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John Bean (JBT) Beats on Q1 Earnings, Raises 2021 Guidance

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John Bean Technologies Corporation (JBT - Free Report) reported adjusted earnings of 90 cents per share in first-quarter 2021, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 77 cents. However, the bottom line declined 11% from the prior-year quarter.

On a reported basis, the company’s earnings per share was 84 cents compared with the prior-year quarter’s 90 cents.

Revenues of $418 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $421 million. Further, the top line declined 8.7% from the prior-year quarter figure of $458 million.

In the reported quarter, the company’s total orders went up 3.4% year over year to $486 million. Orders in the JBT FoodTech segment increased 22.2% year over year to a record $386 million. This was spurred by needs of food processing customers serving the retail market. In the JBT AeroTech segment, orders plunged 35.5% to $100.4 million from the prior-year quarter.

Backlog in the FoodTech segment increased 24% from the year-ago quarter to $489 million as of Mar 31, 2021. The AeroTech segment’s backlog was $281 million at the end of the reported quarter, down 9.4% year over year. Total backlog of $769.5 million at the end of the first quarter was up 9.1% year over year.

Cost and Margins

Cost of sales decreased 9.5% year over year to $285 million during the March-end quarter. Gross profit was down 7% year over year to $133 million. Gross margin came in at 31.9% compared with the year-earlier quarter’s 31.2%.

Selling, general and administrative expenses were down 3% year over year to $94 million. Adjusted operating profit declined 17% year over year to $40 million. Adjusted operating margin came in at 9.6% in the first quarter compared with the prior-year quarter’s 10.5%. In the reported quarter, adjusted EBITDA was around $59 million, reflecting a year-over-year fall of 10.6%. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 14% compared with the year-ago quarter’s 14.4%.

Segment Performance

JBT FoodTech: Net sales came in at $311.8 million compared with the $309.7 million recorded in the prior-year quarter. Adjusted operating profit amounted to $42 million compared with the year-ago quarter’s $40.7 million.

JBT AeroTech: Net sales were $106 million, reflecting a decline of 28.3% from the prior-year quarter. The segment’s adjusted operating profit plummeted 46.5% year over year to $9.9 million.

Financial Performance

John Bean reported cash and cash equivalents of around $58 million in the March-end quarter, up from $47.5 million at the end of 2020. The company generated around $86 million of cash from operating activities in the reported quarter, compared with $14 million in the prior year quarter. The company’s total debt declined to $469.8 million as of Mar 31, 2021 from $734 million as of Mar 31, 2020.


John Bean estimates second-quarter 2021 revenues to be $435-$455 million, aided by year-over-year growth at FoodTech segment.

Given robust commercial activity across most of its business, the company now projects adjusted earnings per share to lie between $4.40 and $4.60 for 2021, up from the prior projection of $4.30-$4.55.

Price Performance

John Bean’s shares have gained 71.7% in the past year compared with the industry’s rally of 102.8%.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

John Bean carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Better-ranked stocks in the Industrial Products sector include Dover Corporation (DOV - Free Report) , Caterpillar Inc. (CAT - Free Report) and Pentair plc (PNR - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy), at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Dover has a projected earnings growth rate of 21.8% for 2021. Over the past year, the company’s shares have gained 54.3%.

Caterpillar has an estimated earnings growth rate of 25.7% for the ongoing year. The company’s shares have rallied 99.7% in the past year.

Pentair has an expected earnings growth rate of 11.6% for 2021. The stock has surged 86% in a year’s time.

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