Foster Wheeler Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know
Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of global contractor Foster Wheeler (NAS: FWLT) were feeling the market's wrecking ball today as shares fell as much as 11% in intraday trading in reaction to the company's third-quarter earnings release.
So what: During earnings season, there's a very simple recipe for a company to get its stock to fall: Report earnings that are short of expectations.
For its third quarter, Foster Wheeler's revenue climbed 25% from last year, but the $1.13 billion was short of the $1.25 billion that analysts had estimated. On the bottom line, earnings per share fell from $0.41 last year to $0.31, also missing Wall Street's target. Profitability was down in both of the company's operating groups versus last year and -- for the Global Power Group -- also against the quarterly average for 2011.
Now what: Management stayed upbeat about the company's performance, noting "strong revenues" and "good operating performance." The company is also sticking to its EBITDA margin guidance for the full year -- that is, 13% to 15% for the Global Engineering and Construction group and 17% to 19% for the Global Power Group. Of course, in looking ahead it's also worth noting that while third-quarter revenue was particularly strong in both groups, new orders booked was relatively weak, particularly in the Global Power Group.
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