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URS Anonim Ortaklık Message Board

  • ursemployee ursemployee Feb 8, 2000 10:23 AM Flag

    Optflipper, I'm not sure....

    if you haven't had time to respond to my reply
    since 2/3/00 or if you are just another disgruntled
    DMer or ex-DMer coming on this board to stir things up
    without factual basis, but I am still curious as to which
    large clients are leaving URS.

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    • usrgwcformer is correct to say that the
      accounting systems are a bit behind the times... but urs
      management has always survived with the basic financial
      facts, nothing fancy, concentrating on the business,
      just getting the bills out and collected was the
      important thing, not flashy systems. Now they are looking
      to radically change everything, which will cost
      valuable time, cash and energy. Arthur Anderson is
      probably smiling --- they will reap a bundle on consulting
      fees. This has never been the course with any other
      acquisition... wonder how they will make it work?

    • If you took a look at MK's past you'd see that he
      is quite capable. He was able to bring URS from a
      bankrupt position to where they are today - largest design
      firm in the industry overall. He is a visionary CEO
      and dispite the stock position today, I have no doubt
      that MK and Ainsworth (CFO) can put the backbone into
      the stock yet again. They are the turnaround kings
      and this is another turnaround opportunity for them.

      Risks: What you are consistently seeing on the message
      board is a concern about the debt load and that is a
      concern!! URS buys companies that come cheap and, other
      than Greiner, they've all had some debt. MK &
      Ainsworth have put some new management in place on the
      accounting side - possibly in an effort to give some
      backbone to the debt repayment priority? Speculation but
      it probably has some truth to it. Another risk is
      their current accounting systems and the ability of the
      accounting systems to facilitate integration. From what I
      understand the accounting systems are a bit behind the times
      and need a bit of a facelift.

    • Your comments are overall quite positive. What is
      your opinion of MK? What do you think is the biggest
      risk for URS going forward? If the trend is positive
      and sustainable, then the stock would seem

      Is there a competitive threat? ITX? WSTNA?

    • 1. Market: URS needs to figure out what markets
      it is going to chase. The transportation market
      continues to be the big hitter in the federal budgets and
      this is an area of strength. Despite all of the
      discussions to the contrary, we in the trenches still make a
      good living on the environmental business and some of
      us would like to keep working at it. I buy the fact
      that the remediation market is moving downwards, esp.
      without Superfund reform, but it doesn't really seem to
      have an impact on our day-to-day business.

      Many of the URSGWC posters don't seem to think much of
      the recent defections from the ex-D&M corps. That
      said, I think that they are delusional, and that we are
      now seeing some of the heavier hitters either
      retiring or quitting. Within the past three weeks we have
      lost two of the most senior management members of our
      Midwest team, two good officers (partner level) in Texas,
      and the regional manager in Southern California. Were
      they all worthless? What my new colleagues at URS fail
      to understand is that these people had relationships
      with the industrial clients they represented and will
      likely take that business with them. URS has been so
      focused on public sector work where this paradigm has no
      relevance. In order to lose a contract with say, the City of
      St. Louis, you would have to lose your entire project
      team, not just a key manager. On the federal side, this
      mentality is even worse, as the ACOE and EPA don't really
      care who is on the team once the contract is in

      3. Other acquisitions: URS is starting to sell small
      pieces (look for the news) and they are looking for some
      additional strategic purchases. I don't think we'll double
      in size (30,000?) but we may see the addition of
      2-3,000 people over the next year if MK has his way. I
      understand that Montgomery Watson was under consideration
      before DMG floated along.

      4. Accelerating debt
      paydown: Rumor has it that MK got all the top brass
      together and told them he wanted a little more $$$ of the
      overhead lines. This after what he felt were good 1Q

      The firm is just getting its act together. For most,
      it's just time to buckle our seatbelts and hold on.
      All of the strategy and so forth will come soon

    • Art Darrow was CEO of D&M at the time of
      acquisition. His strategy of making D&M a "billion dollar
      company by 2000" effectively ran the company into the
      ground. His merry men were all the upper management help
      he had. Re: prospects of URS etc. I can't answer, I
      left D&M prior to the URS buyout. The stock looks
      cheap at this point with a P/E under 10, but the debt
      load has to be a concern

    • Who is Art Darrow? Who are the merry

      What do you think are the prospects for URS in its
      current form? Stock cheap or not? Debt load bearable, or
      not? MK capable, or not? More deals (acquisitions), or

      Are these the right questions? If not, what are the
      right questions?

    • I can answer a few of your questions.
      business\industry is definitely in the dumps. The regulators have
      backed off - waiting on new administration, clients are
      more savvy on pricing - thereby forcing margins down,
      and gov't contracts do not generate much profit. Add
      this to the never ending mergers and flight of talent
      to better paying fields and you have an industry not
      poised for huge success.

      Strategic initiatives
      are limited to stealing clients from other
      consultants following inability to provide adequate service.
      The D&M acquisistion seems to have allowed Art Darrow
      and his merry men to bury thier mistakes in the cat

    • Well, it sure seems like a bunch of big 9th
      graders working at URS and predecessor companies with a
      lot to whine about. Separate from all of the
      political BS that goes with every corporate merger, does
      anyone know what is the state of the business? Industry?
      Contract environment? Strategic initiatives?

      plans to accelarate debt paydown? What are the trading
      levels for the URS junk bonds? Above or below

      Will URS ever make another acquisition? Was the D-M
      acquisition legit, or was it just intended to be big enough
      to cover up problems?

    • There will also be rewards reaped by weeding out the malcontents and troublemakers.

    • ...and seem to have some good views into the west
      coast operations of the various companies. FYI- There
      are plans floating around to combine offices where it
      makes sense. The process is happening very slowly for
      some pretty good reasons: subleasing is complicated
      and expensive; moving is expensive; and integrating
      staff is complicated. I agree that there are some
      excessive overhead dollars being spent. On the flip side
      though, if you integrate too quickly you're likely to
      waste those overhead dollars. Better to integrate ONCE
      right that TWICE wrong. IMHO...

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