KBR profits drop 67 percent

KBR reported a 67 percent plunge in fourth-quarter profits, capping what Chief Executive Officer Bill Utt called “a disappointing year” for the Houston-based company.

KBR announced Wednesday that it recorded net income of $30 million, or 20 cents per diluted share, for the three-month period that ended Dec. 31. That was a sharp drop from the same period a year earlier, when the company reported profits of $90 million, or 60 cents per share.

The hydrocarbons arm of the multifaceted company fared well, Utt said. That unit recorded $174 million in net income for the fourth quarter, up 76 percent from a year earlier. But those gains were countered by difficulties in its minerals and U.S. construction businesses, he noted.

The company suffered a $44 million loss in its services business and a $22 million loss in its infrastructure, government and power unit.

“2012 was, overall, a disappointing year for KBR, where issues at our minerals and U.S. construction business units offset strong operating performance across our hydrocarbons business group,” Utt said in a released statement. “As we begin 2013, we see a robust series of new opportunities across each of our business units. The potential opportunity set for KBR is tremendous and I am confident in KBR’s ability to successfully win and execute this work.”

KBR recorded $1.9 billion in revenue for the quarter, an 11 percent drop from the same period in 2011.