First quarter fiscal 2013 revenues of $147.4 million increased 24 percent from $119.2 million in the same prior year period. Net earnings were $14.7 million or $1.15 per diluted share compared with $2.9 million or $0.23 per diluted share in the prior year. Fiscal 2012 operating costs included $7.2 million of accrued expenses, or $0.37 per diluted share on an after tax basis, relating to an estimated increase in the Company’s liability for environmental remediation at its Lindsay, Nebraska facility.
Total irrigation equipment revenues increased 33 percent to $134.2 million from $100.8 million in the prior fiscal year’s first quarter. Domestic irrigation revenues of $96.5 million increased 59 percent, while international irrigation revenues of $37.7 million decreased 6 percent due to lower project revenues in the Middle East. Infrastructure revenues decreased 29 percent to $13.2 million.
Gross margin was 29.1 percent compared to 25.4 percent in the prior year’s first quarter. Irrigation gross margins increased by approximately 4 percentage points due to lower input costs, a strong pricing environment and fixed cost leverage on higher sales. Infrastructure margins decreased by approximately 4 percentage points due to sales mix and deleverage of fixed costs from lower sales.
Operating expenses were $20.6 million compared to $25.2 million in prior fiscal year. Current year expenses included higher personnel related expenses and increased research and development, while the prior year period included accrued environmental expenses of $7.2 million. Operating expenses were 14.0 percent of sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 compared with 21.1 percent of sales in the prior year period. Operating margins of 15.1 percent increased from 4.3 percent in the prior year period.
Cash and cash equivalents of $152.2 million were $43.4 million higher compared to the end of the first quarter last year, while debt decreased $4.3 million.
Backlog of unshipped orders at November 30, 2012 was $85.1 million compared with $52.8 million at November 30, 2011 and $57.1 million at August 31, 2012.
Rick Parod, president and chief executive officer, commented, “Irrigation order volumes remained extremely robust throughout the first quarter as drought conditions combined with positive farmer sentiment, farm incomes and commodity prices continued into fiscal 2013. Infrastructure sales were disappointing, although we remain optimistic that we will see improving trends over the course of the year.”
Parod added, “We believe the quarter end backlog represents pulling forward some volume, at least in part, from the second half of fiscal 2013. As is always the case, full year results will be dependent on conditions for agriculture equipment sales through the peak selling season this spring. Overall the long term fundamentals of the business remain very positive, as growth drivers of population growth, expanded food production and efficient and environmentally friendly water use remain imperative.”
Lindsay manufactures and markets irrigation equipment primarily used in agricultural markets which increase or stabilize crop production while conserving water, energy, and labor. The Company also manufactures and markets infrastructure and road safety products through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Barrier Systems Inc. and Snoline S.P.A. At November 30, 2012 Lindsay had approximately 12.8 million shares outstanding, which are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LNN.