AZZ shares hit life-high as co raises forecast

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(Global Markets) - Shares of AZZ Inc (AZZ.N) rose as much as 19 percent to a life high after the electrical equipment maker posted strong first-quarter results and raised its outlook for fiscal 2013.

The company raised its full-year profit outlook to $4.10 to $4.30 per share from $3.25 to $3.55 per share.

AZZ, which competes with Eaton Corp (ETN.N), now expects revenue of $550 million to $575 million, up from its previous forecast of $475 million to $510 million.

Analysts on average were expecting the company to earn $3.74 per share, on revenue of $571.38 million, according to Thomson Global Markets I/B/E/S.

The company however said it is experiencing a slowdown in the number of orders in its galvanizing segment in recent weeks, but analysts do not think that will affect the forecast.

"It seems like they sort of built that into the guidance and of course if ... you start to see the orders flow, that guidance could prove conservative as we move through the year," said Brent Thielman, an analyst at D. A. Davidson & Co.

For the first quarter, tonnage from the galvanizing services segment rose 32 percent, boosting revenue at the segment 25 percent to $82.5 million. The galvanizing services segment provides hot dip galvanizing to the steel fabrication industry.

Revenue at the electrical and industrial products segment fell 7 percent to $44.7 million. AZZ's electrical and industrial products segment makes engineered specialty electrical products and industrial lighting and tubular products.

Shares of the company, which has a market value of about $648 million, were trading up 18 percent at $60.73 on Friday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Tej Sapru in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)