February 22, 2012 / 9:57 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 2-Fluor Q4 earnings top estimates, backlog slips

* Q4 EPS 90 cents vs 82 cents expected by Wall St

* Backlog down to $39.5 bln from record 3 months before

Feb 22 (Reuters) - Fluor Corp, the largest publicly traded U.S. engineering company, posted a higher-than-expected rise in fourth-quarter earnings and remained upbeat even though the outlook for new projects is clouded by wider economic worries.

Even with a $1.5 billion boost from a Syncrude Canada oil sands project, Fluor’s backlog of work fell to $39.5 billion at the end of 2011 from its record of $41.8 billion three months before.

The company said it expects to perform 63 percent of its backlog this year, and maintained 2012 guidance for earnings per share at between $3.40 and $3.80.

“Despite continuing economic uncertainty, the company remains encouraged about future opportunities across its diverse end-markets,” Fluor said in a statement.

Fourth-quarter net income rose 31 percent to $153 million, or 90 cents per share, from $117 million, or 65 cents per share, a year before. Analysts had expected 82 cents per share, according to the average estimate on Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue increased by 19 percent to $6.3 billion.

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