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California

Fluor Sales Fall 13% in Third Quarter

The company says a slowdown in power plant construction helped shrink revenue to $2.1 billion

October 29, 2003|Elizabeth Douglass | Times Staff Writer

Hurt by a slowdown in new power plant construction, Orange County's Fluor Corp. said its work backlog has shrunk and its third-quarter sales fell more than 13% compared with the same period last year.

The engineering and construction firm, based in Aliso Viejo, said its net income totaled $44.1 million, or 55 cents a share, for the three months ended Sept. 30, a 41% increase from the year-ago period. That year, a $14.8-million loss on discontinued operations cut the firm's third-quarter net income to $31.3 million, or 39 cents a share.

Discounting the effects of the special charge in 2002, this year's third-quarter profit was 4.3% lower than it was for the same operations in the year-ago period.

Revenue for the quarter dropped to $2.1 billion, down from $2.5 billion last year, and the company's backlog of projects also fell, totaling $10.3 billion on Sept. 30, compared with $10.9 billion.

Fluor's results reflect the completion of higher-margin power plant projects that are not being replaced by new construction as the energy industry's recent building boom slows. The energy group's revenue for the quarter fell 47%, and its profit declined 31% from a year earlier.

The sales declines were partially offset by increases in Fluor's global services business and industrial and infrastructure business, as well as a big jump in government contracts.

Fluor Chairman and Chief Executive Alan Boeckmann said the quarterly results were "in line with our performance objectives," adding that the company was pressing forward with an acquisition and diversification effort "aimed at mitigating the inherent cyclicality in certain markets we serve."

The company released its third-quarter results Tuesday after U.S. stock markets had closed.

Fluor shares rose 86 cents, to $39.88 a share, on the New York Stock Exchange.

Fluor's board on Tuesday said it would pay a quarterly dividend of 16 cents a share on Jan. 2 to people who hold Fluor shares on Dec. 12.

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