said capital expenditure on resources projects had been the strongest for year, benefiting the likes of NRW, Macmahon and Decmil.

"Everybody looks at the construction-exposed companies as the bellwether of the sector. Those are the ones that have performed quite strongly this year to date."

While interim results had been impressive, Mr Gibson said it was companies' outlook for the full year which had turbo-charged the share prices.

"I'd say the majority of the companies would probably have a stronger second half than the first half."

The West Australian

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