Oil Prices Fall Over 1 Percent On Demand Worries

U.N. has received conditions from eastern tribesmen for lifting oil blockade

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations has received conditions from tribesmen allied to eastern forces to lift a blockade of eastern oil export ports, its Libya envoy said on Tuesday.

“The tribesmen have sent me their conditions but I have to say that these conditions are quite general and they will be dealt with in the economic tract,” Ghassan Salame said, referring to U.N.-led talks to overcome economic divisions in Libya which has rival governments.

Vulcan Materials Co. Q4 adjusted earnings Miss Estimates

Vulcan Materials Co. (VMC) announced a profit for its fourth quarter that climbed from the same period last year.

The company’s bottom line totaled $141.09 million, or $1.06 per share. This compares with $124.02 million, or $0.93 per share, in last year’s fourth quarter.

Analysts had expected the company to earn $1.17 per share, according to figures compiled by Thomson Reuters. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

The company’s revenue for the quarter rose 9.2% to $1.19 billion from $1.09 billion last year.

Vulcan Materials Co. earnings at a glance:

-EPS (Q4): $1.08 vs. $0.99 last year.
-Analysts Estimate: $1.17
-Revenue (Q4): $1.19 Bln vs. $1.09 Bln last year.

Fluor says U.S. SEC probing certain financial reports

Feb 18 (Reuters) – Fluor Corp said on Tuesday the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating the engineering and construction firm’s past accounting and financial reports for possible errors.

The company is conducting its own review and has not determined as to whether there are prior period material errors in its financial statements, although such remains possible, Fluor said in a statement. (Reporting by Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

Franklin Resources to buy Legg Mason in a $4.5 billion deal

Feb 18 (Reuters) – Asset manager Franklin Resources Inc said on Tuesday it would buy mutual fund company Legg Mason Inc in an all-cash deal valued at $4.5 billion, including debt.

Franklin Resources’ offer of $50 per share represents a premium of 23% to Legg Mason’s Friday close. (Reporting by Bharath Manjesh and C Nivedita in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

Wabtec Issues FY20 Outlook; Approves $500 Mln Share Buyback

While reporting its financial results for the fourth quarter on Tuesday, Wabtec Corp. (WAB) provided its financial outlook for the first quarter as well as fiscal 2020 and announced a $500 million share buyback.

For the first quarter of 2020, Wabtec anticipates sales, adjusted net income, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted earnings per share to be lower when compared to the remainder of 2020.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to earnings of $1.18 per share for the quarter on revenues of $2.14 billion. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

The company noted that the first-quarter outlook is in line with expected first-quarter seasonality and project scheduling, with improvement expected through the rest of the year.

For fiscal 2020, Wabtec forecast adjusted earnings per share between $4.50 to $4.80 and reported sales of about $8.7 billion. The Street expects earnings of $4.76 per share for the year on revenues of $8.56 billion.

Wabtec also said its board of directors has authorized a share buyback program up to $500 million. There is no time limit set for the completion of the program.

Fluor Announces SEC Investigation, Delay Of Form 10-K Filing

Fluor Corp. (FLR) said that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting an investigation of the company’s past accounting and financial reporting. The SEC has asked documents and information related to projects for which the company recorded charges in the second quarter of 2019.

Responding to the SEC’s data requests, the company is reviewing its prior period reporting and related control environment. So, the company does not expect to complete and file its annual report on Form 10-K prior to the end of February.

Meanwhile, the company said it has decided to retain the Government segment which will cease to be reported as a discontinued operation in the first quarter of 2020.

But, the company noted that its plan to sell the AMECO equipment business remains unchanged. It is the company’s intent to have made significant progress with one or more potential buyers by the end of the second quarter.

For 2020, Fluor expects adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations, which includes the Government business, to be in the range of $1.40 to $1.60 per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report earnings of $1.51 per share for 2020. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

Oil Prices Fall Over 1 Percent On Demand Worries

Oil prices fell over 1 percent on Tuesday as investors continued to focus on a possible drop in Chinese oil demand caused by the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

A lack of any coordinated action by OPEC and its allies to support the market also weighed on the commodity.

Global oil demand is now expected to see its first quarterly contraction in over a decade, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The next OPEC+ meeting in March is set to consider an advisory panel’s recommendation to lower supply by a further 600,000 bpd after talks on holding an earlier meeting in February appear to have made no progress.

Benchmark Brent crude declined 1.55 percent to $56.78 a barrel after rallying in the previous five sessions. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 1.4 percent at $51.59.

Investor sentiment remains fragile after Apple Inc became the latest company to warn of trouble from the coronavirus outbreak, saying it would not meet its guidance for March-quarter revenue because of slower iPhone production.

Health officials in China published the first details on nearly 45,000 cases of coronavirus infection, saying more than 80 percent cases have been mild and new ones seem to be falling since early this month.

Separately, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that – with a mortality rate of around 2 percent — COVID-19 was “less deadly” than other coronaviruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).