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Fluor Will Miss 4th-Quarter Earnings Mark

October 27, 2000|From Bloomberg News

Fluor Corp. said Thursday its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings will miss forecasts and that it plans to sell or close its heavy-equipment unit's dealership business.

The Aliso Viejo-based construction and engineering company plans to take a pretax charge of $25 million related to the spinoff of its Massey Coal operations, which is expected to occur before year's end, spokesman Keith Karpe said.

Fluor has also decided to sell or shut down the dealership operations of its AMECO heavy equipment business.

The company plans to report profit for the quarter that ends Tuesday of 45 cents to 50 cents a share, excluding spinoff expenses and a $25-million adjustment for the company's dealership business. It had been expected to earn 64 cents, the average estimate of three analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial.

After the spinoff, Fluor said it will switch its reporting basis to a calendar year from a fiscal year, beginning in 2001. November and December results will be reported separately. Earnings for the two-month period are expected to be about 25 cents a share.

Fluor shares fell $1.56, or 4.7%, to close at $31.56 on the New York Stock Exchange.

In June, Fluor said it would split the company in two, separating its engineering, procurement and construction business from Massey, which has been a drag on earnings. Wall Street, which never cared for the disparate operations under one corporate roof, praised the deal.

Weakness in its Massey coal business led the company to project a 15% drop in its fiscal 2000 operating earnings.

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Engineering Turnaround

Fluor intends to split itself in two, creating a separate publicly held company out of its lagging Massey Coal operation. Even so, its stock remains below its high of $48.50 in January and has lost 30% this year.

Fluor shares, monthly closes and latest on NYSE

Thursday: $32.56, down $1.56

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