Net sales for the first quarter of 2014 were $238.7 million compared to $247.8 million for the first quarter of 2013, a 4 percent decrease.
Earnings for the first quarter of 2014 were $9.5 million or $0.41 per diluted share compared to $13.2 million for the first quarter of 2013 or $0.57 per diluted share, a decrease of 28 percent per diluted share.
Domestic sales increased 8 percent to $175.5 million for the first quarter of 2014 from $161.9 million for the first quarter of 2013. International sales were $63.2 million for the first quarter of 2014 compared to $85.9 million for the first quarter of 2013, a decrease of 26 percent.
The Company's backlog increased 8 percent from $276.5 million at March 31, 2013 to $299.6 million at March 31, 2014. The domestic backlog increased 18 percent from $167.3 million at March 31, 2013 to $196.9 million at March 31, 2014. The international backlog at March 31, 2014 was $102.7 million, a 6 percent decrease from the March 31, 2013 international backlog of $109.2 million.
Consolidated financial information for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014 and additional information related to segment revenues and profits are attached as addenda to this press release.
As previously discussed in the Company's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2013, due to the recent reallocation of certain product lines between some of the Company's subsidiaries, the Company has been reevaluating its reportable segments. This process has now been completed and the composition of the Company's reportable segments has been changed.
Commenting on the announcement, Benjamin G. Brock, chief executive officer, stated, "We are pleased with our growth in domestic revenues compared to last year although we continue to experience headwinds in our international sales efforts driven by the strong dollar and weakness in certain markets like Canada and Australia. Although total sales decreased slightly we held our gross margin steady which is a testament to our focus on lean manufacturing and cost management.
“Our presence at ConExpo in early March added $4 million to our S,G,A&E expenses for the quarter, however, we were pleased by the strong attendance in our booth and the interactions we had with customers."
Brock continued, "With the April 1 addition of Telestack headquartered in Omagh, Northern Ireland, we have demonstrated our commitment to further global expansion in our core products to better serve our target industries of Infrastructure, Aggregate and Mining, and Energy. Telestack's quality and customer service make it a natural fit for Astec. We expect them to be immediately accretive to earnings and to positively reinforce our backlog and outlook for the remainder of the year."