UPDATE 1-Fluor revenue short of estimates, has loss on ruling

Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:10pm GMT

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Feb 20 (Reuters) - Engineering company Fluor Corp on Wednesday reported slower-than-expected revenue growth and a quarterly loss due to a $265 million charge for the Greater Gabbard wind project off the coast of Britain.

Shares of Fluor, the largest publicly traded U.S. engineering company, dropped 2 percent in after-hours trading following a 3 percent slide in the regular session on the New York Stock Exchange.

Fluor said its fourth-quarter net loss was $4 million, or 3 cents per share, compared with a profit of $153 million, or 90 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue grew 12 percent to $7 billion, short of the $7.2 billion that analysts had expected, according to the average on Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Smaller rival KBR Inc also posted lower-than-expected revenue on Wednesday as its profit declined due to previously disclosed charges for its minerals and U.S. construction units.

At Greater Gabbard, Fluor had a long-running dispute with project owner Scottish & Southern Energy Plc over welding quality, and Fluor disclosed an adverse arbitration ruling in that case in November. Before taxes, the charge had totaled $416 million.

Fluor's overall backlog of projects fell to $38.2 billion at the end of 2012 from $40.8 billion three months earlier and $43 billion in the previous quarter.

But the Irving, Texas-based company is sticking with its forecast for 2013 earnings of between $3.85 and $4.35 per share. The outlook has been tempered by the sluggish global economy and the deferral of spending by big mining companies, Fluor said.

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