UPDATE 1-Astec swings to Q4 loss on charges

* Q4 loss/shr $0.69 vs EPS $0.38 a year ago

* Loss excl charges $0.08/shr

* Sales fall 9 pct

Feb 23 (BestGrowthStock) – Astec Industries Inc (ASTE.O: ), a road
construction equipment maker, swung to a quarterly loss hurt by
a fall in domestic sales and impairment charges, and said its
customers are deferring purchases due to limited visibility.

The continuing indecision on a new Highway Bill and the
timing of the funding of additional stimulus package for roads,
make customers reluctant to purchase equipment until markets
improve, Astec said in a statement.

“The lack of expenditures is creating a pent up demand
which should be very beneficial whenever a new Highway Bill is
passed,” it said.

The company also said it expects continuing improvement in
its international business.

For the fourth quarter, the company lost $15.5 million, or
69 cents a share, compared with a net income of $8.0 million or
38 cents a share a year ago.

Excluding impairment charges, it lost 8 cents per share.

Sales fell 9 percent to $177.9 million, while domestic
sales fell 21 percent.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 12 cents a
share, before special items, on revenue of $161.4 million
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of the company closed at $26.18 Monday on Nasdaq.

Stock Market Money

(Reporting by Divya Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar
Warrier)

UPDATE 1-Astec swings to Q4 loss on charges