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Titan Machinery anticipates first-quarter loss

WEST FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- Titan Machinery Inc., an agricultural and construction equipment seller, said Thursday that it expects to post a loss for its fiscal first quarter on weaker revenue.

The company said that revenue for the quarter may come in lower than it had previously anticipated due to delayed spring weather, cautious agricultural consumers and lingering challenges in the construction industry. The news sent the company's shares tumbling 12 percent in after-hours trading.

Titan said it expects revenue of $440 million for the quarter, about $50 million less than it had anticipated. As a result, the company is anticipating a pre-tax loss between $700,000 and $1.2 million. That is $7 million less than Titan had previously expected. On a per share basis, the company expects a loss in the range of 1 to 3 cents per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet were anticipating Titan would report net income of 18 cents per share on revenue of $478.4 million for the quarter.

Titan lowered its full-year forecast Thursday as well, citing lower operating margins in its construction segment. The company now anticipates earning $1.70 to $2 per share, down from its prior forecast of $2 to $2.30 per share. It reiterated its revenue forecast of $2.35 billion to $2.55 billion.

Analysts were expecting earnings of $2.15 per share on revenue of $2.41 billion for the year.

Titan's CEO David Meyer said that the company expects revenue from its agricultural segment will be delayed into following quarters. He also said that he believes the company will see improvements in its construction segment in the second quarter and throughout the remainder of fiscal 2014.

Shares of the West Fargo, N.D., company fell $2.70 to $19.80 in after-hours trading. Its shares fell 13 cents to close regular trading at $22.50.