BY TED GRIGGS
Advocate business writer
July 16, 2012
The Shaw Group Inc. lost $16 million, or 24 cents per share, during the three months ended May 31, an improvement over the same period a year ago, when the Baton Rouge fabrication, engineering and construction company lost $70 million, or 89 cents per share.
Still, Shaw’s results fell well short of the 58 cents per share profit expected by Wall Street analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
Shaw’s revenue for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 increased to $1.6 billion, compared with $1.5 billion a year earlier.
Shaw’s results include its investment in its Westinghouse segment, which Shaw plans to sell back to Toshiba. The exchange rates between the dollar and the Japanese yen affect that segment’s results, which reflect a pre-tax loss on paper of $22.8 million, or $14 million after tax.
Without the Westinghouse segment, Shaw had a loss of $6 million, or 9 cents per share, compared with a year-ago loss of $67.8 million, or 86 cents per share.
The company balanced this news with assurances that the fourth quarter will be strong and 2013 appears robust with work in utilities, piping projects, wetlands restoration and other projects.
“While we see earnings that are volatile in quarter three and quarter four, our guidance for the fiscal year remains unchanged,” J.M. Bernhard Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer of Shaw, told analysts on Tuesday.
“Across the board, we expect the fourth quarter to be strong, both from an earnings and a cash-flow perspective,” echoed Brian K. Ferraioli, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
Shaw’s third-quarter results included a loss of $33 million, or 31 cents per share, from costs related to the sale of its Energy and Chemicals business to Technip. Shaw sold the segment for around $300 million and expects to book a $49 million pre-tax gain in the fourth quarter.
Shaw also said it expects to meet a previous forecast for the 2012 fiscal year. Shaw’s projected earnings per share, excluding the Westinghouse segment, are $2.20 to $2.30 on revenue of $5.5 billion to $5.6 billion.
Shaw also announced plans to continue a share-repurchase program. The company plans to buy back up to $500 million worth of shares, which includes $326 million remaining from a previous buy-back program.
Shaw’s stock closed Tuesday at $25.78, down $2.61, or 9.2 percent.
Advocate business writer
contributed to this report.