Gehl Co. last week reported record first-quarter income from continuing operations of $6.5 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, compared with income from continuing operations of $6.4 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2006.
Net sales for the first quarter of 2007 were $115.2 million compared to net sales of $122.1 million in the first quarter of 2006. The strength of the company’s international markets, along with continued market-share gains, resulted in sound first quarter sales and record earnings, the company said.
Gross margin improved to 22.4 percent in the first quarter of 2007 compared to 21.5 percent in the first quarter of 2006. The gross margin increase was primarily driven by product mix, as well as the favorable results the company continued to achieve from its added supply chain resources and investments in state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment.
“We are off to a great start in 2007,” said William Gehl, chairman and CEO. “We achieved record earnings, improved gross margin 90 basis points, increased our telehandler market share and generated strong international revenues led by a 45-percent sales increase in our Gehl Europe subsidiary, all of which reflect solid execution of our strategy.”
Based on the company’s first-quarter results, current backlog position and management’s expectation that North American market conditions will stabilize, the company raised its 2007 full-year outlook. Gehl now expects its net sales from continuing operations to be in the range of $475 million to $500 million and earnings per diluted share from continuing operations of $2.15 to $2.35.
Headquartered in West Bend, Wis., Gehl Co. is a manufacturer of compact equipment used worldwide in construction and agricultural markets.