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Shiloh Industries, Inc. (SHLO), an auto parts provider, posted strong results for the fiscal second quarter of 2013 with earnings per share of 43 cents, beating the year-ago earnings of 35 cents by 22.9%. Earnings were 26.5% higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 34 cents, as a result of improved volumes and lower costs.

Sales: Shiloh’s net sales for the reported quarter were $182.1 million, up 11.9% year over year. Sales surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $163.0 million by 11.7%. The year-over-year increase was mainly led by a production volume increase in North America as well as acquisitions and new product launches.

Income/Costs: Shiloh’s gross profit for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 was $20.4 million, up 23.9% from $16.5 million in the comparable quarter last year. The increase was a result of improved volumes of production and reduced fixed expenses. Operating profit margin in the quarter increased 30 basis points year over year to 6.3%, due to enhanced sales and reduced fixed expenses.

Balance Sheet: At the end of the reported quarter, Shiloh recorded cash and cash equivalents of $143.0 million, increasing marginally from $140.0 million in the preceding quarter. Long-term debt stood at $88.7 million at the end of the quarter, down compared with $95.7 million in the preceding quarter.

Outlook: Management expects to benefit from the increased vehicle demand in the North American markets in the latter half of fiscal 2013. It also expects to tap the growth potential in the market with the help of advanced technologies and innovative new products.

Shiloh currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks worth considering in the industry are Angang Steel Company Limited (ANGGY), L.B. Foster Company (FSTR - Analyst Report) and Usinas Sider ; each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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