The Quebec-based company said Thursday it earned $6.5 million or 15 cents per share in the period ended Sept. 29, compared with 22 cents per share on net income of $9.7 million in the year earlier period, which included a $9.9- million insurance payout.
Adjusting for one-time gains, Canam (TSX:CAM) earned 15 cents per share, compared with about one cent per share in the year-ago period. Adjusted EBITDA was $16.4 million, up from $9 million in the 2011 quarter.
Revenues increased slightly to $226.9 million from $225.6 million a year ago.
Analysts had expected the company would earn nine cents per share on $252 million of revenues.
Canam said the improved results were mainly attributable to higher joist and steel deck sales in Canada and the United States, which account for about 45 per cent of its revenues, along with better profit margins in joist, steel deck and bridge activities.
Chief executive Marc Dutil said the market continues to be very difficult.
"It remains a market where the readily available capacity is easily twice the current demand and the largest player could theoretically supply the entire market with its own facilities," he said during a conference call.
Trevor Johnson of National Bank Financial said the third-quarter results "were largely encouraging and management's cautiously optimistic message and stance remains unchanged from recent quarters."
A pickup in U.S. multi-residential construction caused its Hambro girders, joist and slab business to generate 20 per cent more revenues in the quarter. Structural steel and the FabSouth divisions saw slightly improved results while bridge revenues decreased on lighter shipments.
"But the outlook for this business remains generally positive and we see meaningful North American demand," Johnson wrote in a report.
"Despite Canam's markets remaining extremely competitive and tight, the company's financial performance and subsequent balance sheet health continue to suggest improvements across the portfolio."
Canam confirmed the promotion of Rene Guizzetti to chief financial officer, a position he's held on an interim basis since August.
Canam Group operates 20 plants across North America and participates in thousands of construction projects annually. It employs nearly 3,500 people in Canada, the United States, Romania, India and China.
On the Toronto Stock Exchange, its shares gained 18 cents, or 3.2 per cent, at $5.80 in midday trading Thursday.