Industrial conglomerate Valmont Industries (NYSE:VMI) reported first-quarter earnings that came in $0.10 per share better than consensus estimates but fell well short of expectations on the top line.

Valmont recorded revenues of $819.6 million in the quarter that ended March 30, a 14% increase over last year's $717.4 million, but below Wall Street's estimates of $876.3 million. On the bottom line, the global provider of engineered products and services for infrastructure and mechanized irrigation equipment for agriculture generated $77.6 million, or $2.89 per share, up 47% from the year-ago figure and well ahead of the $2.79-per-share estimate.

Valmont Chairman and CEO Mogens C. Bay was quoted as saying, "With the strong first quarter results, the continued strength in the utility markets and the anticipated improvement in engineered infrastructure products, it should be possible for us to exceed our February guidance even if irrigation results in the second half were below 2012's record second half levels."

Its utility support structures segment, which accounted for 27% of first-quarter sales, saw a 25% increase in revenue to $239.6 million. Similarly, the irrigation segment, which comprised another 28% of quarterly sales, also saw revenues rise 25% to $244.7 million. Both segments were driven higher by increased demand in North America.

Valmont's engineered infrastructure products segments, comprising 26% of sales, saw a 10% increase in revenues to $223.7 million, while the coatings segment, which accounts for 10% of quarterly sales, was up 8% year over year to $89.2 million. Both segments were higher as a result of acquisitions. The former was up due to the addition of the Locker Group to its operations while the latter added Pure Metal. Coatings, however, suffered a drop in sales in the Asia-Pacific region due to lower volumes and a more competitive market in Australia, the company said.

During the quarter, Valmont divested a non-consolidated South African subsidiary, which after various tax treatments reduced the first-quarter corporate tax rate to 31%.


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