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John Bean Technologies Corporation Q1 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

Now, I will turn the call over to Charlie.

Charlie Cannon

Thanks, Cindy and good morning, everyone. I will begin with a brief update of our performance for the quarter, followed by a discussion of current market conditions for our two segments, as well as our outlook for 2010. Ron will then provide more detail on our financial results.

Given the challenging conditions we faced in 2009 and the lower backlog entering the year, this was a solid quarter with revenue and EBIT results in line with our expectations recognizing that the first quarter is seasonally our weakest.

For the quarter, revenue was unchanged from last year at $169 million while EBIT declined 6% to $7.9 million. Diluted earnings per share were $0.14. On a bright note, both orders and backlog were up sequentially 25% and 35% respectively. Inbound orders also increased 29% year-over-year.

Now let me provide some color on what is driving these trends. Our business is looking up. As I communicated in early March, many of our markets were showing signs of improvement. This trend continued throughout the first quarter. We saw FoodTech inbound in Europe and North America strengthening from the low levels of 2009. Our airline and air freight customers reported improved operating results. Air travel and air freight volumes are forecasted to grow, all of which bodes well for JBT.

Now, let me turn to each of our segments. First, JBT FoodTech. Order sizes for our FoodTech product lines continue to be smaller relative to our historical standard. This was the main contributor to the year-over-year decline in first quarter backlog. However, we are starting to see slightly larger projects for line expansion as some of our customers ramp up production due to increased consumption. We are hopeful that the small ball trend I mentioned in our March year-end call may reverse as the economy improves.

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