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Manitex International, Inc.’s (MNTX - Snapshot Report) fourth-quarter 2012 earnings per share increased more than fivefold on a year-over-year basis to 16 cents. However, reported earnings were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Sales increased 55% year over year to $56 million in the quarter, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $52 million.

Gross profit during the quarter increased 38% to $10.3 million from $7.5 million in the prior-year quarter as a 55% increase in sales helped offset additional operating expenses. Gross margin, however, contracted 220 basis points to 18.3% in the quarter, resulting from the lower mix of part sales in revenue and lower prod efficiencies in the period from a new product launch and the holiday period.

Selling, general and administrative expenses surged 31% to $6.5 million, driven by increased sales expense, employee related expense including incentive compensation and professional fees from the additional compliance requirements of Sarbanes Oxley for the company as an accelerated filer.

Operating income was $3.3 million compared with $2.0 million in the prior-year quarter. Including legal settlement charge, operating income was $0.8 million in the prior-year quarter.  

Fiscal 2012 Performance

Manitex reported earnings per share of 68 cents in 2012, almost three times the year-ago earnings per share of 24 cents. Revenues increased 44% year over year to a record $205 million.

Financial Update

As of 2012 end, Manitex had cash and cash equivalents of $1.9 million, up from $0.7 million as of 2012 end. Total debt increased to $49 million as of 2012-end from $42 million as of 2011-end. Cash flow used in operating activities was $6.5 million in 2012 compared with %5.4 million 2011. Total backlog as of 2012-end stood at $130, up 56% from $83.7 million as of 2011 end.

Outlook

With expectations for a modest economic improvement in the U.S. and weakness in Europe, Manitex’s growth will be driven by adding products to its portfolio and acquisitions that fit strategically with the company. The company expects to generate 50% of its sales from the energy area and the balance from general commercial markets. The company envisions $350 million in sales (excluding any acquisitions) in 2015.

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 #5 (Strong Sell). Other stocks in the same industry with favorable Zacks Ranks are Altra Holdings, Inc. (AIMC - Snapshot Report) and The Babcock & Wilcox Company (BWC - Snapshot Report) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) while Barnes Group Inc. (B - Snapshot Report) carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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