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Tutor Perini Subsidiary Inks Mississippi University Contract

(This article has been undated from its original version.)

Can you spell Mississippi? Tutor Perini Corp. can.

The Sylmar-based infrastructure and construction firm has the Magnolia State to thank for its first contract win announced in the new year.

The company announced earlier this month that its subsidiary, Gulfport, Mississippi-based Roy Anderson, won a contract valued at nearly $81 million to build a residence hall on the campus of Mississippi State University in Starkville, northeast of Jackson.

The five-story, 155,000-square-foot residence hall will include 400 beds, a dining hall, day spaces, offices and a storm shelter.

Work is expected to begin in February with substantial completion anticipated in the spring of next year.

Tutor Perini, through its Roy Anderson subsidiary, is no stranger to the Mississippi State University campus, having built at least two other residence halls there as well as a stadium expansion and renovation. Roy Anderson has also constructed several facilities on other campuses in the Mississippi State University system.

“Roy Anderson Corp. has been supporting Mississippi State University infrastructure needs through a relationship that has spanned over 30 years,” said Bob Fullington, president of Roy Anderson. “During this time, we have completed multiple expansions at Davis Wade Stadium, several residence halls, and we are excited to continue this relationship in their latest residence hall project.”

Roy Anderson Corp. was founded in 1955 and remained a family-owned general contractor until Tutor Perini purchased it in 2011 for about $65 million in cash plus an undisclosed amount that was based on Roy Anderson’s results over the three years following the closing of the acquisition.

For Tutor Perini, the contract win comes as the company is trying to close the book on a couple difficult years. After posting a positive net income of $92 million for all of 2021, the company reported a 2022 net loss of $210 million and a net loss for the first three quarters of 2023 of $92 million.

The main culprit: Tutor Perini’s inability for much of that time to grow its project backlog – projects awarded but for which construction had not yet begun. At the end of 2021, the backlog stood at $8.2 billion; a year later, it was $7.9 billion. While the company did announce several contract wins, projects were coming off the backlog faster than new ones were being added on.

Earlier last year, Chief Executive Ron Tutor explained to investors in a quarterly conference call that the company had lost out on around $10 billion worth of projects in which it was the low bidder but still over the budget of the client. Other projects, such as borough jails in New York City to replace the notorious Rikers Island jail complex, faced delays on the political and fiscal front.

Things began to turn around for Tutor Perini last year, starting with the $3 billion award for one of those borough jails – in Brooklyn. The company expects word in the next few weeks on whether it will also receive a similar-sized bid to construct another of these borough jails – in Queens. That, along with other contract wins, pushed the project backlog up to $10.6 billion as of Sept. 30. That’s nearly at the peak pre-pandemic figure of $11.2 billion. (The Mississippi State residence hall project was added to the backlog for the fourth quarter.)

Tutor Perini’s share price has also been steadily climbing after bottoming out at around $5 in April of last year. It closed at $9.0 on Jan. 10, nearly twice that April trough but still a long way to go to reach its March 2021 peak of $20.

James Brock
James Brock
James Brock has worked in newsrooms around the world, including in New York, Paris, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Houston, and Los Angeles. He began his career with a Newhouse News daily, where he served on the news desk and the editorial page. He was the copy chief for The New York Sun, and founded and edited the personal finance section for Abu Dhabi-based The National, among other positions. He has interviewed Anthony Bourdain, Tom Ford, Mark Cuban, and many other individuals, and has written and edited thousands of stories and articles.

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