Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fluor (FLR) to Hedge Fund Computers: The World Does Not End at $110 Oil. Or $80. Or $50.

Have to love the Fluor (FLR) - probably had this contract sitting in their back pocket considering they just announced earnings yesterday, without mention of said contract. The market completely destroys their stock on "more fears of the future" and they come out with a $4 billion contract. Nice. Now instead of being down 12% on stellar earnings, they are only down 6%. (we consider that an up day around here) Boo Yah.
  • Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR - News) announced today that the company was awarded multiple contracts by BP America for its Whiting (Ind.) Refinery modernization project. Fluor is responsible for overall program and construction management, engineering, procurement, fabrication and construction. For this phase of the modernization project, Fluor will book $3.8 billion into backlog in the third quarter of 2008.
  • Fluor recently completed front-end engineering and design and began detailed engineering and construction in July 2008 with a projected completion date of fourth quarter of 2011.
  • When complete, the modernization project will increase the Whiting facilitys gasoline production by 1.7 million gallons per day and will equip the refinery to process increased amounts of secure Canadian crude oil.
  • Fluor spokesman Keith Stephens says the upgrade will allow the Whiting, Ind., refinery to process higher sulfur grade petroleum that for the most part is from shale in the western United States and oil sands of western Canada. (this is not necessary with oil heading back to $12 a barrel)
This sort of great news should support the stock for ... at least 2 hours. Before the computers begin the relentless selloff on the "I don't believe contracts, they will all be cancelled and who needs refineries anyways" thesis. Anyhow, it's all just a bit surreal right now. No matter what is said by these companies, the computers sell it off and their microprocessors argue "none of it matters because as the world slows ex-USA the demand for everything will falter and it will be cancelled anyhow. We are forward looking machines and know better than humans."

And so it goes. Again - fundamentals are for old fogeys. Frankly, I don't know what to buy anymore - 90% of the stuff working is based on a complete hoax that $3.25 gas will fix the US economy (driving consumers back to auto dealerships, stores, Las Vegas, and flying all over the world with their new and improved dollar - which after faltering for nearly the entire Bush presidency is up a whopping few weeks and thus is marking a new era), while simultaneously ruining the economies of every other country in the world (i.e. no global growth). Back to the dart board (blind folded of course) it is!

Long Fluor in fund; I would be long Fluor in personal account at these prices except who needs refineries anyhow

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