Joy Global Predicts Sluggish Demand in 2012

Joy Global (NYSE:JOY) revealed a stronger fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday with the help of ongoing projects that drove sales, however it warned demand will grow at a more moderate level in 2012.

The bleak view comes as strong demand for commodities starts to slow in the U.S. and Europe amid growing economic uncertainties. Spot prices for coal, copper and iron ore are down from their highs earlier this year by as much as 20%.

Joy noted that while demand it expected to remain sluggish, any downside should be mitigated by the restocking of commodities and helped by industrial inventories that are already at historically low levels.

The mining equipment maker said total bookings increased 33% to $1.4 billion in the fourth quarter, bringing income from continuing operations up to $195 million, or $1.83 a share, compared with $146 million, or $1.39 a share, in the year-earlier period.

Analysts, on average, in a Thomson Reuters poll were expecting a profit of $1.86 a share.

“Our fourth quarter was a good finish to an exceptional year,” said Joy CEO Mike Sutherlin. “Bookings were strong as our customers continue to move ahead with mine expansion projects."

Shares of Milwaukee-based Joy Global have grown 47% since touching a new 52-week low in October. On Wednesday, they were down more than 9% at $76.71.