Astro-Med posts loss in 1Q on replacement charges

HIGH-TECH MANUFACTURER Astro-Med Inc. saw its year-over-year profits fall into the red during the first quarter of its 2014 fiscal year.
Posted 5/22/13

WEST WARWICK – Astro-Med Inc., maker of specialty printers and data-acquisition systems, posted a net loss of $449,000, or 6 cents per diluted share, during the first quarter of its 2014 fiscal year.

Comparatively, during the first quarter of the previous fiscal year, Astro-Med reported a net income of $837,000, or 11 cents per diluted share.

Even as Astro-Med’s bottom line fell, its net sales rose 8 percent to $15.5 million from the $14.3 million reported during the first quarter of the 2013 fiscal year.

According to the company, the first quarter results include an estimated negative impact from a reserve established to address a non-compliance issue in a limited population of Astro-Med’s ToughWriter printers. The negative impact was $389,000 on an after tax basis.

Excluding this reserve, Astro-Med posted a net loss of $60,000, or 1 cent per diluted share, for the first quarter of the 2014 fiscal year.

Tests conducted in April 2013 revealed that one of the Astro-Med suppliers had been using non-conforming material in a power supply in certain models of the company’s Test & Measurement Ruggedized printers.

Although no malfunctions were reported by customers, Astro-Med said it was working with customers to correct the power supplies on existing printers and estimated the cost associated with the replacement program based on the number of printers shipped during the period the non-conforming material was used.

Astro-Med’s release said the company intended to seek and expects to receive “full recovery of all costs incurred and any other damages associated with this issue from the supplier.”

During the quarter, the company also incurred one-time manufacturing costs related to the transition of the Grass Technologies operation in Rockland, Mass. to West Warwick.

Astro-Med CEO Everett V. Pizzuti said that his company continues to remain “optimistic” with respect to sales growth and prospects for a return to profitability in the quarters ahead.

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