Fluor Earnings Increase With Order Volume

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Reflecting an increasing volume of orders and greater operating margins, Fluor Corp. reported net earnings of $40 million for the third quarter, up 18% from $33.9 million for the same period a year ago.

Fluor, the giant engineering and construction company based here, said revenues for the third quarter ended July 31 increased 13.5% to $1.77 billion from $1.56 billion in the same period a year ago.

The third-quarter earnings this year included a onetime gain of $8 million from the sale of Pea Ridge Iron Ore Co. in Sullivan, Mo., while last year's third-quarter earnings included a onetime gain of $9 million from a settlement with the National Iranian Oil Co.

For the first nine months of fiscal 1990, Fluor posted net earnings of $106.2 million, up 33.8% from $79.4 million for the same period in fiscal 1989. Nine-month revenues were $5.48 billion, up 18.9% from $4.61 billion for the year-ago period.

"We are particularly encouraged by the continued upward trend in Fluor Daniel's operating performance and the strength and diversity of new business activity despite the gulf crisis," Les McCraw, Fluor's chief executive officer and vice chairman, said in a prepared statement. Fluor Daniel is the company's largest operating unit.

McCraw said work in Saudi Arabia represents less than $50 million of Fluor's current $9.5-billion backlog. But the company's work there is expected to increase sharply over the next four to nine years because of a multibillion-dollar contract Fluor recently was awarded to build oil facilities for Aramco, the Saudi government-run oil company.

Fluor has no current contracts in Iraq or Kuwait.

Mark Altman, an oil services industry analyst with PaineWebber in New York, noted that Fluor's "order rates are strong. So far we have not seen the slowdown in the economy hurting their business."

Fluor received $2 billion in new orders in the last quarter, the most the company has garnered in any quarter since 1981, said Fluor spokeswoman Deborah Land. She added that Fluor's current backlog was the highest it has been since 1982, when the company's business began to plummet because of falling oil and minerals prices.

FLUOR CORP. PERFORMANCE

Fluor Corp. reported third-quarter earnings of $40 million, up 18% from the same quarter a year ago, while revenue increased 14%. The company attributed the earnings gain to an increase in orders and its business diversification.

Figures in millions, except per share

3d Qtr 3d Qtr 9 Months 9 months 1990 1989 1990 1989 Revenue $1,768 $1,557 $5,475 $4,611 Net income (loss) $40 $33.9 $106.2 $79.4 Per share (loss) 49 cents 42 cents $1.31 99 cents

Source: Fluor Corp.

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