What happened

Shares of Chart Industries (NYSE:GTLS), an independent manufacturer of equipment serving energy and industrial gas applications, defied the downtrend in overall markets for a 9.4% gain Thursday after the company released first-quarter financial results that were better than expected.

So what

Starting from the top, revenue checked in at $288.5 million, in line with management expectations but slightly below analysts' estimates calling for $306.8 million. The bottom line was stronger, with $0.80 in adjusted earnings per share, easily topping analysts' estimates calling for $0.69.

The company posted record orders of $417.2 million, which contributed to a record backlog of $934.1 million, a 29% increase compared to the prior year's first quarter. Gross margin as a percent of sales hit an adjusted 29.9%, the highest in four years. "We are seeing immediate benefit from our strategic inorganic investments in the order book as reflected in our record backlog, and the momentum in the clean revolution -- clean energy, clean water, clean food, and clean industrial -- is just getting started." said CEO Jill Evanko.

natural gas infrastructure

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

GTLS Chart

GTLS data by YCharts.

The stock has risen 422% over the past year and Chart Industries remains a solid industrial company for investors, with its record backlog and the accelerating momentum toward a clean-energy future.

Management expects a strong second half and increased guidance. Chart Industries now expects full-year sales to check in between $1.36 billion and $1.41 billion, compared to prior guidance of $1.32 billion to $1.38 billion. Adjusted EPS is expected to check in between $3.65 and $4.15, compared to prior guidance of $3.50 to $4.

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.