The markets have been giving the love to
of late, despite a cautious near-term view of the mining business offered up by its chief executive. And Jim Cramer is joining the lovefest.
Appearing Thursday with Cramer on his "Mad Money" broadcast, Joy Global's president and CEO, Michael Sutherlin, said commodities markets will fall again and that full recovery may not begin to occur until the end of 2010. Further, he said the mining industry has big backlogs to work through.
This would seem to contradict the recent spike in commodities prices, pushed higher by increasing Chinese-import demand. Earlier in the recession, the Chinese were also seeking to exploit cheaper commodities prices to buy up natural resource assets across the globe.
Cramer himself believes that Sutherlin and company are being overcautious with their business outlook, perhaps even to the point of lowballing. He also contends that there's good upside to the company -- especially since U.S. mining markets remains so depressed, and therefore would seem to have nowhere to go but up.
"In general, Sutherlin has always been understated," Cramer wrote in his
column last night.
Joy Global has been winning praise for its cost-cutting efforts and, in turn, its widening profit margins.
Based in Milwaukee, the company manufactures mining equipment like conveyer trains, steam shovels and blasthole drills. On the back of better-than-foreseen second-quarter profits, unveiled on Wednesday, Joy Global shares have leapt nearly 11%. In Friday trading, the stock was up another 5%, or $1,.96, to $40.32, on heavy volume. It reached its 52-week high of $90 almost exactly a year ago.
On Wednesday, Joy Global reported second-quarter earnings that easily beat Wall Street targets with year-over-year growth of 67% to $120.5 million. Revenue rose a much more modest 10% to $923 million, indicating that margins were the big driver behind the company's surprising results.
As for predictions, it was more of the same: Joy Global indicated in its press release -- and Sutherlin essentially reiterated the outlook later on -- that it has seen "some slowing" in aftermarket orders. Combined with work cancellations and delays, the company expects revenue to come in at the lower end of its predicted range for 2009. But because of further cost-cutting, the company told investors to expect earnings in the upper half of its guidance range.
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