Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Fluor (NYSE:FLR) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning.
According to Zacks, “Fluor’s shares have underperformed the industry over the past six months. Over the past few quarters, the company has suffered from continuous backlog erosion. The company is also facing a dearth of new awards which has hurt its growth prospects significantly. Precipitous top-line decline, absence of major projects and major issues in key projects, led the company to slash its 2017 guidance for the second time in a row. Moreover, the company’s margins are under pressure as the company continues to transition from higher margin engineering to lower margin construction projects. Also, the company continues to face a series of challenges in highly competitive power market. Despite these weaknesses, Fluor remains optimistic about a gradual recovery of markets, driven by improvements in the global economic activity. Also, improved project execution activities are proving conducive to margin performance.”
FLR has been the topic of a number of other reports. Robert W. Baird upped their target price on shares of Fluor from $40.00 to $48.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. UBS Group increased their price target on shares of Fluor from $43.00 to $46.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Stephens reiterated an overweight rating and issued a $50.00 price target (up from $44.00) on shares of Fluor in a research report on Saturday, October 14th. Seaport Global Securities reiterated a neutral rating and issued a $44.00 price target (down from $50.00) on shares of Fluor in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reiterated a buy rating and issued a $54.00 price target on shares of Fluor in a research report on Monday, November 6th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $49.08.
Fluor (NYSE:FLR) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The construction company reported $0.67 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.09. Fluor had a net margin of 1.03% and a return on equity of 11.69%. The business had revenue of $4.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.73 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.03 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Fluor will post 1.56 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 3rd. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 5th were paid a $0.21 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, December 4th. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.58%. Fluor’s dividend payout ratio is presently 58.74%.
In other Fluor news, insider Jose Luis M. Bustamante sold 2,750 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.63, for a total transaction of $133,732.50. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 38,757 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,884,752.91. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO Bruce A. Stanski sold 2,792 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.48, for a total value of $135,356.16. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 40,104 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,944,241.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 45,932 shares of company stock valued at $2,191,092 over the last three months. 1.30% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in FLR. Balentine LLC lifted its holdings in Fluor by 99.1% during the 3rd quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 2,799 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $118,000 after purchasing an additional 1,393 shares during the last quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors acquired a new stake in shares of Fluor during the second quarter worth $169,000. IFM Investors Pty Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of Fluor during the third quarter worth $226,000. Investment Counselors of Maryland LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Fluor by 73.6% during the third quarter. Investment Counselors of Maryland LLC now owns 5,736 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $241,000 after buying an additional 2,431 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Chicago Equity Partners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Fluor during the third quarter worth $299,000. 84.15% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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Fluor Corporation (Fluor) is a holding company. The Company operates its business in four segments: Energy, Chemicals & Mining; Industrial, Infrastructure & Power; Government, and Maintenance, Modification & Asset Integrity (MMAI). The Company, through its subsidiaries, offers professional services providing engineering, procurement, construction, fabrication and modularization, commissioning and maintenance, as well as project management services on a global basis.
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