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) --

Joy Global


boosted its full-year earnings outlook on Wednesday and agreed to sell its Le Tourneau drilling products business to



for $375 million.

The company said it now sees earnings from continuing operations of $5.70 to $6 per share for fiscal 2011 ending in October, an increase of 40 cents a share from its prior projection. Wall Street's current consensus view is for a profit of $5.74 a share for the year.

The higher forecast comes with the Milwaukee-based mining equipment maker reporting a profit from continuing operations before items of $163.5 million, or $1.54 a share, for its fiscal third quarter ended July 29 on revenue of $1.14 billion, up 34% from last year.

The average estimate of analysts polled by

Thomson Reuters

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was for earnings of $1.53 a share in the July period on revenue of $1.17 billion.

"This has been a particularly good quarter for us," said Mike Sutherlin, the company's president and CEO, in a statement. "Our results continued the trend of strong operating performance, and we made two major strategic moves that will add long-term value. Very good operating leverage on strong sales growth enabled us to deliver another record for operating margin, before the impact of LeTourneau."

Joy Global said bookings surged 49% in the latest quarter to $1.45 billion from $973.2 million in the same period a year earlier with demand for the company's surface mining equipment nearly doubling.

The company did, however, express some concern about the health of the economy.

"Even with strong fundamentals, there is a real possibility of some slowing of demand growth going forward," said Sutherlin. "However, we do not expect the macro concerns to lead to a major market correction. We will use this as an opportunity to trim up our business."

Joy Global shares closed Tuesday at $82.54, up 2%. Year-to-date, the stock is down almost 5% and Wall Street sentiment was split with 10 of the 19 analysts covering the company at strong buy (7) or buy (3) and the remainder at hold.


Written by Michael Baron in New York.

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Michael Baron


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