Mining equipment giant Joy Global (NYSE: JOY ) is set to report its second-quarter numbers next week at a time when miners are getting increasingly cautious. But, analysts are not showing any signs of backing off. They are expecting an impressive 28% rise in Joy's second-quarter earnings per share. So, what gives?
Nothing to fear
True, recent spending cuts by mining majors such as BHP Billiton or Rio Tinto are cause for worry, but only in the longer run. The current situation continues to remain upbeat -- positive numbers from companies like Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT ) is proof. Sales in Cat's mining business surged a whopping 73% during its first quarter, thanks to a robust global mining market. The U.S. coal sector might have been a little weak lately, but the company remains optimistic about international markets. In fact, so high is the demand for some equipment that at current capacity, Cat is quoting delivery times extending up to 2014.
Cummins' (NYSE: CMI ) engine division (which is also its largest) revenue, too, climbed 20% during its first quarter as demand for mining engines rose. The company is now pegging its full-year engine division's revenue growth at 10%, keeping in mind strong construction and mining markets.
Joy's first quarter was a strong one, with both underground mining machinery and surface mining equipment divisions clocking double-digit sales growth. Analysts are expecting Joy's top line to grow by 35% during the quarter, which looks achievable.
Joy's recent acquisitions should complement its organic growth. After acquiring mining and drilling equipment maker LeTourneau Technologies last year, Joy took over Chinese equipment-manufacturer International Mining Machinery (IMM) in the first quarter.
The LeTourneau acquisition contributed positively to Joy's order books and operating margins in the first quarter, and is likely to do so in the second quarter as well. The company expects the IMM acquisition to add $300 million to the top line, or around $0.50 to its EPS over the next three quarters, a part of which should be reflected in its second-quarter numbers.
The IMM acquisition in particular could prove to be a great value addition for Joy, helping it gain traction in high-potential mining markets like China. It's a huge market, and an attractive one, too. Which explains why General Electric (NYSE: GE ) recently announced plans to take over two mining-equipment companies targeting some of the top mining markets of the world, including China.
With newer entrants like GE, competition in this space will only get stiffer. Joy might have to work a little harder now, especially after rival Cat became the bigger player in terms of total mining product range recently. Cat is also expanding aggressively in the region. I'd keep a close watch on how Joy integrates IMM's business -- a glimpse of which might be available in the upcoming earnings call.
Solid top-line growth in the first quarter, and the addition of IMM, in particular, encouraged Joy to increase its full-year earnings guidance range to $7.4-$7.8 per share. That's not all. Joy also raised its revenue guidance range to $5.6-$5.8 million.
The Foolish bottom line
Slowdown concerns in China have pulled Joy's shares down by a whopping 33% in the past five days alone. The stock is trading very close to its 52-week low of $57.48. Like Cat, which is also not too bearish on China's prospects, if Joy also rings the optimism bell in its earnings call and comes up with good numbers, its stock could get a much-needed boost.
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