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Fluor 2Q Profit Up 5.1%, Record High Awards

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Fluor Corp.'s (FLR) second-quarter earnings rose 5.1% on a surge in industrial and infrastructure business, as the engineering and construction company reported a quarter heavy with new project awards. Shares were up 7.2% at $58.50 after hours, as the results beat expectations and Fluor boosted its full-year profit target. Through the close, the stock had fallen 18% since the beginning of the year, worse than the wider market New awards rose 4% to $9.69 billion in the latest period, a record amount for a single quarter. The awards pushed backlog to a new high of $40.28 billion, up 34% from a year earlier and 8.3% from the first quarter. Chief Executive David Seaton said the company was "increasingly confident" in its outlook given the award and backlog levels, resulting in a full-year earnings view boost to $3.10 to $3.40 a share, compared with its November outlook for $3 to $3.40 a share. Earnings in the industrial-and-infrastructure segment, lately Fluor's biggest by revenue, more than doubled as revenue jumped 43%. The unit's revenue has been a pillar of support for Fluor in recent quarters, as its once dominant oil-and-gas segment has dragged. Profit fell 30% in the oil-and-gas business in the latest quarter despite a 12 in revenue. Fluor posted an overall profit of $165.5 million, or 94 cents a share, from $157.4 million, or 87 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue increased 17% to $6.03 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 81 cents a share on revenue of $5.77 billion. Gross margin fell to 5.1% from 5.5%. -By Joan E. Solsman, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2291; joan.solsman@dowjones.com

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