A decline in international sales cut earnings for Astec Industries Inc., in the first quarter of 2013 below analysts expectations and year-ago levels.
The Chattanooga-based producer of paving and construction equipment said today it earned $9.5 million, or 41 cents per share, on sales of $238.7 million. In the same time a year ago, Astec earned $13.2 million, or 57 cents per share, on sales of $247.8 million.
Earnings were 14 cents per share below analysts expectations for the quarter.
Astec said its domestic sales increased 8 percent to $175.5 million in the first quarter of 2014 from $161.9 million for the first quarter of 2013. International sales were $63.2 million for the first quarter of 2014, down 26 percent to $85.9 million for the first quarter of 2013.
The Company's backlog increased 8 percent from $276.5 million at March 31, 2013 to $299.6 million at March 31, 2014.
"We are pleased with our growth in domestic revenues compared to last year although we continue to experience headwinds in our international sales efforts driven by the strong dollar and weakness in certain markets like Canada and Australia," Astec President Ben Brock said. "Although total sales decreased slightly we held our gross margin steady which is a testament to our focus on lean manufacturing and cost management."
Brock said Astec had strong response to its presence at the ConExpo in March and the April 1 purchase of Telestack in Northner Ireland should add to company earnings this year.
Dave Flessner is the business editor for the Times Free Press. A journalist for 35 years, Dave has been business editor and projects editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, city editor for The Chattanooga Times, business and county reporter for the Chattanooga Times, correspondent for the Lansing State Journal and Ingham County News in Michigan, staff writer for the Hastings Daily Tribune in Nebraska, and news director for WCBN-FM in Michigan. Dave, a native ...