Monday, January 6, 2020

Financial Performance Of Fluor Corporation And Foster Wheeler Finance Essay - Free Essay Example

Sample details Pages: 8 Words: 2447 Downloads: 3 Date added: 2017/06/26 Category Finance Essay Type Narrative essay Did you like this example? In this report the two companies chosen for comparing the financial performance for the year 2009 are Fluor Corporation and Foster Wheeler AG (FW). Here we examine and assess the financial positions and performances of these two companies by reviewing their annual reports and by considering subsequent events and comments of analysts and press reports. As for many businesses, not least in the Engineering and Construction (EC) sector, the global economic downturn has been a huge challenge for Fluor and Foster Wheeler AG over the last two years. Don’t waste time! Our writers will create an original "Financial Performance Of Fluor Corporation And Foster Wheeler Finance Essay" essay for you Create order Fluor: Fluor Corporation is one of the worlds largest EC companies. Fluor is a FORTUNE 200 Company with 36,000 employees operating globally. Fluor has a very diversified portfolio. The breakup of each sector based on revenue generated in 2009 is shown below in the pie chart. Foster Wheeler: Foster Wheeler AG is a global EC contractor and power equipment supplier. The company employs approximately 13,000 professionals in more than 25 countries. Foster Wheeler is involved primarily in two major sectors which are oil gas and power. As per ENR construction News, the Top 100 Global Design Build firms, Fluor topped the list and Foster Wheeler was placed on 5th rank. In this financial report consideration has been given to the principal relevant ratios and trends analyses for these two companies in terms of profitability, efficiency, cash flow and financing and what these ratios and trends mean with a summary of critical view of Fluor and Foster Wheelers future prospects in a tough and competitive EC market. Profitability Businesses generally exist with the primary purpose of creating wealth for their owners. Profitability ratios provide an insight to the degree of success in achieving this purpose. Gross Profit The gross profit margin relates to the gross profit of the businesses to the sales revenue generated for the same period. The gross profit margins for Fluor and Foster Wheeler are shown in Graph 1. Graph 1 Fluor: The gross profit of the Fluor shows marginal upward increase over the last 4-years period. In the second half of 2008, when the world economy slid in recession, crude oil prices slipped from an all time high of $147 per barrel to a very low of $33 per barrel, most of the oil gas investors shelved their running projects which hit Fluors profitability. Despite this extraordinary global crises situation Fluor was able to maintain its gross profit because of its diversified market. Foster Wheeler: The gross profit of Foster Wheeler shows strong growth in year 2005 and 2006 and then slight downward trend. The company has returned to profit in year 2006. After returning to profit FW has shown strong results and year 2007 saw profitability peak before the world economy slid in recession and oil and gas sector was badly affected. Due to its limited portfolio in EC, the companys gross profit experienced severe setback during recession. Net Profit Net profit is often regarded as the most appropriate measure of operational performance when used as a basis of comparison, because differences arising from the way in which the businesses are financed will not influence the measure. Graph 2 Fluor: The net profit (Graph 2) of Fluor shows a similar trend in line with gross profit over the same period. EC sector has got very intense cost cutting measure and works on very low profit margin but on a very large scale of projects (a single project may cost billions of dollars). Decreasing crude oil prices and lack of investors let EC sector see the most of their projects shelved/cancelled which affected Fluors net profit. Foster Wheeler: The net profit (Graph 2) of Foster Wheeler shows a strong growth pattern in year 2005 and 2006, then steady growth rate with marginal decline in 2009. The company has suffered a major setback on its net profit because some of its ongoing projects has shelved/cancelled in later half of 2008. The company also has very high level of expenses relative to its revenue generated. Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) The ROCE is a fundamental measure of business performance. The ROCE for Fluor and Foster Wheeler are shown in Graph 3. Fluor: With reference to ROCE, Fluor performance shows an upward and strong result with slight decline in 2009. In EC sector the capital employed is much lesser in comparison with other sectors of businesses. Due to the above reason Fluor were able to put in a very strong performance in terms of ROCE. Foster Wheeler: With reference to ROCE, Foster Wheeler performance shows a very strong but a zigzag return trend, which goes against their market image. Analyst/investors look for a steady or upward performance. The ROCE has dropped in 2007 and again in 2009 in a similar profile to profit margins decline but higher than Fluors performance. Graph 3 Efficiency Asset Turnover The asset turnover is a companys ability to generate revenue from its asset base. The asset turnover for Fluor and Foster Wheeler are shown in Graph 4. Fluor: In the past years Fluor has had consistently an asset turnover of 2.5 or above. In year 2009 they had an asset turnover of 3.1 taking into account total revenues of $21,990.0m and total assets of $7,179.0m. The asset turnover graph shows an excellent performance over five years of time. The performance during the last two years should be taken as being very positive given the economic climate which demonstrates Fluors ability to generate revenues from its assets in tough times. Graph 4 Foster Wheeler: In the past years Foster Wheeler had asset turnover of 2.0 or less except year 2008. In year 2009 they had an asset turnover of 1.6 taking into account total revenues of $5,056.0m and total assets of $3,187.0m. The assets turnover decreased in 2009 but above its average and significantly higher than the worst time a few years back. Liquidity There are a number of measures that can be used to measure the liquidity of the organisations as follows. Acid Test Ratio (Current Ratio) The current ratio compares the liquid assets (that is, cash and those assets held which will soon be turned into cash) of the business with current liabilities. The higher the ratio, the more liquid the business is considered to be. Fluor: In the past years Fluor has had very consistent and upward current ratios. As in the case of EC companies, comparatively less inventory involved; the current ratio becomes an acid test ratio. The minimum level of acid test ratio is often stated as 1.0. Fluor has been traditionally maintaining its acid test ratio much higher. In year 2009, they achieved an acid test ratio of 1.55 as shown in Graph 5. Foster Wheeler: In the past years (2004 and 2005) Foster Wheeler has acid test ratio less than 0.85. This was the time when the company was in trouble and on the brink of filing for bankruptcy. In year 2006, they started building their liquidity situation better and in year 2009, they have their highest acid test ratio of 1.51 as shown in Graph 5. Graph 5 Investment Ratio Return on Investment Graph 6, assumes the investment of $100 on December 31, 2004, in each of Fluor, Foster Wheeler, the SP 500 Index and DJ Heavy, and the reinvestment of dividends paid since that date. Dow Jones Heavy Construction Industry Group Index (DJ Heavy) consists of the following companies CBI, Jacobs Engg, KBR, McDermott International, and Shaw Group. The DJ Heavy Group consists of companies that were compiled for benchmarking the performance of compared shares in this analysis. Fluor: Fluors total return to shareholders over five years relative to Foster Wheeler is low but higher than the SP 500 and DJ Heavy. Fluor has been paying cash dividends per common share of $0.50 every year. Fluor Corporations performance is steady, consistent and upward over the last five years. Foster Wheeler: FW have not declared or paid a cash dividend since July 2001 and they do not pay any cash dividends due to their current credit agreement which contains limitations on their ability to pay cash dividends. Foster Wheeler has a very volatile performance but strongly above Fluor, SP 500 and DJ Heavy. Graph 6 Earnings per Share Ratio The earnings per share (EPS) relates the earnings generated by the business, and available to shareholders, during a period to the number of shares in issue. Many investment analysts regard the EPS ratio as a fundamental measure of share performance. Graph 7 Fluor: Fluor has very consistent and upward performance. Their EPS is always higher and shows an upward trend over last several years. Foster Wheeler: Foster Wheeler, after returning to profit, shown very strong potential with their performance. Cash Flow Fluor: Cash and cash equivalents were $1.7 billion as of year 2009, essentially higher than the $1.8 billion as of year 2008. Cash and cash equivalents in 2008 increased $0.7 billion compared to 2007. Cash and cash equivalents combined with current and noncurrent marketable securities were $2.6 billion and $2.1 billion as of year 2009 and 2008, respectively. Fluor has maintained its cash flow to increase its stability in the current economic climate. Fluor has been successfully reducing its debt every year. Currently (year 2009) they are having a total debt of 3.7% of total capitalization while in the year 2008 it was 5.3%. Graph 8 Foster Wheeler: Cash and cash equivalents were $997.0 million as of year 2009, higher than the $773.0 million as of year 2008. Foster Wheeler reached its highest cash flow in the year 2007 to the $1.0 billion mark. The company has strived to increase cash flow to increase its stability in the current economic climate. As a result of an improved cash flow management, total liabilities were down to 2.3 billion (year 2009) from $2.6 billion (year 2008). Financing Fluor: Fluor employs its retained earnings as the main source of internal finance. Cash utilized in financing activities during 2009 and 2008 of $317 million and $253 million, respectively. Cash utilized in financing activities during 2009 also included company stock repurchases. Fluor is considered to be highly geared as it relies on borrowing in the equity structure. One benefit of this type of financing is that it can be used to increase the return on shareholders equity as the interest payable can be claimed as a tax relief. Fluor gearing ratio shows declined pattern in recent years, which need to be addressed in near future. Graph 9 Foster Wheeler: In line with Fluor, Foster Wheeler also employs its retained earnings as the main source of internal finance. Cash utilized in financing activities during 2009 and 2008 of $1.4 million and $(46.0) million, respectively. Cash utilized in financing activities during 2009 also included company stock repurchases. Foster Wheeler was considered as being less geared previously because of its bad financial position. Foster Wheeler started improving on this aspect and now it can be considered as relatively better geared. Future Outlook Cash flow in the Engineering and Construction (EC) sector is improving well, and capital markets are reopening for larger projects. Both of these factors might lead Fluor and FW to better-than-expected results. As the economy recovers, it will be a driver in getting Fluors and Foster Wheelers clients to start projects sooner rather than later. Fluors backlog is expected to be growing again in year 2010 while Foster Wheelers expected to decline. Fluors prospect in mining continues to show very strong growth rate. Fluor reported first-quarter net income (2010) fell by a third from a year earlier, due to a decline in oil and gas revenue. Revenue fell 15% to $4.92 billion. As per forecast made by analysts, Fluor will be able to maintain its earnings $2.88 per share for 2010 and it will rise in 2011 to a range of $3.38 to $3.41 per share. Fluors end-market diversification has enabled them to deliver good profitability despite lower new award levels in recent quarters and the trailing impact of a significant reduction in spending by oil and gas clients. Foster Wheeler reported its first-quarter net profit (2010) reduced to $72.1 million or 56 cents a share, from $72.9 million, or 57 cents a share, a year ago (Rauters). Analysts expectation had been EPS of 54 cents, according to data compiled by FactSet. As analysts forecast, Foster Wheeler will be unable to maintain its earnings $2.77 per share for 2010, but it will rise in 2011 to a range of $3.15 to $3.31 per share. FW sales declined to $945.6 million, from $1.26 billion a year ago. Net income in the first quarter of 2010 was below the average quarter of 2009, mainly due to lower revenues, reflecting the weaker market conditions that began in the middle of 2008. Conclusions A recent Financial Times article focused on Foster Wheeler and compared them to Fluor it was pretty compelling. The comparative study shows how these two companies have reacted to recent times, with FWAG at the top showing the most upside over the past year, but also much higher volatility, while Fluor has been steadier with strong performance. Fluor is more highly valued than FWAG (forward PE of 23 versus 16), and it also has a broader business footprint. If anyone has to go with a broad bet on EC, Fluor would be the first place to look. On the other hand, Foster Wheeler has the relative simplicity of the business-they really have significant expertise in two major areas: power and oil and gas. They do work in other areas, too, but they are not spread quite as widely as Fluor. Foster Wheeler also has the siren song of a turnaround. The company has turned profitable now, after very nearly entering bankruptcy a few years ago. They made all the mistakes that EC firms tend to make, especially in underbidding or taking on unproductive business when business wasnt so hot, but the level of suffering and their very near brush with bankruptcy gives some confidence that theyre focused on only making profitable bids going forward. And if big capital projects in refineries and in power plants pick up around the world, no other company is so specifically levered to these two businesses. The demand for traditional power plants is growing exponentially higher in the developing world. In a nut shell, it can be concluded from this comparative analysis that both of these companies are having very distinctive characteristics though they are working in the same sectors. Fluor appears to be more geared, better placed and has a very consistent and strong performance history. While in the case of Foster Wheeler, after a bad phase, the company has recovered and is showing very strong results. It has great potential in future with its capability of making things turnaround and profitable. Appendix A: Reference List Fluor Corporation Annual Report and Financial Statements 2008 2009 Foster Wheeler AG Annual Report and Financial Statements 2008 2009 McLaney, E. Atrill, P. (2008) Accounting: An Introduction, 4th edition, FT-Prentice Hall Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: / finance / companies / companies /finance Appendix B: Annual Report (2009) Data Fluor Corporation: Foster Wheeler AG:

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