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Manitex Liftking, a unit of Manitex International, Inc. (MNTX - Snapshot Report), has secured a $37 million contract from US Military for a period of five years to supply specialized material handling equipment. The contract will help the US Navy to meet the unique requirements of militaries around the world.

As per the contract, Manitex will supply the US Navy with highly specialized and configured rough terrain straight mast forklift equipment. The design and build contract will initially deliver multiple units valued at around $22 million.

The deal also includes the option for an additional $15 million worth of follow-on orders. Initial orders under the contract with a value of about $5 million have been received and are slated for completion in the second half of 2014.

Under this contract, Liftking will design, test and supply two equipment variants, with five and ten ton capacity, that are air transportable. Their unique feature also includes the absorption of up to 50G simulated shockwave forces, which will support the US Navy providing a solution to their challenging global operational activities. These new products will also provide additional depth to the US military portfolio and extend the scope of product offering to global military operations.

Manitex’s first-quarter 2013 earnings per share increased 45.5% on a year-over-year basis to 16 cents a share and exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 13 cents. Sales for the company also increased 39% year over year to $59.5 million in the quarter, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $56 million. The year-over-year growth was led by an increase in demand to drive production at several facilities.

Manitex retains its previous guidance with expectations for a modest economic improvement in the U.S. and weakness in Europe. The growth will be driven by adding products to its portfolio and acquisitions that fit strategically with the company. This will contribute materially to its bottom-line performance.

The company expects to generate 50% of its sales from the energy area and the balance from general commercial markets. Manitex remains committed to introducing ground breaking products with the introduction of the Manitex TC 700 crane, which will provide significant sales upside.

Bridgeview, Ill.-based Manitex International is a leading provider of engineered lifting solutions including boom truck and rough terrain cranes, rough terrain forklifts, special mission oriented vehicles, container handling equipment and specialized engineered trailers.

Manitex currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks in the same industry with favorable Zacks Ranks are Graco Inc. (GGG - Snapshot Report), Tri-Tech Holding, Inc. and Altra Holdings, Inc. (AIMC - Snapshot Report). While Graco and Tri-Tech carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Altra Holdings holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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