UPDATE 2-Emcor Q1 lags estimates; backs 2010 outlook

Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:12pm EDT

* Q1 EPS $0.32 vs est $0.36

* Sees FY EPS $1.45-$1.85, revenue about $5 bln

* Contract backlog up 4 pct sequentially

* Shares up 5 pct to a 19-month high

(Recasts; Adds conference call details, share movement)

April 29 (Reuters) - Construction and engineering firm Emcor Group Inc (EME.N) posted lower-than-expected quarterly results, but backed its full-year outlook as it is seeing signs of recovery in its end-markets.

Contract backlog as of March 31, was up 4 percent sequentially to $3.29 billion, helped by increased contract awards in the commercial, healthcare, industrial and institutional sectors.

"Our overall contract backlog growth...and other fundamental indicators of stabilization suggest that the worst may be behind us," a company executive said on a conference call with analysts.

The stimulus program was finally providing opportunities for to bid for sophisticated, complex projects, the company said.

Public and public-related end-markets comprise 78 percent of the company's overall contract portfolio.

For the first quarter, the company posted earnings of $21.8 million, or 32 cents a share, compared with $36.8 million, or 55 cents a share, a year earlier.

The profit for the latest quarter was hit by a higher net interest expense, which rose to $2.4 million from $251,000 a year earlier.

Revenue fell 13 percent to $1.21 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 36 cents a share, on revenue of $1.23 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company still expects 2010 earnings of $1.45 to $1.85 a share, on revenue of about $5 billion.

Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.76 a share, on revenue of $5.07 billion.

Shares of the company were up 3 percent at $29.20 Thursday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange. They touched a 19-month high of $29.80 earlier in the session. (Reporting by Divya Sharma and Amulya Nagaraj in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal, Aradhana Aravindan)

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