November 12, 2009 / 3:34 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Ag Growth Q3 profit tops estimate

* Q3 EPS C$1.17 vs est. C$0.96

* Sales up 14 pct to C$68.3 mln

* Shares up 3 percent

Nov 12 (Reuters) - Ag Growth International Inc (AFN.TO), a maker of grain handling equipment, reported better-than-expected quarterly profit as strong demand and sales price increases boosted results.

For the third quarter ended Sept. 30, Ag Growth posted net earnings of C$15.1 million ($14.45 million), or C$1.17 per share, compared with C$9.8 million, or 75 Canadian cents per share, a year ago.

Quarterly sales grew 14 percent to C$68.3 million.

Analysts expected earnings of 96 Canadian cents a share, excluding items, on revenue of C$68.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

“The significant increase in sales and EBITDA was largely due to outstanding results at the portable grain handling and aeration divisions,” chief executive Rob Stenson said in a statement.

Sales of portable grain handling and aeration equipment historically represent 65 percent to 75 percent of Ag Growth’s total sales, the company said.

However, Ag Growth said it is not expecting sales of fourth-quarter commercial equipment to match the exceptional levels recorded last year.

“We are cautiously optimistic that credit conditions in developing markets are moderately improving which may result in increased international sales of commercial equipment in 2010,” Stenson said.

Shares of Ag Growth were up 3 percent at C$31.50 Thursday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange. ($1=1.045 Canadian dollar) (Reporting by R. Manikandan in Bangalore; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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