* First-quarter service bookings rise 3.7 pct
* Service makes up 71 pct of total bookings in the quarter
* Raises low end of 2014 profit forecast range
* Shares rise as much as 5.4 pct
(Adds industry forecast, CEO comment; updates shares)
By Sagarika Jaisinghani
March 6 Mining equipment maker Joy Global Inc
said demand from miners for maintenance work was
returning after more than a year of delay when its main
customers struggled with a coal glut and weak prices.
Joy Global's shares rose as much as 5.4 percent in early
trading after the company also raised the lower end of its 2014
profit forecast range.
The company, which gets about two-thirds of its revenue from
coal miners, reported a 3.7 percent rise in service bookings in
the first quarter ended Jan. 31, the first quarterly increase in
more than a year. Maintenance made up 71 percent of total
bookings in the quarter.
"The ability to delay rebuilds and service on equipment in
most regions appears to be nearing a conclusion," CEO Ted Doheny
said in a statement on Thursday.
Over the past year, top U.S. coal miners, including Peabody
Energy Corp, Alpha Natural Resources Inc and
Arch Coal Inc, have cut expenditure on mining equipment
such as longwall shearers, giant shovels and draglines.
Joy Global said it expects global growth of more than 3.5
percent in 2014, with the Eurozone expected to report growth of
over 1 percent for the first time in nearly two years.
Jefferies & Co analyst Stephen Volkmann said that the mining
industry might be hitting a bottom, but any pick up would likely
come only in 2015 or 2016.
Joy Global and Caterpillar Inc, the world's largest
mining and construction equipment maker, expect spending on new
equipment to remain weak this year.
Joy Global's total bookings fell 16 percent to $860.5
million in the first quarter.
The company, which also supplies to miners of copper, iron
ore and other minerals, kept its forecast for 2014 sales of $3.6
billion-$3.8 billion but raised the lower end of its profit
forecast range by 10 cents to $3.10.
Analysts on average were expecting earnings of $3.29 per
share on revenue of $3.72 billion, according to Thomson Reuters
Joy Global's net income fell to $48.9 million, or 48 cents
per share, in the first quarter from $142.1 million, or $1.33
per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company earned 49 cents per share but
missed the analysts' average estimate of 64 cents.
Revenue fell 27 percent to $839.3 million but was above the
$835.4 million analysts expected.
Joy Global's shares were up 3.3 percent at $57.65 in early
trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
They had declined about 10 percent in the past 12 months to
Wednesday's close, compared with a 26 percent rise in the Dow
Jones U.S. Industrials index.
(Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore; Editing by
Sriraj Kalluvila and Rodney Joyce)