Harsco Corporation (HSC - Snapshot Report) recently announced the resignation of the company’s Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Stephen J Schnoor. The Vice President and Corporate Controller, Barry E. Malamud will serve as the Interim CFO until the company finds a permanent CFO. Harsco has hired the services of Heidrick & Struggles to search for a new CFO.
Schnoor has been with Harsco since 1988 and has served the company in various positions. He has been the CFO since 2008.
Hence, his exit from the company’s helm will certainly affect the company’s functioning, especially in the current scenario.
Meanwhile, earnings estimates have decreased after the company reported third quarter results as four out of the eight analysts coveriing the stock have lowered their estimates for 2012.
Harsco Corporation posted adjusted diluted earnings per share of 39 cents from continuing operations in the third quarter of 2012 compared with 40 cents in the year-earlier quarter and 43 cents in the second quarter of 2012. The results surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 37 cents per share and management’s guidance range of 32 cents to 38 cents per share for the quarter.
However, the company provided soft guidance due to the weak economic environment. Management expects earnings per share in the fourth quarter of 2012 to be annually and sequentially low. The earnings per share from continuing operations (special items excluded) are expected to be in the range of 28 cents to 33 cents for the fourth quarter of 2012.
Revenues and earnings from the company’s Metals and Minerals segment are projected to be down both sequentially and year over year. Harsco expects further reduction of steel production at certain customers, driven by slower global economic activity.
The weak end-markets are likely to affect the company’s Infrastructure segment, offsetting the positive impact from the company’s cost effective initiatives.
Harsco anticipates that its Rail business will deliver strong performance in the coming quarter on the back of increased equipment delivery, while the company’s Industrial segment is likely to be adversely affected by decreased order trends.
In the long run, we have a Neutral recommendation on Harsco. Our recommendation is supported by a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating.