March 30, 2011 / 5:00 PM / in 7 years

UPDATE 2-Lindsay Q2 tops on US farm demand, sees strong global trend

* Q2 EPS $0.89 vs est $0.71

* Q2 rev $120.2 mln vs est $109.8 mln

* Infra rev up 65 pct

* Shares at 2-and-a-half-year high (Adds conference call, analyst comments, updates share activity)

By Fareha Khan

BANGALORE, March 30 (Reuters) - Lindsay Corp posted market-beating quarterly results as irrigation equipment sales in the United States rose, and said it expects worldwide demand to remain strong.

Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Ryan Connors said about half of Lindsay’s earnings came from its infrastructure business.

Shares of the company, whose rivals include Astec Industries Inc , Cascade Corp and Toro Co , rose as much as 13 percent to a nearly two-and-a-half-year high.

Lindsay Chief Executive Rick Parod said infrastructure revenue rose as the company sold more Quickchange Moveable Barrier — a road-laning solution — and its rail and contract manufacturing businesses improved.

On a conference call with analysts, Lindsay said the rise in prices of steel, which accounts for a third of its cost of goods sold, may impact it.

The agricultural market in the United States is improving over time and the cyclical strength of the business contributed to Lindsay’s gross margins, said analyst Connors.

For December-February, the Omaha, Nebraska-based Lindsay’s net income rose to $11.3 million, or 89 cents a share, from $6 million, or 48 cents a share, a year ago.

Analysts, on average, expected 71 cents a share in profit on $109.8 million in sales, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Irrigation equipment sales rose 35 percent to $91.7 million while infrastructure sales were up 65 percent to $28.5 million.

Lindsay said its infrastructure product business may be affected by uncertain timing on a multi-year U.S. Highway Bill and budget constraints in Europe. [ID:nSGE6B607D]

“I do not think we are going to probably have one (Highway Bill) for a while,” said Connors, who has a “neutral” rating on the company’s stock.

The company’s shares were trading up 5 percent at $80.23 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange, after earlier touching a high of $85.66. (Reporting by Fareha Khan; Editing by Don Sebastian and Joyjeet Das)

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