Weir shares up as orders rise but US slows down

Shares of Glasgow-based engineering giant Weir Group rose about 6% on Tuesday after it produced an interim management statement for the third quarter ending September 30 showing oil and gas orders up 10% but a slowdown in North America.

Weir completed the acquisition of Portland, Oregon-based ESCO Corporation in July for an estimated enterprise value of $1.28 billion.

Weir’s main markets are mining, energy and infrastructure and the group employs 18,000 people in 70 countries and has a stock market value of around £4 billion.

Weir CEO Jon Stanton said: “Group orders continued to grow strongly in markets that have good long term prospects.

“In mining, our largest market, we benefited from our global presence as we worked closely with customers to help them increase production and improve productivity within current operations.

“Quotation activity for expansion projects also remained strong, reinforcing our view that we are in the early stages of a multi-year capex growth cycle.

“Strong order momentum in our minerals division reflects its market-leading position and the benefit of investment in sales and engineering capability.

“ESCO, our newest division, also had a good quarter, delivering market share gains on large mining machine ground engaging tools.

“Its integration is progressing very smoothly and is on track to deliver anticipated cost synergy targets.

“The disposal of the Flow Control division is also developing as planned with a sale process under way.

“Oil & Gas delivered good year-on-year order growth but from late August was progressively impacted by the temporary slowdown in activity in North American onshore markets that was prompted by industry capacity constraints in the Permian basin.

“As we work through the current slowdown, which we and our customers view as a short-term pause in growth, we will continue to invest in our people and technology to ensure we fully benefit from the anticipated upturn in 2019 when E&P budgets replenish, Permian pipeline capacity expands and pressure pumping fleet utilisation increases.”