Astec Industries earnings drop as international sales decline

Astec Industries earnings drop as international sales decline

April 22nd, 2014 by Dave Flessner in Local - Breaking News

Astec Industries Inc. officials demonstrate a piece of paving equipment.

Astec Industries Inc. officials demonstrate a piece of...

Photo by Staff File Photo /Times Free Press.

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.