Industrial goods manufacturer Ingersoll-Rand Plc (IR - Free Report) started 2018 on a positive note, reporting solid first-quarter 2018 results with adjusted earnings from continuing operations of 70 cents per share compared with 57 cents in the year-earlier quarter. The healthy year-over-year improvement in adjusted earnings was largely driven by top-line growth. Adjusted earnings comfortably beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 62 cents.
GAAP earnings for the quarter were $120.4 million or 48 cents per share compared with $117.1 million or 45 cents per share in the year-ago period. The year-over-year increase in GAAP earnings was primarily attributable to diligent execution of operational plans
Quarterly revenues were $3,384.5 million, up from $3,000.6 million in the year-ago quarter largely driven by double-digit bookings on healthy growth dynamics. Revenues exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,161 million. Organic revenues improved 8% year over year.
The Climate segment recorded revenues of $2,610 million compared with $2,324 million in the year-ago quarter. The upside was driven by broad based revenue improvement across all geographic regions and businesses.
The Industrial segment reported revenues of $775 million in the quarter, up from $676 million in the prior-year quarter with growth in all products and services.
Operating margin was flat at 7.2%, while adjusted operating margin improved to 8.5% from 8.3% in the prior-year quarter due to strong volume, positive price and productivity partially offset by material and freight inflation. Adjusted operating margin for the Climate segment was 10.1% compared with 10.6% in the year-ago quarter owing to higher material price inflation. Adjusted operating margin for the Industrial segment was 12.3%, up from 10.4% in the year-ago quarter driven by higher mix of services, new product development and cost reductions.
Balance Sheet and Cash Flow
At quarter end, cash and cash equivalents were $1,175.1 million while long-term debt was $3,745.5 million. Net cash utilized in operating activities for the first three months of 2018 was $66.2 million compared with cash utilization of $43.4 million in the prior-year period. Ingersoll spent $250 million on share buybacks during the quarter to repurchase 2.8 million shares.
Ingersoll expects to exceed the high end of its prior guidance for 2018 and will offer an update of its guidance in concurrence with the second-quarter results. Ingersoll currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the sector include Altra Industrial Motion Corp. (AIMC - Free Report) , Graco Inc. (GGG - Free Report) and Kadant Inc. (KAI - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Altra Industrial has a positive earnings surprise history with an average of 11.1% in the trailing four quarters, beating estimates thrice.
Graco has long-term earnings growth expectations of 15.5%. It has a positive earnings surprise history with an average of 18.5% in the trailing four quarters, beating estimates thrice.
Kadant has a positive earnings surprise history with an average of 18.9% in the trailing four quarters, beating estimates in each.
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