Astec Gains Momentum in 1Q But Sees Bumpy Road Ahead

Astec Industries (NASDAQ:ASTE) posted a stronger-than-expected 16% jump in first-quarter profit, led by continued growth in its international markets, though the company said it expects roadblocks ahead as the U.S. government continues to cut highway budgets.

The maker of equipment and components used in road building, utilities and related construction activates, including asphalt paving, posted net income of $10.2 million, or 44 cents a share, compared with $8.8 million, or 39 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue for the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based company was $230.2 million, up 19% from $193.5 million a year ago, led by both domestic and international sales, which were up 13.9% and 29.2%, respectively.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting on average earnings of 42 cents a share on revenue of $205.8 million.

Astec CEO Dr. Don Brock said that while the company is pleased with the first-quarter results, it continues to face uncertainty in its domestic markets, while its other global markets continue to grow.

“Because of the Federal budget crisis, we do not expect Congress to pass a very robust highway bill,” he said. “We are adopting strategies to grow internationally, serve other expanding markets, and succeed without the support of a Federal highway bill.”