Friday, May 11, 2007

Fluor (NYSE:FLR): Overly conservative guidance provides opportunity

Citigroup is out with a powerful call on Fluor (NYSE:FLR), increasing their target price to $126 from $108. Firm says Fluor's strong performance and setting backlog in the first quarter bolster their conviction in the story. Fluor continues to exceed their expectation both in consolidated margin, aided by the government segment and new books in their Oil and Gas segment.

Firm raises their forecasted 2007 and 2008 EPS estimate to $4.20 and $5.20 from $4.00 and $4.90 on higher backlog and margin assumptions to reflect strong first quarter results.

Firm continues to believe that management guidance seems conservative given the robust growth in backlog, and expect that this will lead to upside surprises, particularly in the second half of the year.

Notablecalls: FLR has rallied after initial disappointment in 2007 guidance as the mkt is starting to understand that the guidance was overly conservative. Note that the mgmt guidance from May 7th was $3.50-3.80 and now Citi is raising their estimate to $4.20! Smart money has had an oppty to collect the shares and I'm sure they are using today's call by Citigroup to push the shares higher. I see the stock hitting $105 today easily, potentially going even higher. Early buyers will be rewarded.

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