Manitowoc Tops Q4 Earnings Estimates
Excluding divested joint-venture impacts and other items, adjusted earnings from continuing operations for The Manitowoc Co. (NYSE: MTW – $27.42) rose to $0.47 from $0.27 last year. Revenue, however, fell by 2.1% to $1.10 billion. Analysts expected per-share profit of $0.34 and revenue of $1.11 billion. Crane segment sales fell 7.9% in the quarter on a tough comparison with the year-earlier quarter, when delayed shipments from prior periods were moved into the fourth quarter of 2012. The company went on to say that crane segment orders rose 30% from the year earlier, reaching the highest level since before the recession and augers well for future quarters. Manitowoc, which also manufactures commercial food-service equipment, reported that its food-service segment sales rose 10%, while the division’s operating margins improved to 17.2%, up 3.5% from a year earlier. For the full-year, MTW posted earnings of $1.45 per share vs. $.083 in the prior year. The company provided decent guidance for all of 2014, predicting modest crane sales improvement and mid single-digit percentage growth for the food service business. Full year earnings are pegged by Wall Street at $1.52, but I am forecasting closer to $1.45, putting a PE ratio of 18.6 on the current share value. While a bit pricey for such a cyclical company reliant of a robust global economy, especially in developing markets, I am impressed with the nearly 43% run-up in the shares over the past twelve months, and believe the stock price has room to go higher from here.