URS Corporation Earnings: Margins Shrink

URS Corporation (NASDAQ:URS) reported its results for the first quarter. URS Corporation is an international provider of engineering, construction and technical services.

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URS Earnings Cheat Sheet for the First Quarter

Results: Net income for URS Corporation fell to $62.1 million (79 cents/share) vs. $95.6 million ($1.17/share) a year earlier. A decline of 35.1% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 5.1% to $2.32 billion YoY.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: URS fell short of the mean analyst estimate of 84 cents/share. Estimates ranged from 77 cents per share to 90 cents per share.

Quoting Management: Martin M. Koffel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated: “We are particularly pleased that, after adjusting for the reduction in the 2010 income tax rate, our net income and earnings per share grew significantly when compared with the first quarter of last year. We also are pleased by our revenue growth in both the power and industrial and commercial sectors. Clients in these sectors are beginning to move forward on capital projects that had been deferred during the economic downturn. In addition, our work providing environmental and engineering services to these clients under long-term Master Services Agreements has continued to grow. Revenues from our infrastructure sector also were strong, primarily reflecting the expansion of our international business last year, while federal sector revenues were essentially flat compared to the first quarter of last year.”

Key Stats:

Gross margin shrunk 0.4 percentage point to 5%. The contraction appeared to be driven by rising costs as the figure rose 5.6% from the year earlier quarter while revenue rose 5.1%.

Last quarter’s profit decrease breaks a streak of two consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit increases. Net income rose 77.6% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year and 8.7% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year.

Over the last five quarters, revenue has increased 0.8% on average year over year. The biggest increase came in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, when revenue rose 12.7% from the year earlier quarter.

Competitors to Watch: Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (NYSE:JEC), Fluor Corporation (NYSE:FLR), KBR, Inc. (NYSE:KBR), Michael Baker Corporation (AMEX:BKR), Tetra Tech, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTEK), The Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE:SHAW), Tutor Perini Corporation (NYSE:TPC), AECOM Technology Corp. (NYSE:ACM), Quanta Services, Inc. (NYSE:PWR), and Willdan Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:WLDN)

Stock Performance: Shares of URS are flat after hours.

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