April 26, 2012 — Titan International Inc. recorded adjusted net income of $40.5 million on net sales of $463.1 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012. That compares to income of $18.7 million on sales of $280.8 million for the same period last year.
The higher sales levels were the result of the April 2011 acquisition of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s Latin American farm tire business, which recorded sales of $90.3 million for the first quarter 2012. The company's income-to-sales ratio was 8.7%.
Operating income was up 118%, from $26.9 million in 1Q 2011 to $58.7 million this year. According to Chairman and CEO Maurice Taylor, the sales and net profit were quarterly records for the company.
"The order book is filled for the year, and we must keep increasing our output. Farming, construction and earthmoving and mining are all very strong and we expect 2012 to be another year of growth."
Taylor also spoke on a number of topics, including Titan's goals in 2012.
Industry overview: "The dynamics in agriculture are changing around the world and are positively impacting the demand for machinery in the industry. Prices for metals, oil and gas prices in the earthmoving and mining markets are expected to remain at attractive levels to support strong demand."
Expanded mining service: "Titan’s mining service business is a hot market. We have just opened a facility in the oil sands in Canada and already are receiving the demand to double the facility. Our partner in the oils sands is Saskatoon Wholesale Tire, and they have never seen anything like this.
"In order to meet demand, all of Titan’s factories will be hiring and expanding operations. Titan has also ventured in to some new areas with the Union City, Tenn., factory. This large facility used to produce 48,000 passenger car tires per day. Since Titan doesn’t produce auto or truck tires, we will be contracting to various firms where we will supply the equipment and they will operate the business of mixing, calendaring and fabricating. Titan will still operate warehousing, equipment repair and new material inventory received.
"There is no question, with 2.2 million square feet under roof, we have plenty of room to expand or lease the space at this facility. To better visualize the size of this building, translate 2.2 million square feet into approximately 53 acres under roof."
Goals in 2012: “As we enter a new year, Steve Briggs took over as president of
"As I’ve outlined before, our vision is to be between a run rate of $3 billion to $4 billion in revenue by the end of 2013.”
Strong demand in the agricultural and earthmover is part of the reason BB&T
Analyst C. Schon Williams says the company's 1Q earnings per share were
"All told, this was a solid operating quarter for TWI, he says.
"Operating margins were the real needle mover in the quarter. Operating margins were 14.4% vs. our 10.5% forecast. Incremental margins accelerated in the quarter and were the highest level we’ve seen in a year.
"Management cited volume leverage and better plant utilization. We believe price vs. cost on raw materials was also favorable in the quarter," he adds.
April 26, 2012 — The Senate Agriculture Committee approved a farm bill that would save $24.7 billion over 10 years and which represents one of the biggest policy changes in generations.
The plan, based on income protection ideas six decades in the making, would replace a direct-payment program for major crops with a revenue guarantee, while reducing conservation and food-assistance spending. The bill, approved in a 12-4 vote, includes the first broad subsidy cuts in 16 years.
“The era of direct payments is over,” ChairwomanDebbie Stabenow said, referring to a subsidy that is paid to farmers regardless of crop prices. “We have put together a bipartisan farm bill that’s focused on farmers,” the Michigan Democrat said at a committee meeting before the vote.
Record U.S. farm profits, along with the highest-ever expenditures on food stamps, are making the five-year reauthorization of Department of Agriculture programs a target for budget cutters. House Republicans voted for a $33 billion cut in farm programs over 10 years last month, and President Barack Obama proposed a $32 billion reduction in his fiscal year 2013 budget.
Net farm income reached an all-time high of $98.1 billion in 2011 and this year will be $91.7 billion, the second-highest level, the USDA said in February.
The notion of establishing an income floor for farmers, the centerpiece of the Senate committee plan, was first proposed by President Harry Truman in the 1940s. Critics say the move will effectively lock in farm subsidies at levels tied to today’s record income and could trigger higher costs when crop prices fall.
The committee’s consideration of the farm bill had been delayed by one day after organizations mostly representing growers in the U.S. South and West raised concerns about the fairness of program changes in the original 900-plus-page draft. The approved bill backtracks from that proposal by continuing price supports for rice and peanuts grown mostly in the South.
Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, the committee’s top Republican, said panel members aren’t “picking winners and losers” in the revised measure.
“Money is shifting among commodities because farmers are farming differently,” with varying crop patterns and assistance needs, said Roberts, who in the 1996 farm bill created the direct-payment program that’s now being eliminated.
Sugar Program Extended
The bill also would extend the U.S. sugar-support program, which includes domestic marketing quotas and import restrictions. Critics including the Coalition for Sugar Reform say the measures artificially inflate costs for U.S. consumers and companies that use the sweetener.
The legislation approved today will advance to the full Senate. Meanwhile, the House Agriculture Committee is drafting its own version of the legislation in a series of hearings that will extend into May.
Senate passage is possible while House approval may not happen this year, said Senator Jerry Moran, a first-term Republican from Kansas who served on the House Agriculture Committee during reauthorizations of USDA programs, in 2002 and 2008.
“I do not see a path by which the House of Representatives takes it up before November,” he said. “I know everyone uses the elections as an excuse, but there are policy differences as well” on spending amounts and the shape of farm programs, Moran said. Many rural lawmakers would like to see direct payments at least phased out rather than eliminated, he said.
The current farm bill is scheduled to expire Sept. 30, making an extension probable, Moran said.
Representative Collin Peterson, the senior Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, said that may not be necessary. “The strong bipartisan tone” set by the Senate panel “makes me more confident that we can get past some of the recent partisanship and get a farm bill done this year,” Peterson, of Minnesota, said in an e-mailed statement.
Farm subsidies, which may reach $11 billion this year, aid agribusinesses such as Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) and Cargill Inc. by lowering the costs of their raw materials. Farm groups including the National Corn Growers Association and the American Soybean Association support the Senate panel’s plan, saying it helps farmers while lowering the federal budget deficit.
New Company Will Strengthen Art’s Way’s Agricultural Product Offering
ARMSTRONG, IOWA, April 25, 2012 – Art’s Way Manufacturing Co., Inc., (NASDAQ:ARTW) a leading manufacturer and distributor of agricultural machinery, equipment, and services, announces it has signed a formal Letter of Intent to acquire Universal Harvester Co., Inc. Based in Ames, Iowa, Universal Harvester Co., Inc., is a leader in the fabrication of reels for combines.
J. Ward McConnell Jr., Chairman of the Board of Directors said, “I am very excited about the prospect of adding this well respected agricultural machinery manufacturer to our product offering. Universal Harvester, founded in the early 1940’s, has an international reputation with both dealers and customers that is without peer. The addition of the Universal Harvester group with their market focus and experience will add a strong presence and operational efficiencies in a growing niche market of pickup reels for combines and swathers.”
The transaction is pending final agreement with closing expected during May 2012.
CHARLES CITY, Iowa, April 26, 2012 — Mitas has opened its newest radial farm tire factory in Charles City, which coined the word “tractor.” Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Charles City Mayor James Erb and Mitas representatives Tomas Nemec and Oldrich Slemr cut the ribbon to start serial production of farm tires. Mitas announced it would accelerate its $52 million investment to achieve the full production capacity of 13,500 metric tons of tires a year by 2013, which is three years earlier than originally anticipated.
“Mitas is now an American-made brand,” said Tomas Nemec, the chairman of Mitas’ parent company, CGS. “Mitas invites all farmers to buy tires made in the tractor town.”
The newly opened plant makes all common agricultural tire sizes and will eventually produce sizes of up to 54” diameter and 1,200 mm width. The last curing press will be installed by mid-2013. In April, the factory employed 76 full-time employees recruited locally, and by 2013 the plant will employ 237 local residents.
The Charles City facility received its ISO 9001 in March, and the National Safety Council has awarded it Gold-level Recognition for Incident Rate Excellence during 2011. The project has received support from the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Charles City Development Corporation, Floyd County and North Iowa Community College.“The American farmer will benefit from increased competition,” Nemec added as Mitas has become the third radial agricultural tire producer in the United States. “Good tractor tires are worth their weight in gold,” said Senator Chuck Grassley (R) in his video message to Mitas. “A quality product is exactly what we need,” he added.
CNH Global N.V. (CNH.N) posted a quarterly profit that handily beat analysts' estimates on higher margins and the strength of the North American agriculture market.
Rising prices of food commodities including corn, wheat and soybean have boosted farmers' incomes and they can afford to buy high-margin machinery, especially in North America.
CNH Global, the world's second largest maker of farm equipment after Deere & Co (DE.N), also reaffirmed its full-year revenue growth of 5 percent.
It expects global agricultural and construction equipment markets to remain positive in 2012.
The company makes tractors, combines, planters, forklifts and sked steer loaders under the Case and New Holland brands among others.
First-quarter net income rose to $269 million, or $1.11 per share, from $138 million, or 63 cents per share, a year ago.
Sales rose 22 percent to $4.64 billion. Operating margin increased to 8.8 percent from 6.5 percent in the year-ago quarter.
Analysts had expected earnings of 74 cents per share on revenue of $4.20 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Agricultural equipment sales rose 18 percent while construction equipment jumped 41 percent.
April 20, 2012 — Ziegler Ag Equipment has announced its expansion into 40 northwest Missouri counties and five eastern Kansas counties with the purchase of Dean Ag Services. Dean's locations in Maryville and Chillicothe, Mo., are included in the acquisition. Both facilities will continue to sell new and used ag equipment, as well as provide service, parts, and technology support to local farmers.
Ziegler plans to upgrade the Maryville and Chillicothe facilities and incorporate them into its highly successful dealer model. Currently, each includes a full-service shop, a parts warehouse, offices, and a fleet of field service trucks to provide on-farm repairs. An overnight shuttle system will connect the Maryville and Chillicothe facilities with Ziegler's 21 other locations in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin.
Ziegler will offer a complete line of agricultural equipment, including Challenger and Massey Ferguson tractors and hay equipment, LEXION combines, Gleaner combines, White Planters, and Sunflower tillage equipment. In addition, Ziegler will offer RoGator and TerraGator application equipment in the expanded area, as well as 31 other counties in eastern, central, and western Missouri.
Founded in 1914, Ziegler is a family-owned company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn.
Alamo Group Inc. and Alo jointly announced a major new manufacturing and distribution alliance for their tractor loader businesses in North America.
Recognized as the largest loader manufacturer in the world, Alo has been producing and marketing loaders and attachments under the Quicke brand in North America since 1989. Alamo Group Inc. is the world market leader in rotary cutters and related tractor attachments and manufactures and sells tractor loaders through their network of over 2,500 Bush Hog, Rhino, and SMC dealers.
“Growth in the loader business requires serious commitment and investment in order to keep pace with the design, quality, and cycle time requirements of a fast changing marketplace” said Rick Pummell, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Alamo’s Ag businesses. “This new alliance between the two strongest players in this market will pay great dividends in product selection and reliable distribution for our dealers and their customers .”
Loaders for the joint initiative will be manufactured in Alo facilities, including Telford, Tennessee, a former Bush Hog plant acquired by Alo in 2009 prior to Bush Hog becoming a part of Alamo Group. Under the new alliance the sales organizations of Bush Hog and Rhino will be the representatives for Quicke brand loaders in the United States.
“This alliance is the next step in Alo’s continued growth in North America”, said Urban Hadarsson, Sales & Marketing Director Alo AB. “Alo’s manufacturing and product leadership is an excellent fit with Alamo Group’s strong market position and distribution network in the USA.”
Consolidation of both production and sales activities is already underway and scheduled to be fully in place from July 01, 2012. Dealers should continue to contact their respective Bush Hog, Rhino, or Alo sales and marketing organizations for assistance during the transition.
SYCAMORE, Ill. — April 19, 2012 — John Deere will have competition after the DeKalb County Board’s approval Wednesday of a new agribusiness dealer.
The R-Equipment location will be constructed at the corner of Glidden Road and Route 64 across from the John Deere dealership. The new business will sell farm equipment – specifically New Holland tractors – and provide used equipment, maintenance services and parts.
It also will feature hopper bottom trailers and smaller lines such as MacDon, Merritt and Summers.
Board Chairman and farmer Larry Anderson, R-Malta, said the dealership is a welcome addition to the local economy and farmers who have gone years with only one option.
“Competition is always good,” Anderson said. “Every farmer I know is going to be very happy about it.”
Hilary Reichling – who will run the R-Equipment location after learning the family business at operations in Utica and Dodgeville, Wis. – has said she would hire 8-12 employees.
She hopes construction begins in May and the facility opens by Sept. 1.
The measure passed unanimously.
BRNO, Czech Republic, April 2, 2012 — Zetor Tractors, a.s., one of the leading Czech manufacturers of agricultural technology, presented its top new product for 2012 at this year's Techagro trade fair in Brno. It is the new Forterra HSX, which introduces a number of technological innovations that provide a higher level of performance, use value and comfort along with new safety features. Farmers can also look forward to a new small compact tractor model in the fall. With these new products Zetor once again proves itself as a traditional and reliable manufacturer of tractor technology and as an innovator.
Power, durability and efficiency – these three words characterize Zetor tractors. "Through continuous development and innovations we strive to make purchasing Zetor tractors and other agricultural technology a smart choice for our customers, which will make their work much easier and save them money. Our clear competitive advantage is the fact that we manufacture our own tractor engines, which are energy saving models. We also offer customers very affordable spare parts for use during the long lifespan of Zetor tractors," says Marián Lipovský, Deputy CEO and Manufacturing Director at ZETOR TRACTORS a.s.
In a relatively short time Zetor has introduced a number of new products that have further increased efficiency and comfort levels for farmers. These include the Zetor Forterra 135 tractor with a new 16-valve engine, which earned one of the best marks in the difficult German Agricultural Association (DLG) test. This places it in the category of four-cylinder tractors with the lowest and most efficient fuel consumption on the market. Another new feature, which Zetor was the first in the world to launch, is the unique HitchTronic technological function, which enables the tractor to automatically adapt to terrain conditions by itself.
New This Year: Zetor Forterra HSX
The Zetor Forterra HSX universal agricultural wheel tractor continues Zetor’s line of time-tested tractors and is designed for aggregration with agricultural machinery and industrial adapters. One of the Forterra HSX’s main innovative features is its reverse gear, which provides greater ease in tractor control.
The new synchronized transmission offers 30 gears for forward and reverse driving and also has a three-stage automatic torque multiplier. The main innovation is the Power Shuttle – smooth, fully automated reverse controlled by a lever under the steering wheel.
The engine features high durability, low fuel consumption and also a particulate filter to reduce emissions. High performance is also guaranteed by a modified cylinder head, modified intake ducts and a new fuel injection system. This tractor uses a unique new automatic three-point suspension control system, HitchTronic.
Reduced transmission of noise and vibrations to the driver's cabin also helps improve user comfort. When designing the new model, Zetor optimized the cab suspension on silent-block shock absorbers and also used new combined flooring materials. Driving safety is enhanced for example by a switch placed in the driver’s seat, which prevents the engine from starting or the tractor from moving off unless the driver is seated on the seat. Due to its power, Forterra HSX can work with tools for deeper cuts. The tractor can also be aggregated with combinations of agricultural equipment, which reduces the number of field traverses. This model can use a wide range of tyres, including low-profile ones.
Techagro 2012 was an opportunity to introduce the new model to the public. Serial production of the Zetor Forterra HSX will be launched this June.
Zetor Exposition at Techagro 2012
The Zetor booth at the Techagro trade fair also had other new products on display, such as additional attachments designated Zetor System for both field work and communal services, as well as existing models such as the Antar or Proxima Cabrio.
As for aggregated tractors, visitors could see the Forterra 135 with a plough-share and a sweeper, the Proxima Power with a foreloader, a sweeper and a gritter, the Proxima with a tedder, the Forterra 125 with a forestry extension, and many others.
April 17, 2012 — Brandt has announced the appointment of nine new RDO Equipment locations as authorized dealers for Brandt Agricultural Products. The new RDO locations representing Brandt are:
Casselton, North DakotaKindred, North DakotaHawley, MinnesotaMoorehead, MinnesotaPasco, WashingtonSunnyside, WashingtonWasco, OregonHermiston, OregonPendleton, Oregon
These new locations are added to the existing RDO North Dakota Brandt locations in Washburn, Hazen, and Bismarck.
"We are very excited that RDO Equipment is making such a strong commitment to Brandt by representing our company and products in 9 more locations," says Dave Norheim, US Sales Manager for Brandt. "RDO's dedication to providing and supporting innovative solutions to agriculture customers is an excellent fit for Brandt."
Mr. Keith Kreps, Vice President of RDO Equipment states, "Brandt's reputation for innovation, quality, and commitment to customers is a perfect fit for our business and for our customers. We are excited to offer the Brandt range of high quality grain handling products to more of our customers"
Brandt Agricultural Products Ltd. engineers and manufactures spraying equipment, heavy harrows, and a complete line of grain handling equipment including grain augers, grain belt conveyors, grain carts, grain vacs, grain bag loaders, and grain bag unloaders.
RDO Equipment Co. is dedicated to provide and support innovative solutions for agriculture, construction, lawn and garden, trucks, and Vermeer customers. Founded in 1968, RDO Equipment Co. is a family-owned and operated company that has expanded from a single agricultural store in Casselton, North Dakota, to a corporation with headquarters in Fargo, North Dakota, that today has over 50 locations in 9 U.S. states and employs over 1500 people.