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Valmont Sells Bilston

Zacks Equity Research

Valmont Industries, Inc. (VMI) has announced the sale of Bilston Investments Proprietary Limited, a South African holding company, which it purchased as part of the Delta plc acquisition. The shares of Bilston were bought by three South African purchasers for $30 million.

Bilston, which was the South African holding company of Delta Plc, held a 49% stake in Manganese Metal Company, a non-consolidated subsidiary. Valmont expects to realize certain deferred tax benefits of about $3 million associated with the sale in 2013.

Valmont recently released its fourth-quarter 2012 results. Earnings of $2.43 per share for the quarter outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.24, but declined from the prior-year quarter earnings of $4.33 per share.

Profit slid roughly 43% year over year to $65 million in the reported quarter. The year-ago quarter’s profit was boosted by one-time benefits associated with the reorganization of the company's legal structure. Barring that benefit, earnings were $1.83 per share a year ago.

Valmont, which is among the prominent steel-pipe and tube companies along with MRC Global Inc. (MRC), Synalloy Corp. (SYNL) and Tenaris SA (TS), posted revenues of $815 million in the fourth quarter, up 8% year over year. It exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $792 million. Sales were driven by double-digit gains across the company’s Utility Support Structures and Irrigation segments.

Moving ahead, Valmont expects continued strength in its utility business in 2013, manifested by healthy order backlogs. It also expects a strong first half in the Irrigation division.

Valmont expects healthy demand for the Coatings segment. Moreover, it envisions modest sales gains in the Engineered Infrastructure Products unit despite the government spending constraint. The company foresees low-teens revenue increase and high-teens earnings gain in 2013.

Valmont currently retains a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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