* Q4 adj EPS $0.21 vs est. EPS $0.17
* Q4 rev up 7 pct
* Sees weak Q1
* Expects recovery in H2 2010
* Shares rise 8 pct
Feb 22 (Reuters) - Utility contractor Quanta Services Inc (PWR.N) reported better-than-expected quarterly results, helped by higher revenue from its natural gas and pipeline segment, but forecast a challenging first quarter for 2010.
The company, however, said it expects a meaningful recovery in the second half of 2010 with a modest increase in customer spending.
For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, the company reported earnings of $43.9 million, or 21 cents a share, compared with earnings of $46.5 million, or 24 cents a share, in the year-ago period.
Revenue rose 7 percent to $985.4 million.
Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 17 cents a share, before items, on revenue of $926.2 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
For the first quarter, the company forecast earnings of 7 cents a share, on revenue of $700 million to $750 million. Excluding items, the company expects earnings of 11 cents a share. [ID:nWNAB9893 ]
Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 14 cents a share, on revenue of $830.9 million.
Shares of the company were trading up 8 percent at $19.34 in morning trade Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Bijoy Koyitty in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair)