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Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc.’s (HY - Snapshot Report) earnings increased 17% to $1.47 per share in the first quarter of 2013 from $1.26 a share in the year-ago quarter, and was way ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 88 cents. The year-over-year growth was attributable to the favorable effect of price increase and incremental sales of higher-margin products.

Operational Updates

Revenues in the reported quarter nudged up 2.4% year over year to $644.9 million, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $604 million. This was led by an increase in unit volumes and rise in shipments in the Americas and Asia-Pacific, partly offset by fewer shipments in Europe and an unfavorable impact of foreign currency movements.

Revenues grew 6% year over year to $418.5 million in America, driven by favorable effect of unit price increase and an increase in parts sales. However, sales in Europe fell 4% year over year to $174.6 million due to fewer shipments. Revenues in the Asia-Pacific region were $51.8 million, down from $52.3 million in the year-ago quarter.

Cost of sales was $535.7 million in the first quarter compared with $530.5 million in the year-ago quarter. Gross profit increased 10% year over year to $109.2 million. Consequently, gross margin expanded 120 basis points (bps) to 16.9% in the quarter.

Selling, general and administrative expenses increased 11% year over year to $77 million. Operating profit in the reported quarter increased 7.7% to $32 million. Operating margin also expanded 30 bps to 5% in the quarter.

Backlog

Worldwide backlog was around 27,500 units as of Mar 31, 2013 compared with 22,300 units as of Mar 31, 2012. In the first quarter of 2013, worldwide new unit shipments were 20,756 units compared with shipments of 20,079 units in the first quarter of 2012.

Financial Update

Hyster-Yale ended the quarter with cash of $131 million and debt of $138.8 million. Cash flow from operating activities was $0.4 million in the reported quarter compared with $19.1 million in the prior-year quarter.

Outlook

Hyster-Yale expects the global market to grow moderately in 2013, due to increased volumes in America and modest growth in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. However, the company anticipates the European scenario to worsen as a result of volatility in macroeconomic conditions.

Moreover, for the full year 2013, the company anticipates an overall increase in shipments and parts volumes in all markets. However, material costs are expected to remain flat. Operating profit is supposed to be in the same level compared to 2012. Nevertheless, Hyster-Yale forecasts that marketing and employee-related costs will rise, resulting in increased operating expenses. Net income in 2013 is expected to fall compared with 2012. The company anticipates an increase in capital expenditures in 2013, largely due to building a new plant and the related additional information technology enhancements in Brazil.

Cleveland, Ohio-based Hyster-Yale designs, engineers, manufactures, sells and services a comprehensive line of lift trucks and aftermarket parts. Hyster-Yale currently has a short-term Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks worth considering in the industrial products sector are Graco Inc. (GGG - Snapshot Report) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and W.W. Grainger, Inc. (GWW - Analyst Report) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Peer Performance

Key Technology, Inc. reported second-quarter 2013 earnings of 38 cents per share, reversing its year-ago loss of 13 cents per share, and way ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 9 cents. Columbus McKinnon Corp. (CMCO - Snapshot Report) will release its quarterly results on May 20, 2013.
 

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