SOURCE: Rothman Research

Rothman Research

March 18, 2010 09:30 ET

Diversity and Management Restructuring Thwarts Recessionary Pull

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA--(Marketwire - March 18, 2010) - - Diversified industrial companies face difficult economic conditions across most of their markets with some analyst saying the sector has lost its "defensive" appeal. The U.S. economic downturn -- the principal cause for the decline in domestic natural gas consumption -- coupled with the higher capital investments for both environmental compliance and new generation capacity has left the sector hanging on thin thread between profitability and bankruptcy. A research report from leading equity research platform dissected the strategic maneuvers of companies like Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) and McDermott International Inc. (NYSE: MDR) to keep the global economic downturn at bay.

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"The steps proposed by the Obama Administration in late March to deal with the troubled banking system were received favorably by the financial markets, but their implementation will require time and their degree of success is uncertain, especially for the near term," says Mathew Collier, head analyst at "The construction industry and industrial sector as a whole, who suffered heavily from divergent forces in 2009, will continue to suffer if they wait for reinforcement and not adapt to global strategic standards," he added.

Amidst weak market confidence and worldwide economic conditions, McDermott International Inc. delivered solid results in 2009 compared to the same timeline in 2008 with most earnings credited to the company's excellent bidding activity in oil and gas. The company's liquidity improved sequentially to over $1 billion with a relatively strong backlog. With a rebound in the price of oil, bidding by McDermott has picked up over the last several months and will likely drive more contract awards through this year because projects deferred last year are expected to soon start. Register now at to view the full report on this company.

On an equally interesting note, diversity and stringent management rearrangements propelled Fluor Corporation through the economic churn. Fluor Corporation announced a consolidated backlog increase to $30.9 billion this quarter from onshore and offshore biddings. Corporate G&A expenses are also down by $20 million due to lower compensation related expenses and overhead cost reduction efforts. Sign up today at to access the full report on this company.

About McDermott: It is a leading engineering and Construction Company, with specialty manufacturing and service capabilities. The Company provides its services to a variety of customers in the energy and power industries, including the U.S. Government. McDermott operates in 23 countries and has over 20,000 employees.

About Fluor Corp.: It is one of the world's largest publicly owned engineering, procurement, construction, maintenance and project management companies.

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