OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Lindsay Corp., which makes irrigation systems, said that its net income grew more than fourfold in its fiscal first quarter, benefiting from drought conditions, strong irrigation orders and lower operating expenses.
Its performance easily beat Wall Street's expectations. Lindsay's shares rose almost 7 percent in premarket trading.
CEO and President Rick Parod said in a statement that irrigation order volumes were "extremely robust throughout the first quarter." He said that reflected continued drought conditions combined with "positive farmer sentiment, farm incomes and commodity prices."
"Infrastructure sales were disappointing, although we remain optimistic that we will see improving trends over the course of the year," he said. He added that "full year results will be dependent on conditions for agriculture equipment sales through the peak selling season this spring."
For the three months ended Nov. 30, Omaha, Neb.-based Lindsay earned $14.7 million, or $1.15 per share, up from earnings of $2.9 million, or 23 cents per share, in the prior-year period.
Analysts forecast earnings of 75 cents per share, according to a FactSet poll.
Revenue climbed 24 percent to $147.4 million from $119.2 million, buoyed by higher domestic irrigation revenue and an increase in irrigation equipment revenue. Wall Street expected revenue of $130.4 million.
Gross margin improved, helped by lower costs and higher prices. Operating expenses declined to $20.6 million from $25.2 million. International irrigation revenue fell on lower Middle East project revenue.
Its shares rose $6.85, or 6.9 percent, to $85.50 in premarket trading. If that carries over into the regular trading, that would top its 52-week high of $84.17.