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Fluor 4Q Profit Falls 21% On Cost Increases, Reduced Activity

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Fluor Corp.'s (FLR) fourth-quarter profit missed analysts' estimates, falling 21% on reduced oil-and-gas segment activity and substantial cost increases on a wind farm project. Shares fell 4.5% to $67.40 in recent trading. Despite those losses, the stock has risen 18% in the past three months. 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 reported a profit of $117.1 million, or 65 cents a share, down from $148.7 million, or 82 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. The latest quarter included a $180 million charge from the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm and a $152 million tax benefit from the restructuring of a foreign subsidiary. Revenue slipped 3.9% to $5.27 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently forecast earnings of 75 cents a share of $5.66 billion of revenue. New orders more than doubled to $7.09 billion, compared with $3.32 billion a year earlier. Backlog rose $1.9 billion during the quarter to $34.9 billion, up 30% from a year earlier. Oil-and-gas segment revenue dropped 16% and earnings halved on reduced project activity. Industrial and infrastructure revenue climbed 6.2%, although the segment swung to a loss of $102.4 million on substantial cost increases at the Greater Gabbard wind farm. The company reiterated its 2011 earnings target based on new awards and backlog growth. -By Ian Thomson, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2314;

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