Chicago Bridge & Iron's Stock Plunges After Large Surprise Loss, Slashed Outlook

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Shares of Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. plunged 22% toward an 8-year low in morning trade Thursday, after the energy infrastructure services company reported a large surprise loss and revenue that was about half what was expected. The company also said it has suspended its dividend, was pursuing a sale of its technology business and has initiated a cost cutting program. The company said late Wednesday it swung to a net loss of $425.4 million, or $4.22 a share, from a profit of $123.8 million, or $1.17 a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding discontinued operations, the per-share loss was $3.02, compared with analyst expectations of a profit of 88 cents a share, according to FactSet. Revenue fell to $1.28 billion from $2.16 billion, while the FactSet consensus was for an increase to $2.47 billion. For the second-half of the year, the company said it expects EPS of $1.00 to $1.25 and revenue to $3.7 billion to $4.0 billion. Combined with first-half revenue of $3.11 billion, that would imply a full-year revenue outlook of $6.81 billion to $7.11 billion, well below previous revenue guidance $9.5 billion to $10.5 billion. "Although our second quarter results are disappointing, we are taking decisive actions to improve our operating performance and strengthen the company's financial position," said Chief Executive Patrick Mullen. The stock has plummeted 60% year to date, while the S&P 500 has climbed 10%.

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