Oshkosh Beats on Military ATV Sales

OSHKOSH, Wisc. (TheStreet) -- The deals that truck-maker Oshkosh (OSK) has cut with the Pentagon to produce all-terrain vehicles for the wars in Iraq and, much more increasingly, Afghanistan have started to show on the company's bottom line.

Oshkosh reported fiscal fourth-quarter results that easily topped expectations, and investors snapped up the company's shares, which were trading on heavy volume recently at $35.12, up 10.3%, or $3.29.

Oshkosh said its adjusted profit in the fiscal fourth-quarter, taking into account a slew of items (inventory benefits, a tax benefit and gains from discontinued operations), came to 27 cents a share. Analysts were expecting EPS of 16 cents.

Still, the company's defense deals could not totally offset the slump in the construction industry, for which Oshkosh builds heavy machinery. Revenue in the period fell to $1.49 billion from $1.85 billion a year ago. But the top line did surpass Wall Street's target of $1.4 billion in revenue.

Including all the one-time gains, Oshkosh had net income of $140.3 million, or $1.68 a share, up almost three-fold from the year-ago period's $53.7 million, or 72 cents a share.

Highlighting the boom in its war business, Oshkosh said fourth-quarter sales in its defense-contracting segment soared nearly 55% from a year ago, to $855.4 million.

In what Oshkosh calls its "access equipment" segment -- which refers to cherry-pickers and vertical lifts and the like -- sales plunged 58% to $311 million. Indeed, Oshkosh saw declines in all its business units aside from defense: sales of garbage trucks and compacting equipment fell 40.4% to $130.4 million, while sales of fire trucks and emergency vehicles dropped 16.7%.

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York

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Scott Eden has covered business -- both large and small -- for more than a decade. Prior to joining TheStreet.com, he worked as a features reporter for Dealmaker and Trader Monthly magazines. Before that, he wrote for the Chicago Reader, that city's weekly paper. Early in his career, he was a staff reporter at the Dow Jones News Service. His reporting has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Men's Journal, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, and the Believer magazine, among other publications. He's also the author of Touchdown Jesus (Simon & Schuster, 2005), a nonfiction book about Notre Dame football fans and the business and politics of big-time college sports. He has degrees from Notre Dame and Washington University in St. Louis.

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