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Shaw Group profit rises on record new contracts

Shaw Group Inc. said profit in the fiscal second quarter improved as revenue climbed and it posted record new contract awards in part due to planned construction of a new nuclear power plant.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Shaw Group Inc. said profit in the fiscal second quarter improved as revenue climbed and it posted record new contract awards in part due to planned construction of a new nuclear power plant.

For the three months ended Feb. 28, the company reported profit of $36.3 million, or 43 cents a share, compared with $4 million, or 5 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding its Westinghouse segment, the company earned $18.9 million, or 22 cents a share. The difference is due primarily to a foreign-exchange translation pretax gain of $30.9 million.

Prior year results excluding Westinghouse were $32.3 million, or 38 cents a share.

The Shaw Group holds a 20 percent stake in Westinghouse Electric Co. Japan's Toshiba Corp. owns the majority.

Second quarter results included a $73.9 million pretax charge, or 53 cents per share, for labor costs increases to complete a coal-fire power plant.

Revenue for the quarter was $1.7 billion, an increase of 1 percent from the year-earlier period.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected 61 cents a share on revenue of $1.75 billion. They typically exclude one-time items in their estimates.

Shares rose 69 cents, or 2.4 percent, to close at $29.07. In after market trading, after the earnings were issued, shares fell $1.97, or 6.8 percent, to $27.10.

Company officials said they expect 2009 revenue between $7.1 billion and $7.3 billion and earnings of $2.10 to $2.30.

Analysts, however, had anticipated earnings of $2.70 on sales of $7.3 billion.

"The majority of our operating segments continue to perform well, including record performance this quarter by our energy and chemicals segment," said Chief Executive J.M. Bernhard Jr. "While we are disappointed by the charge on the one coal project in our fossil and nuclear segment, we remain optimistic about our business and the future prospects within the core markets we serve."

Baton Rouge, La.-based Shaw Group provides engineering, construction, maintenance and consulting services for government and private sector clients in the energy, chemicals, environmental, infrastructure and emergency response markets.