published Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Astec Industries sales and profits up in quarter, but CEO cautious

Astec Industries Inc. boosted earnings in the second quarter by 31 percent as sales of the Chattanooga-based paving equipment maker rose 12 percent this spring.

But Astec CEO Ben Brock cautioned today that short-term prospects remain challenged by the lack of a new highway funding measure from Washington D.C.

Astec said today that net sales for the second quarter of 2014 were $277.3 million, up from the $248.1 million in the second quarter of 2013. Earnings for the second quarter of 2014 were $14.5 million, or 63 cents per share, compared to $11.1 million, or 48 cents per share, for the second quarter of 2013.

Earnings were a penny per share better than the average analysts' forecast for the period.

"While we are up on sales and profit versus last year, we are cautious regarding our short-term prospects, particularly as they relate to infrastructure spending," Brock said in a statement today. "Washington continues to pursue short-term extensions in lieu of a long-term funding bill that would provide visibility to our customers for their capital spending."

But Brock said the private market is improving and some states are boosting highway spending.

"We look forward to improving market conditions as our energy, aggregate, and mining businesses see stable to slightly better business in the near term," Brock said.

about Dave Flessner...

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 ...

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