Lindsay Corp.'s fiscal third-quarter earnings rose 23% as the company booked higher revenue, particularly from its irrigation equipment division.

Results beat analyst expectations.

Sales of agricultural equipment have been strong across the industry as high commodity prices spur farmers to increase spending. Lindsay makes and sells irrigation equipment to farmers and makes moveable highway barriers and road safety products.

"Farm incomes and commodity prices have driven positive farmer sentiment, leading to increased domestic irrigation demand," Chief Executive Rick Parod said. "The increase in sales, along with cost reductions and efficiency improvements across our business segments have resulted in higher operating margins in the third quarter."

In the latest period, revenue rose 18% to $149.6 million in Lindsay's irrigation equipment business, including a 38% jump in the domestic business and a 12% fall abroad.

As of the end of the quarter, the company's backlog stood at $44.5 million, compared with $87.3 million at the end of the prior quarter and $43.3 million a year earlier.

For the quarter ended May 31, Lindsay reported a profit of $18.8 million, or $1.47 a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $15.3 million, or $1.20 cents a share.

Revenue rose 12% to $172.1 million. Analysts expected earnings of $1.36 a share on $166 million in revenue, according to a poll conducted by Thomson Reuters.

Gross margin widened to 28.5% from 27%, an improvement the company said reflected improvement in the irrigation and infrastructure segments.

Shares closed Tuesday at $56.27 and were inactive premarket. The stock is down 16% in the past three months.

 Story Link: Lindsay Q3 net up 23%; irrigation revenue higher