For the quarter, Wisconsin-based Manitowoc earned $102.7 million, or $0.78 a share. Those figures compared to year-ago numbers of $64.1 million, or $0.50 per share. Revenues increased to $1.08 billion, a 25% increase from the $862.1 million in the first quarter of 2007.
As Glen Tellock, Manitowoc's CEO, noted, all the company's businesses turned in improved performances. However, he singled out for particular discussion the crane business, which is benefiting from "global demand for construction equipment." At the same time, Manitowoc Marine churned out stronger results on the basis of a blend of government, commercial, and repair business. But it was cranes that hoisted the company's results most noticeably, generating a nearly 30% increase in sales.
Manitowoc runs in a league with a group of industrial or construction equipment companies -- including its big Midwestern brother Caterpillar
As to Manitowoc specifically, in addition to the steady growth of its crane business, I'm attracted to its low PEG ratio -- indicating that its growth prospects appear to outdo its current P/E -- its solid return on equity, and its unusually robust balance sheet. That's a combination that, especially amid current market conditions, should generate attention from investing Fools for whom the word "sound" is gaining new meaning.
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