published Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Miller hoists sales, profits in quarter

Third-quarter profits for Miller Industries were up nearly 58 percent over a year ago as a jump in military orders and commercial sales helped boost company revenues by more than 31 percent.

The Ooltewah tow truck manufacturer said Tuesday it earned $4.9 million, or 41 cents per share, on sales of $96.8 million in the three months ended Sept. 30. In the same period a year ago, Miller earned $2.9 million, or 24 cents per share, on sales of $73.7 million.

Miller officials said the company isn’t expecting any follow-up U.S. government orders, forcing the company to boost commercial orders and look for government contracts abroad.

“We are actively working on government-related tenders in a number of countries around the world,” Jeffrey Badgley, company chief executive officer, said in a news release.

“Broader economic visibility remains uncertain,” he said. “While we clearly see some positive trends in our core commercial customer base, the outlook for the global economy is unclear.”

Miller is hoping to find success in France, where the company’s subsidiary, Jige International, will offer three test units in early 2012 for a French military contract.

Despite the gain over last year, Miller’s earnings for the third quarter were below the 47 cents per share estimated for the quarter by analyst Bill Jones with Singular Research, a California-based research firm, according to Yahoo Finance.

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