Astec Industries, Inc. 's ASTE earnings per share in first-quarter 2018 jumped around 34% year over year to 87 cents. Earnings also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny.
Astec reported total revenues of $326 million in the first quarter, up 2.2% from $318 million reported in the year-ago quarter. However, the revenue figure missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $339 million.
Astec's domestic sales grew 6.5% year over year to $270 million. However, international sales decreased 14.7% year over year to $55.4 million.
Astec Industries, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Astec Industries, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Astec Industries, Inc. Quote
Cost of sales rose nearly 2% year over year to $247 million. Gross profit came in at $78 million, up 3% from $75.8 million reported in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin expanded 20 basis points (bps) year over year to 24%.
Selling, general, administrative and engineering expenses slipped 2% year over year to $52 million. The company reported operating income of around $26 million compared with $23 million recorded in the prior-year quarter.
Revenues for the Infrastructure Group segment dropped 11% to $147 million from $165 million in the year-ago quarter. The segment reported an operating profit of $14.9 million, down 18% from $18.2 million witnessed in the year-earlier quarter.
Total revenues for the Aggregate and Mining Group segment climbed 18% year over year to $119 million. Profit increased significantly around 55.6% year over year to $13 million.
The Energy Group segment's total revenues jumped 12.8% year over year to $59.3 million. The segment reported operating profit of $4.6 million, surging around 69% from $2.7 million in the year-ago quarter.
Astec reported cash and cash equivalents of $41.9 million at the end of the first quarter, down from $55.4 million at the end of the year-ago quarter. Receivables decreased to $154 million as of Mar 31, 2018, from $156 million as of Mar 31, 2017. Inventories were at $411 million as of Mar 31, 2018, compared with $373 million as of Mar 31, 2017.
The company's total backlog improved around 18% to $445 million as of Mar 31, 2018 from $378 million as of Mar 31, 2017. Backlog improved 38.6% and 35.8% in the Aggregate and Mining Group and Energy group, respectively. Backlog in the Infrastructure Group was up 4%. Domestic backlog improved 11.6% year over year to $341 million as of Mar 31, 2018, and international backlog advanced 44.5% year over year to $104 million at the end of the reported quarter.
Share Price Performance
Astec's shares have significantly underperformed the industry with respect to price performance over the past year. The stock has depreciated 15.6%, as against 45.5% growth registered by the industry.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Astec currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Better-ranked stocks in the same industry include Alarm.com Holdings, Inc. ALRM , H&E Equipment Services, Inc. HEES , and Caterpillar Inc. CAT . While Alarm.com and H&E Equipment Services sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Caterpillar carries a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .
Alarm.com has a long-term earnings growth rate of 15.6%. The stock has appreciated 26% in a year's time.
H&E Equipment Services has a long-term earnings growth rate of 14.4%. The company's shares have been up 60% during the past year.
Caterpillar has a long-term earnings growth rate of 12%. Its shares have rallied 38% in the past year.
Investor Alert: Breakthroughs Pending
A medical advance is now at the flashpoint between theory and realization. Billions of dollars in research have poured into it. Companies are already generating substantial revenue, and even more wondrous products are in the pipeline.
Cures for a variety of deadly diseases are in sight, and so are big potential profits for early investors. Zacks names 5 stocks to buy now.
Click here to see them >>
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Caterpillar Inc. (CAT): Free Stock Analysis Report Astec Industries, Inc. (ASTE): Free Stock Analysis Report H&E Equipment Services, Inc. (HEES): Free Stock Analysis Report Alarm.com Holdings, Inc. (ALRM): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research