Foster Wheeler 4Q profit hurt by charge, provision

Foster Wheeler 4th-quarter profit hurt by impairment charge, asbestos-related provision

NEW YORK (AP) -- Foster Wheeler's fourth-quarter net income slid 84 percent as the Swiss engineering and construction company was hit by one-time charges and an asbestos-related provision.

The performance fell short of Wall Street expectations and dropped more than 10 percent in premarket trading.

For the period ended Dec. 31, Foster Wheeler AG earned $6.3 million, or 6 cents per share. That compares with $39.2 million, or 34 cents per share, a year ago.

Removing the impact of the asbestos-related provision, earnings were 27 cents per share compared with 39 cents per share in the prior-year period. The current quarter also included an impairment charge of 11 cents per share. Taking this out as well, earnings for the current quarter were 38 cents per share.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected earnings of 44 cents per share.

Revenue fell to $735.3 million from $1.13 billion. Wall Street predicted $979.4 million in revenue.

Foster Wheeler's stock dropped $2.55 to $21.51 before the market open.

New orders booked for the global engineering and construction group jumped to $866 million from $376 million partly because of a large contract for a clean fuels project in Kuwait. In the global power group, new orders booked fell to $122 million from $460 million.

Foster Wheeler's full-year net income dropped 16 percent to $136 million, or $1.27 per share, from $162.4 million, or $1.35 per share, in the previous year.

Adjusted earnings were $1.54 per share. In the prior year it was $1.43 per share.

Annual revenue declined 24 percent to $3.41 billion from $4.48 billion.

The company anticipates 2013 adjusted earnings per share will be flat to down moderately compared with 2012's adjusted earnings excluding the impairment charge, which would be $1.65 per share.

Analysts expect earnings of $2.02 per share.