Specialty chemicals maker
American Vanguard Corp.
) witnessed a healthy rise in its fourth-quarter 2012 profit on
the back of continued strong market demand for its products.
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The Newport Beach, Calif.-based company raked in earnings of 39
cents a share in the quarter, which beat the Zacks Consensus
Estimate by 4 cents and exceeded the year-ago quarter's earnings
of 23 cents.
Profit soared roughly 77% year over year to $11.3 million in the
quarter, buoyed by healthy demand of American Vanguard's crop
protection products. American Vanguard is leveraging the growing
demand for soil insecticides as the U.S. corn growers contend
with pest problems.
For full-year 2012, earnings climbed to $1.28 per share from 79
cents per share in 2011, also topping the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of $1.22.
Revenues climbed 28% year over year to $104.3 million in the
reported quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $101
For the full year, revenues jumped 22% year over year to $366.2
million, backed by strong traction of American Vanguard's Yield
Enhancing Solutions (YES). Sales beat the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of $363 million.
Gross margin rose to 44% in 2012 from 41% a year ago. Operating
expenses for the year climbed 22% year over year to $101.8
million. Operating margin rose to 16.2% in 2012 from 13% in 2011
as a healthy increase in revenues more than offset higher
American Vanguard exited 2012 with cash of $38.5 million, up
roughly 10% year over year. Total long-term debt increased 39%
year over year to $130 million. Operating cash flow for the year
rose roughly 3% year over year to $40.4 million.
American Vanguard is optimistic about 2013 and feels that it is
well placed to meet the increasing demand for soil insecticides
by maintaining full production of its products and proprietary
equipment systems. The successful roll out of its herbicide
co-marketing program with
) is also expected to support its results.
American Vanguard makes specialty chemical products for
agricultural and commercial applications. The company develops
and markets an array of chemicals, including insecticides,
fungicides and herbicides, for crops, human and animal health
protection. American Vanguard has the largest assortment of corn
soil insecticides coupled with the most advanced dispensing
American Vanguard currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Other companies in the specialty chemicals industry with a
favorable Zacks Rank are
). Both hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).