Why the Cimic Group Ltd share price plunged today

Credit: John St John

Shares in global construction giant Cimic Group Ltd (ASX: CIM) tumbled more than 19 per cent today after the group revealed a net profit of $265.2 million on revenues of $4.9 billion for the six-month period ending June 30 2016. The net profit was up 3.1% over the prior corresponding half, with revenue growth of 5.6 per cent in the second quarter versus the first quarter.

However, the result missed analysts’ expectations and investors are heading for the exits on concerns over the competitive environment eroding margins and weaker-than-anticipated cash flows. The company said it expects to generate free operating cash flow of nearly $830 million in the 12 months to June 30 2016, with guidance for a full year net profit between $520 million to $580 million, subject to market conditions.

Earnings per share were 78.9 cents for the period, up 5 per cent on the prior equivalent half-year period, with a fully franked interim dividend of 48 cents per share declared.

The group has a patchy history and little in the way of competitive advantages as it and ASX-listed rival Lendlease Group (ASX: LLC) have both seen their values plunge over the past year. Investors may be better off looking elsewhere for companies with the potential to deliver long-term capital growth.

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Motley Fool contributor Tom Richardson has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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