* Q1 adjusted EPS of $0.41 tops $0.33 Wall St view
* Says Icahn proxy battle cost $0.02/shr
(Adds comparison with estimates)
Jan 31 (Reuters) - Oshkosh Corp (OSK.N) reported a lower quarterly profit as aggressive U.S. cuts to defense spending took a toll on its military-vehicles arm and cash-strapped U.S. cities held off on buying fire trucks and other vehicles, but the decline was not as steep as Wall Street expected.
The company’s profit for the first quarter ended on Dec. 31 came to $38.9 million, or 42 cents per share, down from $99.6 million, or $1.09 per share, a year earlier.
Factoring out one-time items, earnings would have been 41 cents per share, above the 33 cents analysts on average had expected, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Last week, the company defeated most of a slate of six directors nominated by activist investor Carl Icahn at its annual meeting of shareholders. Oshkosh said the proxy battle had cost 2 cents per share.
Revenue rose 10.4 percent to $1.88 billion, as demand was strong for aerial work platforms used to repair streetlights and signs. The company said it now looks for sales at its access equipment arm, which includes those platforms, to rise 25 percent to 30 percent this year, more than the 20 percent previously forecast.
Oshkosh shareholders on Friday rejected at least five of six directors nominated to the company’s 13-member board by Icahn, who holds a roughly 10 percent stake in Oshkosh and rival Navistar International Corp (NAV.N) and has sought a merger of the two companies.
(Reporting By Scott Malone; Editing by Derek Caney and Lisa Von Ahn)
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