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Why Fluor Corporation Stock Lost 48% in February

By Demitri Kalogeropoulos - Mar 3, 2020 at 8:31AM

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The company revealed several pieces of bad news in a mid-month earnings update.

What happened

Fluor (FLR -3.12%) shareholders underperformed a historically weak market last month as the stock lost 48% compared to an 8% decline in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The drop added to significant short-term losses, with shares down over 70% in the past 12 months.

A construction engineer reviews a design.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

February's slump was driven by a notable amount of bad news from the engineering and design company. It revealed writedowns and impairments of over $1 billion as part of its preliminary earnings results issued on Feb. 18. Fluor also noted that the company is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is contributing to a delay in the filing of its annual 10-K report.

Now what

The SEC investigation has Wall Street worried about more surprisingly large writedowns or restatements ahead. In the meantime, Fluor said it is expecting to earn adjusted earnings of between $1.40 and $1.60 per share in 2020, although the full reported result could be heavily influenced by restructuring charges and accounting adjustments. Selling its entire government business won't be needed to raise cash, meanwhile, so that segment will contribute to sales and earnings in 2020.

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