KBR lowers 2012 earnings forecast, shares slide 9 percent

Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:54pm EST

(Reuters) - Engineering and construction company KBR Inc (KBR.N) lowered its 2012 earnings forecast on Thursday, citing higher-than-expected fourth-quarter project charges in its minerals and U.S. construction units.

The profit outlook sent KBR shares 9 percent lower in extended trading.

KBR is taking steps to resolve the problems that are hurting profits, Bill Utt, the company's chief executive, said in a statement. A company representative was not immediately available to provide more details, but KBR will hold a conference call on Friday.

The Houston company said it now expects 2012 earnings per diluted share of between $1.95 and $2.10, down sharply from its previous forecast of $2.60 to $2.80.

Wall Street analysts, on average, had expected KBR to report a full-year profit of $2.66 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company's 2013 earnings forecast of $2.45 to $2.90 a share is also below analysts' average expectation of $2.96 a share.

Shares of KBR fell to $29.10 in post market trading from a New York Stock Exchange close of $32.

(Reporting By Anna Driver; Editing by Gary Hill; and Peter Galloway)

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