URS sees backlog decline amid U.S. federal budget limbo

Tue Aug 6, 2013 7:22pm EDT

(Reuters) - Engineering company URS Corp (URS.N) reported earnings that were in line with expectations and a decline in its backlog of projects, particularly for work with the U.S. government.

Citing uncertainty over the U.S. federal budget, URS also reduced the top end of its 2013 earnings guidance range by 25 cents per share, bringing it down to $4.25 to $4.50 per share.

The backlog declined by $1 billion to $11.8 billion at the end of the second quarter, with more than half the loss coming out of URS's core Federal business segment, which counts the U.S. Defense, Homeland Security, State and Treasury departments as customers.

URS Chief Executive Martin Koffel, who is due to retire next June and just brought on Bill Lingard from recent acquisition Flint Energy Services to be his chief operating officer, said most delayed federal work would need to be done eventually.

"The precise timing will depend on how the budget debate is resolved in Washington," Koffel said on a conference call. "In the meantime, we continue actively to pursue a significant pipeline of national security opportunities, which have been less affected by the budget issues."

San Francisco-based URS reported second-quarter net profit of $67.3 million, or 91 cents per diluted share, compared with $53.6 million, or 72 cents per share, a year before. Revenue rose 4 percent to $2.8 billion.

Excluding a 5-cents-per-share charge related to foreign exchange losses for intercompany loans, URS earned 96 cents per share, matching the average estimate on Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Braden Reddall in San Francisco; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz and Phil Berlowitz)

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