Shaw Responds to Moody's Downgrade; Shaw Notes Its Improved Performance, Strengthened Balance Sheet, Increased Backlog of Business, and Stabilized, Improving Outlook

BATON ROUGE, La.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 30, 2004--In response to an announcement today by Moody's Investors Service that it has lowered its ratings on The Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE:SGR), Shaw said that it is clearly disappointed by the rating change.

Robert L. Belk, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer said, "As reported in our recent third quarter earnings announcement, we demonstrated improved financial performance, a strengthened balance sheet, significantly increased backlog and a stabilized, improving outlook for our business. Specifically, in the third quarter, we generated $10 million of income from continuing operations and over $48 million of cash flow from operations. In addition, during this fiscal year, we raised over $250 million of equity and retired a similar amount of debt. Our backlog of business increased to over $6 billion, providing us with significant profitable business for the near and long term. In light of this improved performance, we are surprised and disappointed by the Moody's downgrade and will continue to work with them to help them better understand our company and its improving prospects."

The Shaw Group Inc. is a leading provider of consulting, engineering, construction, remediation and facilities management services to government and private sector clients in the environmental, infrastructure and emergency response markets. The Shaw Group is also a vertically integrated provider of comprehensive engineering, consulting, procurement, pipe fabrication, construction and maintenance services to the power and process industries worldwide. A Fortune 500 company with $3.3 billion in revenues in 2003, The Shaw Group debuted on the magazine's "America's Most Admired Companies" list in 2004. Shaw is headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and employs approximately 16,000 people at its offices and operations in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. Additional information on The Shaw Group is available at

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor" for certain forward-looking statements. The statements contained herein that are not historical facts (including without limitation statements to the effect that the Company or its management "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "plans," or other similar expressions) and statements related to revenues, earnings, backlog, or other financial information or results are forward-looking statements based on the Company's current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects on the Company. There can be no assurance that future developments affecting the Company will be those anticipated by the Company. These forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties (some of which are beyond our control) and assumptions and are subject to change based upon various factors. Should one or more of such risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any of our assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary in material respects from those projected in the forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. A description of some of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements can be found in the Company's reports and registration statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Form 10-K and Form 10-Q reports, and on the Company's website under the heading "Forward-Looking Statements". These documents are also available from the Securities and Exchange Commission or from the Investor Relations department of Shaw. For more information on the Company, and announcements it makes from time to time on a regional basis, visit our website at

    CONTACT: The Shaw Group Inc., Baton Rouge
             Chris D. Sammons, 225-932-2546
    SOURCE: The Shaw Group Inc.
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding SHAW GROUP INC's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.