UPDATE 1-CB&I expects 2013 project awards to outpace revenue

Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:39am EDT

March 28 (Reuters) - Chicago Bridge & Iron Co NV, the second-largest U.S.-listed engineering company by backlog, on Thursday updated its forecast for a $27 billion backlog of projects to grow in 2013.

Reflecting its $3 billion acquisition of rival Shaw Group, CB&I Chief Executive Philip Asherman said he expects revenue of $10.7 billion to $11.2 billion for this year, and new awards of $13 billion to $16 billion.

Earnings per share for 2013 would be between $4.00 and $4.35, excluding Shaw-related acquisition costs that, after a tax benefit, should reduce earnings by 55 to 70 cents per share.

Shares of CB&I rose 4.4 percent to $61.64 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. The stock is up 18 percent since the Shaw deal closed in mid-February.

Asherman said the newly combined energy infrastructure-focused company would have four operating groups: technology, government solutions, fabrication services, and engineering, construction and maintenance.

"Although engineering and construction is the majority of the backlog, about 70 percent of the earnings comes from all the other groups, which is more predictable and less cyclical," he said at a meeting with analysts in New York, which was webcast.

CB&I's backlog is second only to Fluor Corp's $38.2 billion among U.S.-listed engineering companies, although privately held giant Bechtel looms over all of them with $104 billion in projects lined up as of a year ago.

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