Infrastructure equipment maker Astec Industries, Inc. (ASTE: Quote) said its first-quarter profit per share rose 20 percent from last year on a 16 percent sales growth, driven by strong international growth. However, earnings missed analysts' estimates due to margin pressure, as did sales.
Earnings increased to $12.2 million or $0.53 per share compared to $10.1 million or $0.44 per share last year. On average, ten analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $0.61 per share.
Net sales rose to $266.6 million from $230.2 million last year, but missed analysts' estimates of $274.88 million. International sales increased 27 percent and domestic sales grew 9 percent, the company noted.
Dr. J. Don Brock, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Our sales growth was in line with our expectations but our gross margins are not where we want them. Although they improved over the fourth quarter of 2011, we will continue to focus on improving our gross margins and refining our manufacturing processes on our new products. "
The company's domestic backlog has increased 30 percent since March 31 last year to end at $162.8 million at March 31, 2012
Looking ahead, Brock said, "We will continue to actively seek accretive bolt-on acquisitions and to develop new products to meet the needs of our customers."
by RTT Staff Writer
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