Shares of Fluor (NYSE: FLR) tumbled more than 12% by 10:30 a.m. EDT on Thursday. Driving down the engineering company's stock were its disappointing third-quarter results.
Fluor recorded a net loss of $782 million, or $5.57 per share. That was well below expectations that the company would report a profit of $0.30 per share. The culprit was a series of noncash charges it took during the quarter. Overall, it recorded $880 million in charges, which included writing down the value of some of its assets as well as for restructuring activities.
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Meanwhile, the company's underlying results were somewhat mixed. On a positive note, earnings in Fluor's energy and chemicals and mining and industrial segments surged 70% and 171%, respectively, compared to the prior-year period. However, the profitability of its infrastructure and power and diversified services businesses plummeted 99% and 52%, respectively. Meanwhile, the loss within its "other" segment more than tripled.
The company, however, now has a plan in place to turn things around after finishing up its strategic review, which it announced last month. The company plans to sell several businesses, which should generate more than $1 billion in cash. Meanwhile, it intends to reduce costs by about $100 million per year. On top of that, it slashed its dividend by more than 50% to save some additional money. The company believes that these moves will bolster its financial profile and profitability in the future.
Fluor is working to turn around its struggling business. It believes that it's now on the right path, which should drive improved results in the future. However, it needs to execute so that it can win back the trust of investors, which will be tough to do after they've watched shares plunge more than 60% over the past year.
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