AGCO Corporation’s (AGCO - Free Report) adjusted earnings improved to $1.32 per share in second-quarter 2018, from $1.15 per share posted in second-quarter 2017. Earnings also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.28.
Including restructuring and other infrequent expenses, the company reported earnings of $1.14 per share in the quarter, which remained flat year over year.
AGCO generated revenues of $2.54 billion, up around 17% from $2.17 billion recorded in the year-ago quarter. Additionally, the revenue figure surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.43 billion. Excluding favorable currency-translation impact of around 3%, net sales climbed approximately 14% year over year.
Moreover, AGCO’s strong earnings and sales results are backed by improved market demand in North America, and healthy industry conditions in Western Europe.
Cost of sales went up 17% to $1.98 billion from the year-earlier quarter. Gross profit came in at $556 million in the quarter, jumping around 17% from $476 million reported in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin came in at 22%, which remained flat year over year.
Selling, general and administrative expenses flared up 15.9% year over year to $271.8 million. Adjusted income from operations increased 14.9% year over year to $170.8 million. Consequently, operating margin shrunk 20 bps year over year to 6.7%.
Sales at the North America segment increased around 25% year over year to $601 million in the second quarter. The segment reported operating income of $38 million, which climbed significantly around 59% year over year.
Sales in the South America segment dipped around 13% year over year to $220 million. The segment reported operating loss of $17 million compared to earnings of $3 million posted in the year-earlier quarter.
The EAME (Europe/ Africa/ Middle East) segment’s sales came in at $1,545 million, up 21.7% from the year-ago quarter. EAME’s operating income jumped 22% to $208 million from $170 million reported in the prior-year quarter.
Sales in the Asia/Pacific segment ascended around 4% year over year to $172 million from $165 million recorded in the comparable period last year. The segment reported income of $5 million, which declined from $6 million in the year-ago quarter.
AGCO reported cash and cash equivalents of $281 million at the end of the reported quarter, down from $368 million at the end of 2017. The company used $204 million of cash in operating activities during the six-month period ended Jun 30, 2018, compared with cash usage of $66 million reported in the comparable period last year.
AGCO reaffirmed its net sales 2018 outlook of $9.3 billion, on the back of improved sales volumes, positive pricing, as well as acquisition and foreign currency-translation impact. The guidance reflects year-over-year growth of 12%. AGCO also affirmed its 2018 adjusted earnings per share guidance of around $3.70. It also anticipates gross and operating margins to improve from the 2017 levels, backed by the favorable impact of pricing and cost-reduction efforts, partially offset by elevated engineering expenses.
AGCO projects that industry retail tractor sales will increase moderately in 2018, with improved retail sales in the row crop segment and flat retail sales of small tractors compared to last year. Further, the company anticipates that industry demand in Western Europe will be relatively flat with 2017.
Furthermore, industry demand in South America is expected to improve in the second half of 2018, and remain relatively flat with the prior-year levels. Elevated retail sales in Brazil might be offset by lower sales in Argentina due to the impact of lower crop production on farm income. Moreover, AGCO remains optimistic about commodity prices, farm income, as well as growth in industry, which will drive its performance over the long term.
Share Price Performance
Over the past year, AGCO has underperformed the industry with respect to price performance. The stock has lost around 12%, while the industry recorded growth of around 7% during the same time frame.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
AGCO currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Better-ranked stocks in the same sector include Actuant Corporation (ATU - Free Report) , Caterpillar Inc. (CAT - Free Report) and Chart Industries, Inc. (GTLS - Free Report) . All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Actuant has a long-term earnings growth rate of 15.6%. The stock has rallied 19% in a year’s time.
Caterpillar has a long-term earnings growth rate of 13.3%. Its shares have been up 21% in the past year.
Chart Industries has a long-term earnings growth rate of 26.9%. The company’s shares have appreciated 123% over the past year.
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