Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Fluor (NYSE:FLR) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Fluor’s shares have underperformed the industry over the past six months. Over the past few quarters, the company has suffered from continuous backlog erosion. The company is also facing a dearth of new awards which has hurt its growth prospects significantly. Precipitous top-line decline, absence of major projects and major issues in key projects, led the company to slash its 2017 guidance for the second time in a row. Moreover, the company’s margins are under pressure as the company continues to transition from higher margin engineering to lower margin construction projects. Also, the company continues to face a series of challenges in highly competitive power market. Despite these weaknesses, Fluor remains optimistic about a gradual recovery of markets, driven by improvements in the global economic activity. Also, improved project execution activities are proving conducive to margin performance.”

Several other equities analysts have also issued reports on FLR. Robert W. Baird restated a hold rating and set a $40.00 price target on shares of Fluor in a research report on Tuesday, September 5th. KeyCorp restated a buy rating and set a $50.00 price target on shares of Fluor in a research report on Friday, September 22nd. Seaport Global Securities restated a neutral rating and set a $44.00 price target (down from $50.00) on shares of Fluor in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. Stephens restated an overweight rating and set a $50.00 price target (up from $44.00) on shares of Fluor in a research report on Saturday, October 14th. Finally, Citigroup set a $53.00 price target on Fluor and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Fluor presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $49.08.

Shares of Fluor (FLR) traded up $0.77 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $53.10. The company had a trading volume of 1,200,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,170,000. The stock has a market cap of $7,430.00, a PE ratio of 37.13, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.48 and a beta of 1.46. The company has a current ratio of 1.56, a quick ratio of 1.18 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46. Fluor has a 52 week low of $37.04 and a 52 week high of $58.37.

Fluor (NYSE:FLR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 2nd. The construction company reported $0.67 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.09. Fluor had a return on equity of 11.69% and a net margin of 1.03%. The company had revenue of $4.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.73 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.03 EPS. Fluor’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts anticipate that Fluor will post 1.56 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 3rd. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 5th will be given a $0.21 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 4th. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.58%. Fluor’s dividend payout ratio is currently 58.74%.

In other news, insider Jose Luis M. Bustamante sold 2,750 shares of Fluor stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.63, for a total value of $133,732.50. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 38,757 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,884,752.91. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Chairman David Thomas Seaton sold 40,000 shares of Fluor stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.57, for a total value of $1,902,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 276,643 shares in the company, valued at $13,159,907.51. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 45,932 shares of company stock worth $2,191,092. Corporate insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Balentine LLC boosted its position in shares of Fluor by 99.1% during the third quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 2,799 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $118,000 after purchasing an additional 1,393 shares in the last quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors bought a new stake in shares of Fluor during the second quarter valued at approximately $169,000. IFM Investors Pty Ltd bought a new stake in shares of Fluor during the third quarter valued at approximately $226,000. Investment Counselors of Maryland LLC boosted its position in shares of Fluor by 73.6% during the third quarter. Investment Counselors of Maryland LLC now owns 5,736 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $241,000 after purchasing an additional 2,431 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Chicago Equity Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Fluor during the third quarter valued at approximately $299,000. Institutional investors own 84.15% of the company’s stock.

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Fluor Company Profile

Fluor Corporation (Fluor) is a holding company. The Company operates its business in four segments: Energy, Chemicals & Mining; Industrial, Infrastructure & Power; Government, and Maintenance, Modification & Asset Integrity (MMAI). The Company, through its subsidiaries, offers professional services providing engineering, procurement, construction, fabrication and modularization, commissioning and maintenance, as well as project management services on a global basis.

Analyst Recommendations for Fluor (NYSE:FLR)

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