PROVIDENCE – Astro-Med Inc., maker of specialty printers and data-acquisition systems, posted net income of $1.1 million, or 14 cents per diluted share, for its fiscal third quarter, a decline of 15.2 percent compared with last year’s third-quarter net income of $1.3 million, or 18 cents per diluted share.
The earnings, however, did mark improvement over the second quarter, when Astro-Med reported net income of $696,000, or 9 cents per diluted share.
Net sales for the three months ended Nov. 2 rose 13.3 percent to $18.2 million from $16 million in the fiscal 2012 third quarter.
The company reported that the third-quarter results include a tax benefit of $187,000, or 2 cents per diluted share, due to a favorable adjustment in the filing of the prior year’s tax return.
“We continue to be very pleased with the company’s quarterly, double-digit sales growth and improved [gross] profit margins this year,” said Everett V. Pizzuti, CEO of Astro-Med, in a press release announcing the results. “We had solid demand in both our domestic and international channels.” Increases in selling, research and development, and general and administrative expenses more than ate up the improved gross margin.
Astro-Med’s domestic net sales for the third quarter totaled $13.2 million, an 11.2 percent increase over the prior year, while international shipments of $5 million rose 19.2 percent over the previous year, Pizzuti said.
“This year’s strong customer demand is also reflected in the increase seen in the company’s backlog, which has risen 23.4 percent from the prior year end and stands at $7.6 million at the end of the third quarter,” said Pizzuti. “We are quite optimistic of the company’s prospects for the fourth quarter as well as the opportunities in the fiscal years ahead.”
In the nine months ended Nov. 2, Astro-Med’s net income totaled $1.4 million, or 18 cents per diluted share, a 56.7 percent decline from the $3.1 million, or 42 cents per diluted share, during the same period last year.
The company had previously reported that its fiscal first-quarter results – when Astro-Med posted a net loss of $449,000, or 6 cents per diluted share – were negatively impacted from a reserve established to address a non-compliance issue in a limited population of Astro-Med’s ToughWriter printers.
Net sales for the nine months ended Nov. 2 totaled $50.9 million, a gain of 12.9 percent over the $45 million reported for the same period in 2012.
Earlier this week, the company declared a cash dividend of 7 cents per share for shareholders of record as of Dec. 13, to be paid Jan. 2, which matches the previous year’s dividend.