Atlas Copco First-Quarter Profit Falls as Mining Sales Decline

Atlas Copco AB (ATCOA), the world’s largest maker of air compressors, posted first-quarter net income below analyst estimates as mining customers continued to be cautious with investments and European sales were sluggish.

Net income declined to 2.99 billion kronor ($457 million) from 3.41 billion kronor a year earlier, the company said today in a statement. Analyst expected profit of 3.23 billion, according a Bloomberg survey of 15 estimates. Sales decreased 9.1 percent to 20.2 billion kronor, missing the 21.4 billion- kronor average estimate. The stock fell as much as 3.5 percent, the biggest intraday decline in three months.

Mining companies including BHP Billiton Ltd. (BLT), the world’s largest, are holding back investments in new equipment as demand and prices for metals decline. Sandvik AB (SAND), the world’s biggest maker of metal-cutting tools, posted a decline in first-quarter profit on April 23 and Peoria, Illinois-based Caterpillar Inc., the world’s biggest maker of mining equipment, cut its 2013 profit forecast the day before.

“Demand for our equipment weakened somewhat as the mining sector and much of the European region continued to struggle,” Chief Executive Officer Ronnie Leten said in a separate statement.

Atlas Copco shares were down 3.3 percent to 174.9 kronor as of 11:25 a.m. in the Swedish capital, giving the manufacturer a market value of 207 billion kronor.

Demand for Atlas Copco’s products and services are expected to remain at the current level in the short term, the Stockholm- based company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Janina Pfalzer in Stockholm at jpfalzer@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net

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