Given the great run commodities have posted in the past few years, and the substantial growth they might have enjoyed within Fools' portfolios, it's understandable that folks might become a bit jittery about the sector's continued performance. But as I've stated before, the long-term secular bull market in commodities is far from over. For confirmation, look no further than an emerging superstar of American industry: mining-equipment manufacturer Joy Global (NASDAQ:JOYG).

Thanks heavily to rising costs and acquisition-related accounting charges, Joy Global's net income for the second quarter of 2008 actually dropped by 7%, coming in below analyst expectations. Still, that's not slowing this monster down. Shares are trading near $84 as I write this, in the neighborhood of a 52-week high. Why?

New orders and surging backlogs continue to establish Joy Global's growing revenue potential well into the future. Backlogs have reached an eye-popping $2.4 billion, an increase of $990 million from the prior year. Targeting increased production capacity for the second half of 2008, the company is in the enviable position of converting backlogs to profit at the pace of its own growth.

Joy believes that "the gap between coal demand and supply could reach 60 to 100 million tons this year," promising hefty continued demand for mining equipment, and strong pricing for producers like Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI), Patriot Coal (NYSE:PCX) and Massey Energy (NYSE:MEE).

Shareholders of Joy Global or fellow coal-mining-equipment producer Bucyrus International (NYSE:BUCY), relax. There's still a floor beneath your feet.

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