Titan Machinery cuts forecast as farm equipment demand weakens

Thu Dec 5, 2013 8:30am EST

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Dec 5 (Reuters) - Farm equipment retailer Titan Machinery Inc's quarterly profit more than halved and the company cut its full-year revenue and profit forecasts as equipment sales and margins decline.

Titan Machinery's shares fell 11 percent before the bell, after the company said it expected a full-year profit of between $0.55 and $0.75 per share. It had earlier forecast $1.20-$1.50.

Farm profits are expected to fall next year as a record corn harvest forecast has pulled down prices. Lower farm incomes mean that farmers have less to spend on equipment.

Larger rival Deere & Co said last month it expected sales of construction and forestry equipment in 2014 to offset the anticipated slowdown in demand for farm machinery.

For the full-year, Titan said it now expected revenue of $2.15 billion to $2.35 billion, down from its previous forecast of $2.25 billion to $2.45 billion.

Sales from its equipment business fell 3 percent in the third quarter ended Oct. 31, accounting for three-quarters of total revenue.

Chief Executive David Meyer said agriculture equipment prices fell in the third quarter.

The net income attributable to common shareholders fell to $5.7 million, or 27 cents in the third quarter, from $13.9 million or 66 cents per share.

Revenue rose 1 percent to $588 million.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 48 cents per share on revenue of $613.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Titan Machinery's shares, which have fallen about 35 percent this year to Wednesday's close, were trading at $14.50 before the opening bell, down from their Wednesday close of $15.97. (Reporting by Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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