Astec Industries saw a 4-percent decrease in net sales in the first quarter of 2014, but domestic sales were up 8 percent for the same period, according to results released by the company on Tuesday.
The company reported that net sales for the quarter, which ended March 31, were $238.7 million, down 4 percent from the $247.8 million in net sales in the first quarter of 2013. Additionally, earnings were down year-over-year. The company reported $9.5 million in earnings or $0.41 per diluted share for the first quarter of this year — a 28-percent drop per diluted share from the $13.2 million in earnings or $.57 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2013.
Domestic sales were up this quarter, though the company saw a decrease in international sales. Astec Industries reported $175.5 million in domestic sales for the first quarter of 2014 — an 8-percent increase over the 161.9 million in domestic sales in the first quarter of the previous year. International sales were down 26 percent. The company reported $63.2 million in international sales for the first quarter of 2014, compared to $85.9 million a year ago.
The company’s backlog was up 8 percent from $276.5 million in the first quarter of 2013 to $299.6 million in the same period of 2014.
The domestic backlog was also up, while the international backlog fell year over year. The company reported a domestic backlog of $167.3 million for the quarter, which is 18 percent higher than the $167.3 million reported a year ago. The international backlog was down 6 percent from $109.2 million in the first quarter of 2013 to $102.7 million in the same period of 2014.
Astec Industries CEO Benjamin G. Brock says that, despite a decrease in total sales, he is encouraged by the company’s gross margin as well as ConExpo-Con/Agg sales.
“Although total sales decreased slightly we held our gross margin steady which is a testament to our focus on lean manufacturing and cost management,” Brock says. “Our presence at ConExpo in early March added $4 million to our S,G,A&E expenses for the quarter, however, we were pleased by the strong attendance in our booth and the interactions we had with customers.”
Brock also notes that the company’s latest product — the Telestack, which was released April 1 — is expected to boost earnings this year: “We expect them to be immediately accretive to earnings and to positively reinforce our backlog and outlook for the remainder of the year.”