After a 43-percent decline in its stock price since February, mining equipment giant Joy Global may be available as a takeover target, Bloomberg.com is reporting, with Tokyo-based construction equipment maker Komatsu among the suitors.
Joy Global is trading at 8.2 times earnings in the past 12 months, less than 90 percent of similar-sized construction and mining equipment manufacturers, Bloomberg said. The company’s value has dropped because mining companies have reduced spending amid falling demand for coal in the United States. Potential suitors, such as Komatsu, might be willing to gamble on a rebound in commodities prices, the Bloomberg article said.
Joy Global did not comment on the possibility of being acquired, nor did Komatsu publicly affirm interest. The company has increased net income of seven of the past eight years and expects to post record sales of $5.5 billion to $5.7 billion this year, an increase of as much as 29 percent from fiscal 2011. Still the company’s stock price recently fell to $54.53, down from a 2012 high of $95.71 four months ago.
The article based Komatsu’s potential interest on the fact that its CEO Kunio Noji said in a December interview that he is looking for acquisition candidates in the U.S. and Europe, including underground mining equipment manufacturers. The article also speculated that General Electric Co., which recently reached a deal to buy an Australian mining equipment company Industrea Ltd. as well as U.S. mining equipment manufacturer Fairchild International, is another potential suitor for Joy Global.