Titan Machinery 3Q Earnings Up 35%, Raises Outlook

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Helped by surging equipment sales and tighter expenses, Titan Machinery (NASDAQ:TITN) reported Thursday a stronger-than-expected third-quarter profit, however its shares still slipped more than 4%.

The West Fargo, ND-based company posted net income of $7.7 million, or 42 cents a share, compared with $5.7 million, or 32 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

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Results for the period ended Oct. 31 were ahead of average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of 36 cents a share.

Revenue for the operator of full service agricultural and construction equipment stores was $311.3 million, up 37.1% from $227 million a year ago, beating the Street’s view of $260.62 million.

Sales were driven in all three of its main units, including equipment, parts and service, up 39%, 27%, and 30.8%, respectively, with equipment pulling in $241.1 million.

“We are pleased with our third-quarter results, which underscore our ability to capitalize on favorable conditions in the agriculture industry and improve operating results in the construction business, said Titan CEO David Meyer.

The company’s agriculture unit gained on favorable harvest conditions and crop yields.

Earnings were cushioned by a 10.5% decrease in operating expenses to 12.2%, due primarily to improved fixed operating cost leverage and efficiencies.

Given the improved quarterly results, Titan raised its fiscal 2011 earnings guidance to a range of 95 cents to $1.03 a share, up from its earlier forecast of 92 cents to $1.02 a share, on revenue of $970 million to $1.02 billion from its earlier view of $920 million to $980 million.

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