Heavy Equipment Favorite Going Strong

Titan Machinery, Inc. (NASDAQ/TITN) came out with excellent financial results. As I wrote before, I never thought I’d get so enthusiastic about the heavy equipment business. I mentioned this company several weeks ago in this column.

According to Titan, for its fourth quarter ended January 31, 2008, total revenues grew 61% to just over one hundred and thirty-five million dollars, up from revenues of eighty-four million dollars generated in the fourth quarter of the previous year.

The company cited that its equipment sales were more than one hundred and twelve million dollars, up 66% from equipment sales of almost seventy million dollars generated in the same period last year. Parts sales grew 56% to just over thirteen million dollars in the fourth quarter, while revenues generated from services increased 17% to almost six-and-a-half million dollars.

Operating income for the quarter was just over six million, as compared to more than three-and-a-half million in the same period a year ago. GAAP net income was $270,000, or $0.02 per diluted share, as compared to net income of almost one-and-a-half million dollars, or $0.21 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter last year.

Titan did incur a number of one-time costs in its latest quarter, including expenses related to its IPO on the NASDAQ and some retirement costs. Excluding these costs, the company’s net income was three million dollars, or $0.27 per diluted share.

Also noteworthy, Titan raised its forecast for all of 2008. The company raised its revenue estimate to between five hundred and fifty million and six hundred million dollars, up from between five hundred and thirty million and five hundred and ninety million dollars. Expectations for diluted earnings per share were also increased to between $0.87 and $0.92, up from previously issued guidance of $0.77 to $0.82 per diluted share.

And so, the agricultural commodity price cycle is having a lot of trickle-down effects. The rising price of food is the talk of media around the world and, just like the high price of a barrel of oil, the only way to beat it is to own a piece of the company.