What happened

Shares of John Bean Technologies (NYSE:JBT) gained 19.5% in April, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The S&P 500 index returned 4.1% last month.

John Bean Technologies is a provider of technology to the food processing and air transportation industries.

Shares have returned 59.2% in 2019 through Monday, May 6, versus the S&P 500 index's 17.7% return over this period. 

Aircraft loading equipment.

Image source: JBT Corp.

So what

JBT stock entered April with solid momentum, though there was also a specific catalyst that contributed to its strong performance last month: the company's April 29 release of first-quarter 2019 earnings that beat expectations. It also raised its full-year 2019 guidance.

JBT Chart

Data by YCharts.

In the quarter, revenue grew 2% year over year to $418 million, which "consisted of 14 percent organic growth and 3 percent from acquisitions, offset by a 12 percent decline reflecting the absence of the ASC 606 [new accounting standard] transition benefit in the first quarter of 2018 and a 3 percent headwind from foreign exchange translation," the company said. In other words, excluding the impact of the adoption of a new accounting standard in the year-ago period, revenue rose a solid 14% year over year, and 17% on a constant currency basis.

Reported earnings per share came in at $0.62, up from $0.05 in the first quarter of 2018, and EPS adjusted for one-time items was $0.77, more than double the $0.35 in the year-ago period and higher than the $0.46 Wall Street consensus estimate.

Here's how JBT stock has performed in 2019:             JBT Chart

Data by YCharts.

Now what

Along with reporting solid Q1 results, John Bean Technologies raised its full-year 2019 guidance. The company expects organic revenue growth of 4% to 5% and growth from completed acquisitions of 2% to 3%, partially offset by a 1% headwind from foreign exchange translation. Reported revenue, however, is "expected to be flat year over year, reflecting $127 million of revenue included in 2018 results associated with the transition to ASC 606." The company anticipates reported EPS in the range of $4.00 to $4.20 and adjusted EPS of $4.35 to $4.55.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.