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Lindsay (LNN): Time to Dump the Stock on Ample Headwinds

On Apr 4, 2016, we issued an updated research report on Lindsay Corporation LNN. Markets of the irrigation equipment maker continue to be constrained by lower commodity prices and foreign exchange rates. In addition to this, pricing pressure, declining backlog and competition remain headwinds for the company.

Lindsay reported dismal second-quarter fiscal 2016 results (ended Feb 29, 2016). Second-quarter adjusted earnings plunged 44% year over year to 42 cents per share.  The company recorded revenues of $120.6 million, down 14% from $141 million in the prior-year quarter. Total irrigation equipment revenues declined 5% year over year to $103 million. U.S. irrigation revenues increased 6% year over year to $72.3 million, primarily on the back of revenues from acquired companies, including Elecsys Corporation.

International irrigation revenues plummeted 24% to $30.8 million. This was mainly due to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates and a drastic slowdown in sales in Brazil along with modest declines in a few export markets. The company remains concerned about unfavorable currency rates and lower grain prices that may delay projects in fiscal 2016 and in turn, weigh on the top line.

Infrastructure revenues fell 47% to $17.5 million primarily owing to the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge Road Zipper project in the prior year and decreases in Contract and Tubing markets.

Lindsay’s earnings continue to bear the brunt of weak demand in the U.S. Lower commodity prices and reduced farm income continue to affect farmer sentiment regarding capital goods purchases. The USDA’s current projection for 2016 net farm income is $54.8 billion, down 3% from the prior year. This also marks a plunge of nearly 56% from the record high set in 2013. Net farm income for 2016 is projected to be the lowest since 2002. Hence, Lindsay’s results will continue to be affected.

Lindsay’s order backlog on Feb 29, 2016 was $52.6 million compared with $74.3 million on Feb 28, 2015. Both irrigation and infrastructure backlogs are lower year over year. The decline in irrigation backlog was mainly due to weak performance in Brazil. Revenues from the nation were significantly affected by both foreign exchange and lower demand. The infrastructure decrease in backlog was in road zipper system orders. The market environment is expected to remain challenging at least through 2016, which may affect Lindsay’s performance next year.

A more competitive pricing environment and costs deleveraged on lower sales negatively impacted Lindsay’s margins. The pricing environment both in the U.S. and international markets is expected to remain competitive in the near term.

Lindsay currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

In line with dismal earnings results and the continuing headwinds, estimates for Lindsay have moved south over the past 7 days. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the fiscal third quarter and fiscal 2016 has declined 4% to $1.02 and 4% to $2.66, respectively.

Stocks that Warrant a Look

Some better-ranked stocks in the sector are Briggs & Stratton Corporation BGG, Astec Industries, Inc. ASTE and Parker-Hannifin Corporation PH. All three stocks hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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