UPDATE 1-KBR third-quarter revenue drops 9 pct, misses forecasts

Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:10pm EDT

Oct 24 (Reuters) - Engineering company KBR Inc on Thursday reported lower quarterly revenue and profit that missed forecasts due partly to a tax settlement, and said it expected full-year earnings at the low end of its own expectations.

This month, KBR had announced an unfavorable ruling in a tax dispute with its former parent, Halliburton Co, which reduced third-quarter earnings by $38 million, or 26 cents per share.

Chief Executive Bill Utt said several other non-operational tax items and delays to project close-outs also affected its earnings in the quarter, while operating income was up 35 percent from the previous quarter.

Its backlog of projects increased to $14.2 billion at the end of September from $13.8 billion three months earlier.

"We continue to see a strong opportunity set of major projects across all of our businesses," Utt said in a statement. "However, we expect the near term competitive environment for new awards to continue."

Third-quarter profit was $24 million, or 16 cents per share, compared with a loss of $81 million, or 55 cents per share. The previous year's loss was caused by a writedown on a 2010 acquisition. Revenue fell 9 percent to $1.81 billion.

Analysts had been looking for earnings of 70 cents per share on revenue of $2 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Houston-based KBR said it now expected 2013 earnings to be at the low end of its predicted range of $2.55 to $2.90 per share, whereas analysts had been targeting $2.67 on average.

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