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Astec Industries.
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Ben Brock.

Astec Industries Inc. boosted its second quarter profits nearly 55 percent over a year ago to $18.2 million, or 79 cents per share, on net sales of $294.4 million.

The Chattanooga-based asphalt equipment maker said today that sales this spring were up 9.9 percent over a year ago and the results beat Wall Street expectations for the second quarter by 4 cents per share.  The average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 75 cents per share in the quarter.

Domestic sales increased 24.5 percent to $242.2 million for the second quarter, more than offsetting the decline in international sales, which fell by 28.9 percent to $52.2 million this year.

"As our sales and backlog reflect, our domestic business remained strong during the quarter," Astec CEO Ben Brock said in a statement today. "This is primarily attributable to the increased demand caused by the passage of a new Federal highway bill in December 2015 and continuing good private sector activity."

Shares in the maker of equipment for building, paving and mining have increased 29 percent since the beginning of the year. The stock has risen 39 percent in the last 12 months.

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