Welded steel pipe maker Northwest Pipe Co. ( NWPX ) posted
first-quarter 2013 earnings of $1.00 per share, outpacing the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of 30 cents and exceeding the year-ago quarter's
earnings of 50 cents. Profit roughly doubled year over year to $9.5
million on strength in the company's Water Transmission unit.NSK LTD -UN ADR (NPSKY): Get Free ReportNORTHWEST PIPE (NWPX): Free Stock Analysis
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Revenues, however, inched down roughly 1% year over year to $140.6
million as solid gains in Northwest Pipe's Water Transmission
division was offset by a decline in the Tubular Products segment.
But sales topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $127 million.
Gross margin rose to 15.1% from 11.6% a year ago.
Revenues from the Water Transmission segment soared 34.5% year
over year to $78.6 million in the reported quarter as a solid jump
in tons produced more than offset lower pricing. The division's
results were also boosted by the Lake Texoma water pipeline
project, the largest project in the company's history.
However, revenues from Northwest Pipe's Tubular Products unit
tumbled 26% to $62 million. The division was hurt by lower pricing
and a double-digit decline in tons sold during the quarter.
Northwest Pipe ended the quarter with order backlog of roughly
$136 million in the Water Transmission division, down 15.5% year
over year. Continued competitive pressure stemming from the imports
of energy products and lower rig count hurt the division.
Cash and cash equivalents, at the end of the quarter was $47
million, down 47% year over year. Total long-term debt declined
around 30% year over year to $20.9 million.
Moving ahead, Northwest Pipe sees sequentially lower sales and
gross profit in the Water Transmission unit in the second quarter.
In Tubular Products, the company envisions near breakeven results
as the segment's profitability is expected to be impacted by
increasing imports of competing energy products.
Northwest Pipe makes large-diameter steel pipeline systems for use
in water infrastructure applications, mainly in drinking water
systems. The company also makes smaller diameter, electric
resistance welded steel pipes and other similar products for use in
energy, construction, agriculture, commercial and industrial, and
traffic signpost applications.
Northwest Pipe currently retains a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Other companies in the metal processing and fabrication industry
with favorable a Zacks Rank are NSK Ltd. ( NPSKY ),
Worthington Industries, Inc. ( WOR ) and
TriMas Corporation ( TRS ). While NSK holds
a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both Worthington and TriMas carry a
Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).