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HEARD ON THE BEAT / CORPORATE

Fluor Stock Slump Helps and Hurts

March 06, 1997|JOHN O'DELL

Officials at Fluor Corp. must have mixed emotions over the company stock's performance in recent days. On one hand, the value of their long-term compensation packages is linked to stock price, so they want it to be up there. On the other, the company is busily buying its own stock on the open market, and in that endeavor it benefits from a lower price.

For the last few weeks, the market has been kinder to the company than to its execs. Fluor's common stock dropped 17% on Feb. 19, to $62 a share, after the international engineering and construction services company said its first quarter profit rose only 8% instead of the 14% analysts had been expecting. A spokesman called the drop temporary, and Fluor the next day said it would start buying back shares.

Since then, however, the stock has languished. It climbed to $64.75 on Feb. 21, but fell to a 7-month low of $59.50 on Monday before advancing to close Wednesday at $61.625.

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John O'Dell covers major Orange County corporations and manufacturing for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-5831 and at john.odell@latimes.com.

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