This Crane Maker Looks Set to Lift Higher

Operating two segments that are polar opposites may not sound like an easy thing. But here's a company that seems to be having no problems in doing so.

Manitowoc's (NYS: MTW) third-quarter bottom line shot up as both its crane and food service equipment segments saw double-digit revenue growth. Are things now spicing up for this company whose stock has taken a beating in the past few months? Let's dig a little deeper.

What do the numbers say?
Demand for equipment has been on the rise following an upswing in construction activity, especially in the fast-growing emerging markets. Sales in Manitowoc's cranes segment were up by 20.7% from the third quarter of last year.

Manitowoc is not the only one benefiting from the emerging markets' construction boom. These markets drove Caterpillar's (NYS: CAT) construction equipment segment sales up by a solid 41% in its third quarter. Terex's (NYS: TEX) construction segment did well, and its third-quarter cranes segment sales also climbed 47.4% year on year, as markets like India and China continue to drive up demand for its equipment. Buoyant Asian markets were also the drivers behind Illinois Tool Works' (NYS: ITW) 16.2% jump in its third-quarter revenue.

Manitowoc's food service equipment segment did well, too, with new product sales (some of which were introduced in the previous quarter) and greater market penetration boosting its revenue 10.2%. Overall, Manitowoc's total revenue came in at $935.4 million, up 15.9% from the year-ago quarter. But the best part was the company's net profits, which shot up to a staggering $23.7 million from $1.4 million last year.

Growing in the growth markets
The fact that developing markets are witnessing a construction boom is not news anymore. These markets have become a boon for construction equipment companies, fueling demand for their products. In such a scenario, Manitowoc is wisely keeping these markets in mind while making strategic investments.

In the past few years, the company has made significant investments in India and China. The latest project is a 250,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Brazil to tap the energy and infrastructure opportunities in Latin America. Work is in progress and production is expected to begin next year in this facility.

This is a good move because Brazil looks like the next big thing in construction, having caught the eyes of most of the big players lately. Deere (NYS: DE) is adding two new construction equipment factories in Brazil, while Terex is acquiring a stake in a Brazil-based equipment maker. Manitowoc's focus looks fine for now, and it is keen on making further investments.

The Foolish bottom line
Manitowoc has kept its investments rolling in both the segments, which should bode well for the company going ahead. Meanwhile, robust demand from emerging markets looks like the key to Manitowoc's strong bottom-line growth. You never know, it might well be the key to your growing wealth, too, given how strongly Manitowoc has performed.

You'd better keep a tab on this equipment maker. Click here to add Manitowoc to your stock watchlist.

At the time thisarticle was published Neha Chamaria does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned in this article. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Illinois Tool Works. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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