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As recently as 20 June of 2016, one-time market darling mining services provider Monadelphous Group Limited (MND) ranked number three on the ASX Top Ten Short List with 10.75% short interest.  Fellow mining services provider Worley Parsons Limited (WOR) was number two on the list with 15.58% short interest.
The mining boom in the first decade of the twentieth first century is credited by some with sparing Australia much of the pain experienced elsewhere in the world from the Great Financial Crisis.  Between 2002 and 2012 when the first signs of slowing began to appear the price of iron ore had increased tenfold.  Spurred by seemingly insatiable demand for steel in China, Australian iron ore companies rushed headlong to increased production, exploration, and asset purchases, with little regard for cost.  The industry segment that provided critical services to mining companies boomed as well.  
With the falling price or iron ore came mine closures and abandoned expansion projects, reducing need for mining camps, crushing services, demolition, and other processing and engineering services.  Investors began to abandon both the miners and their servicers in droves, failing to recognise that businesses have a way of adapting to challenging conditions.  A ten-year price movement chart for MND and another large mining services provider, Mineral Resources Limited (MIN) tells the tale.

Note that Mineral Resources is now trading above pre-collapse levels and the much maligned Monadelphous is close.  The recently released Half Year 2018 results from MND provided convincing evidence this company has come back.  
Monadelphous reported a 32.6% increase in net profit along with a 35.5% jump in revenue.  While the company worked to expand its reach into non-mining sectors following the supposed death of the mining boom, management attributed the solid results to ‘improvements in major construction prospects, particularly in iron ore”. Investors were pleased to hear the comment that “demand for maintenance services is expected to remain strong.’
The Monadelphous share price over two years is up 170%, despite remaining on the Top 30 Short List for much of the period, falling to 27th place by November of 2017.

Among the top service provides on the ASX, four have double digit two-year earnings growth forecasts, with substantial dividend yield increases projected as well.  Here are the stocks, listed by market cap.

Unlike Monadelphous and the other providers in our table, Mineral Resources Limited (MIN) serves only the mining sector, offering a broad range of general mining services. However, the company also operates as a miner, with interests in three mineral producing divisions: iron ore, manganese, and lithium.
It is the jointly owned Mt Marion lithium project in Western Australia piquing the interest of both investors and analysts.  The company is the mine operator, with a 43.1% interest in conjunction with Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co., Ltd, also holding 43.1%; and Neometals Limited (NMT) with 13.8%.  Mineral Resources is using its own innovative mineral processing technologies and other mining services for the Lithium project as well as for a Manganese project.  The company has two iron ore facilities in production with the manganese project and another lithium project in late stages of development.
Mineral Resources is expanding its technological footprint with the development of a carbon fibre manufacturing facility for structural components in mining and construction use.  In addition, the company entered into an agreement with Hazer Group Ltd (HZR) to develop synthetic graphite manufacturing facilities, funded by MIN with HZR providing the technology.  Synthetic graphite is used in metal manufacturing as well as battery and solar applications.
Half Year 2018 financial results were solid, with a 22.3% revenue increase along with a 16.6% rise in net profit after tax (NPAT) as well as an increase in fully franked dividend payments. The company’s P/EG – which incorporates future growth into the traditional price to earnings ratio – is 0.50, making the stock an attractive option for growth at reasonable price investors.
Monadelphous has come a long way from the dark days of a few years ago, recently added to the conviction buy list at Macquarie.  The company’s efforts to utilise its expertise to expand into the renewable energy and infrastructure markets appears to be working. One year ago, the company’s Half Year 2017 results showed a 15% drop in revenue along with a 24% decline in NPAT.  The company added $385 million in new contracts during the current period to add to the impressive turnaround in revenue and profit.
Monadelphous has two operating divisions, Engineering Construction, and Maintenance Industrial Services, serving markets in iron ore, oil and gas, mineral processing, coal, power, and water. The company has approximately 60 projects underway many with top ASX companies such as Woodside Petroleum (WPL), Rio Tinto (RIO), Whitehaven Coal (WHC), BHP Billiton (BHP), Santos Limited (STO), and Chevron Australia.
In late August three major brokers – Citi, Deutsche Bank, and Macquarie – downgraded MND to a sell following relatively weak Full Year 2017 Financial Results (revenue down 7.3% and NPAT down 14.1%.  Investors, however preferred to listen to positive forward- looking commentary from company management, sending the share price up 5%.  Investor seem to have gotten it right, given the improvements in the Half Year 2018 results.
GR Engineering Services Limited (GNG) serves the mining and mineral processing sectors, with mining projects with gold, copper, nickel, tungsten, tin, and mineral sands mining companies along with six processing facilities. The company serves its customers through three operating divisions – Design and Construction Services; Consulting Service; and Asset Management.
The company’s reach extends beyond Australia with an office in Indonesia and operational capabilities in the UK and West Africa.
GNG stock was the only one in our table that fell year over year.  The company reported weak Full Year Financial Results, with revenues declining 6.5% and profit dropping 38%. The company had gone into a trading halt prior to the announcement, with the stock price dropping in the aftermath.  GNG is also embroiled in legal proceedings with Eastern Goldfields over non-payment of a contractual agreement.  
The share price has been recovering and analyst forecasts are more than respectable.  The company has a P/EG of only 0.59 and is the only stock in the table with a consensus BUY analyst recommendation.
A subsidiary of Decmil Group Limited (DCG) – Homeground Villages Pty Ltd. – designs and constructs permanent and temporary accommodation villages for mining operations across Australia.  As such, it is little wonder this company was hit particularly hard as the miners cut back on exploration projects and shuttered mines, eliminating the need for accommodations of any kind.  Total shareholder return over 3 and 5 years is negative, but the ten-year period including some of the boom years is +17.8%.  
Decmil traces its roots back to 1979 when it began offering construction services to Western Australian iron ore miners.  During the boom, the company diversified its range of services, but remained a near pure-play mining services provider, although the company did make forays into the oil and gas sector.  In more recent times Decmil has expanded into public sector infrastructure projects, including roads and bridges and rail and port facilities, and now into renewable energy projects in wind, solar, and battery backup power development.
Infrastructure projects have expanded to include educational facilities, civic centres, hospitals, and medical centres.  The company’s Full Year 2017 Results showed a slight increase in revenue, from $298 million to $303 million, and the profit loss improved from roughly a $58 million-dollar loss to a $28 million-dollar loss.   The market’s initial reaction was negative but shortly thereafter it seems investors may have taken management’s positive outlook for the future as the company makes real inroads into its newer ventures.

Decmil reported a loss of $0.089 per share in FY 2017.  Analysts are forecasting $0.076 in FY 2018 and $0.11 per share in 2019, win a consensus OUTPERFORM rating.
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