April 29, 2020

KBR posts first loss in years on oil & gas downturn

KBR posts first loss in years on oil & gas downturn

Houston information technology and construction company KBR posted its first loss in more than three years after writing down the value of its oil and natural gas industry assets.

The company lost $104 million in the first quarter, a year after it made $40 million in the same quarter of 2019. First-quarter revenue rose 15 percent to  $1.5 billion from $1.3 billion the previous year.

KBR makes most of its revenue from military and government contracts but it also designs and builds refineries, liquefied natural gas plants and other similar facilities. The company reduced the value of its oil and natural gas assets by $178 million because of the energy market downturn.

The last time KBR reported a loss was the fourth quarter of 2016.

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KBR entered the second quarter with $566 million cash on hand but is nonetheless tightening its belt in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. KBR’s board and CEO are taking a 15 percent pay cut during the second quarter while executives are taking a 10 percent pay cut. The company has also changed the way its employees work.

“With operations in China and South Korea, we took the threat of coronavirus seriously early,” KBR CEO Stuard Bradie said. “In January we stood up our global crisis management team, began planning for various scenarios, tested our business resilience plans and IT infrastructure and started transitioning our people to telework arrangements. Today over 90 percent of our office personnel are successfully working from home,”

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