11/11/2014 11:05 EST | Updated 01/11/2015 05:59 EST

Aecon Stock Drops Nearly 12% On Bleak Outlook, Earnings Miss

TORONTO - Aecon Group Inc. shares fell nearly 12 per cent Tuesday to the lowest level in more than a year after the construction company reported third-quarter profit that missed estimates and warned that its margins could continue to be squeezed if soft conditions continue.

The stock (TSX:ARE) was down $1.69 at $12.71 by mid-morning Tuesday. The stock had earlier traded as low as $12.60, a level unvisted by Aecon's stock since August 2013.

Aecon said Monday in its third-quarter financial report that each of its segments had been affected by uncertainty and caution about the Canadian economy, particularly in the resource sector.

The Toronto-based company — which has one of Canada's largest construction operations — said that it expects "solid financial performance" in 2014 but could have difficulty reaching a key margin target in 2015 if current conditions continue.

In the period ended Sept. 30, Aecon's overall revenue contracted to $840.4 million from $897.3 million, largely blamed on an external delay and longer times than anticipated to ramp-up on new projects.

Its net profit was $39.5 million or 49 cents per diluted share, up from $34.4 million or 53 cents in the same 2013 quarter. The improved results included a fair value gain on convertible debentures of $8.7 million, versus a $2.8-million loss in the prior-year period.

Its adjusted profit, which excludes the fair value gain, dropped to $33.1 million or 49 cents per share from $36.4 million or 53 cents per share in the third quarter of 2013. Analysts had estimated 61 cents per share of adjusted earnings.

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