Valmont Industries Inc. has sold a 7 percent ownership stake in Delta EMD as part of the Omaha-based company’s original plan to divest noncore businesses related to its 2010 purchase of London-based steel pole manufacturer Delta Plc.
Valmont still holds about 49 percent of Delta EMD shares outstanding and has received almost $13 million in dividends since acquiring its stake in May 2010.
Analysts covering Valmont characterized the latest transaction as little more than a distraction, since Valmont’s earnings per share included only a marginal revision in the wake of this sale. Valmont reported $10.97 per share for 2013, and had estimated $11 per share.
“I think the market is looking more at that and all this other stuff is noise,” said Jon Braatz, a partner and analyst with Kansas City Capital Associates.
At the time of the acquisition, Delta Plc owned a 56 percent stake in Delta EMD, a South African supplier of material used by producers of disposable batteries, as well as a 49 percent stake in Manganese Metal Co., the largest global producer of manganese.
Valmont sold its stake in Manganese Metal Co. in February 2013 for about $38 million in cash and dividends.
The company will report fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 20.