Continued increases in sales of utility support structures and irrigation equipment — each up 25 percent — drove Valmont Industries Inc.'s strong first-quarter earnings, the company said Thursday.
The Omaha-based company's first-quarter net earnings were $77.6 million, or $2.89 per diluted share, up from $52.3 million, or $1.96 per diluted share, this time last year. First-quarter sales were $819.6 million, up from $717.4 million.
Sales in Valmont's utility support structures segment in the first quarter were $239.6 million, and sales in its irrigation equipment segment were $244.7 million.
Valmont Chairman and CEO Mogens Bay said the company's outlook for its utility support structures segment is improving for the year, although that segment's operating margins “may vary from quarter to quarter, depending on sales mix and the timing of shipments.”
The company also is expecting a strong second quarter for its irrigation segment given its current backlog.
First-quarter sales in the engineered infrastructure products segment were $223.7 million, up 10 percent. Bay said he anticipates improved sales and operating comparisons in the segment for the rest of the year.
Sales in the coatings segment were $89.2 million, up 8 percent, with the acquisition of Pure Metal, a Canadian firm. Bay said the company expects the coatings segment's performance to improve over the balance of the year as “we move to fully integrate the Pure Metal acquisition and expect improved demand in Australia.”
Bay also said, “It should be possible for us to exceed our February guidance even if irrigation results in the second half were below 2012's record second-half levels.”
Valmont makes poles, towers and structures for the lighting, traffic, wireless communication and utility markets, industrial systems and mechanized irrigation equipment.
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