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Fluor Posts 3Q Loss On Charges; Revenue Tops Views, Orders Strong

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Fluor Corp. (FLR) swung to a third-quarter loss on charges related to a U.K. wind farm and a legal fight while revenue surprisingly rose. New orders were "very strong" at $7.6 billion, compared with $2.9 billion a year earlier. Backlog rose $2.8 billion during the quarter to $33 billion, up 18% from a year earlier. The engineering and construction company was mostly resilient during the recession but has suffered in recent quarters with reduced revenue and sagging results at its oil-and-gas business. Fluor faced particular setbacks in the latest period, saying last month it expected to record a $163 million charge because of estimated cost increases for an offshore wind project off the U.K. It said last week a court ruling against a joint venture it's involved in would result in further charges. It reported a loss of $53.6 million, or 30 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $162.1 million, or 89 cents a share. The latest quarter included a 90-cent charge from the wind farm and a 32-cent impact from the legal ruling. Revenue increased 1.7% to $5.51 billion. Analysts most recently forecast $5.21 billion, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters. Oil-and-gas segment revenue slumped 40% and earnings slid 60% on lower level of new rewards previously. But industrial and infrastructure revenue nearly doubled but the segment swung to a loss on the charges. Looking ahead, Fluor reiterated its 2010 earnings target and gave an initial 2011 view of $3 to $3.40 a share. Analysts' average estimate was $3.30. Shares closed at $49.80 and were inactive after-hours. -By Matt Jarzemsky and Kevin Kingsbury, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2240; matthew.jarzemsky@dowjones.com

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