Titan International treads growth path, stock rallies

Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:41pm EST

(Reuters) - Tire maker Titan International Inc (TWI.N) posted a better-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit, and forecast a robust 2011 as it sees more orders from agricultural and earthmoving markets, sending its shares up as much as 13 percent to a year high.

Agricultural segment accounts for about 76 percent of Titan's revenue, while earthmoving/construction segment contributes 22 percent.

"We're seeing orders like we haven't seen in a long time (in the farm segment). When you look at the earthmover and heavier construction, that is also catching fire," Chief Executive Maurice Taylor Jr. said on a conference call with analysts.

In December, Titan agreed to buy Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co's GT.N European and Latin American farm tire businesses.

The Quincy, Illinois-based company said it can grow the revenue of these businesses to between $400-$600 million per year in the next three years.

The company expects total revenue of $950 million-$1.1 billion in 2011, helped by these acquisitions.

Analysts expect 2011 revenue of $1.02 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Titan, which has so far announced two price increases in response to rising commodity prices, said it expects the move to drive overall revenue in 2011.

Titan's customers include Deere & Co (DE.N), Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) and AGCO Corp (AGCO.N).

For the fourth quarter, the company posted a loss of $10.3 million, or 29 cents a share, compared with a loss of $26.5 million, or 76 cents a share a year ago.

Excluding items, it earned 16 cents a share.

Revenue rose 59 percent to $232.7 million. Sales from agricultural segment rose 20 percent, while the contribution from earthmoving and construction segment was up by 32 percent.

Shares of the company were up 8 percent at $21.70 on Thursday morning on the New York Stock Exchange.

They have gained 42 percent in value since October 28 when the company posted strong third-quarter results.

(Reporting by Soham Chatterjee and Divya Sharma; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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