* Q1 EPS C$0.49 vs est C$0.59
* Rev up 25 pct to C$1.64 bln
* Had cash and cash equvalents of C$1.2 billion at Mar 31
* Shares slip as much 2 pct (Adds mining, infrastruture weakness in para 1, analyst comments in para 3,5,6, details on expenses in para 11,13. Refiles to fix typo in headline)
May 5 (Reuters) - Canada’s largest engineering and construction company SNC Lavalin Group Inc posted first-quarter profit that missed estimates, weighed down by weakness at its mining and infrastructure segments and the crisis in Libya.
However, the company’s revenue backlog at end-March was C$9.4 billion, above C$8.6 billion, a year ago.
“The backlog is pretty healthy and they have booked some big awards...these should be hopefully nice contributors to the back half of the year,” Canaccord Genuity analyst Yuri Lynk told Reuters.
SNC, which competes with U.S.-based Jacobs Engineering Group Inc and Fluor Corp , recently won an engineering and project management deal from Saudi Aramco . It also signed a multi-year hub contract with BHP Billiton in March. [ID:nLDE7420B9]
“I think we are going to start to see the revenue and margins increase from here,” Lynk said.
SNC-Lavalin chances of winning a huge award outside Canada are high due to the company’s presence in many fast-growing geographies, analyst Maxim Sytchev of Northland Capital Partners wrote in a note.
SNC, which is one of the world’s largest companies in the construction sector, posted January-March net income was C$76.6 million, or 49 Canadian cents a share, down from C$86.7 million, or 55 Canadian cents a share, a year ago.
The Montreal-based SNC had forecast a flat 2011 net income, excluding certain gains, because of recent events in Libya and the Middle East. [ID:nN04158354]
SNC’s projects in Libya, which have been halted, include a prison, a water pipeline and an airport. It plans to resume operations once fighting stops in the country.[ID:nN11227189]
Excluding infrastructure concession investments business, the company earned 33 Canadian cents a share.
Revenue rose 25 percent to C$1.64 billion. Mining & metallurgy revenue fell 19 percent.
Analysts, on average, had forecast earnings of 59 Canadian cents a share on revenue of C$1.6 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Expenses rose 18 percent. While infrastructure & environment segment operating income fell 86 percent, mainly due to the turmoil in Libya.
SNC Lavalin shares were down 61 Canadian cents, or 1 percent, at C$55.44 on Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. They touched C$54.81 earlier in the session. (Reporting by Arnika Thakur in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel, Prem Udayabhanu)