What happened

Fluor's (FLR -4.24%) first-quarter earnings were a major disappointment to investors.

The company lost $0.13 per share for the quarter, which was a big surprise, as analyst estimates called for earnings per share of $0.77. Revenue of $4.8 billion came in slightly ahead of the $4.69 billion expectation, but wasn't enough to overcome the surprise loss.

So what

While the headline numbers were certainly disappointing, perhaps the most significant component of Fluor's earnings report is the company's dramatically reduced guidance for the year.

Businessman watching red down arrow crash through the floor.

Image source: Getty Images.

Specifically, Fluor's previous full-year EPS guidance range of $3.10 to $3.50 has been lowered to $2.10 to $2.50 per share. At the midpoint, this represents a massive 30% reduction, and is mostly due to its revised forecast on a gas-fired power project, which is also the reason for the loss it posted for the quarter.

As a result of the revised expectations for the project, the company took a $96 million charge for the quarter, which reduced its earnings by $0.69 per share. However, it's worth pointing out that without this charge, the company would have earned $0.56 per share for the quarter -- still well below expectations.

Now what

According to Chairman and CEO David Seaton, "Going forward, our primary focus will be on markets where we see opportunities to fully deploy our integrated solutions model to deliver the capital efficiency that our clients demand."

Seaton specifically cited the company's LNG Canada project as an example of what he's referring to. And while it has a strong track record of being awarded new projects, Fluor will have to do pretty well for the rest of the year to make up for the first quarter's surprising loss.