LaBarge, Inc. reports fiscal 2007 3rd quarter and nine-month results
May 11, 2007
Year-to-Date Sales Grow 26%
Backlog Remains Strong at $206 million
Debt Declines 40% from Fiscal 2006 Year-End
Fiscal 2007 third-quarter net sales were $59,619,000, up 26 percent from $47,273,000 in the fiscal 2006 third quarter. Fiscal 2007 third-quarter net earnings increased 23 percent to $2,843,000, or $.18 per diluted share, compared with $2,305,000, or $.14 per diluted share, in the fiscal 2006 third quarter.
For the nine months ended April 1, 2007, net sales were $170,339,000, up 26 percent from $135,059,000 in the first nine months of fiscal 2006. Net earnings for the first nine months of fiscal 2007 increased 21 percent to $8,451,000, or $.53 per diluted share, compared with $6,998,000, or $.44 per diluted share, in the comparable period a year earlier.
Gross margin in the fiscal 2007 third quarter was 18.4 percent, compared with 20.7 percent in the fiscal 2006 third quarter. The decline in gross margin was primarily attributable to higher-than-anticipated labor and material costs on certain large new contracts, start-up expenses on a significant new contract in the industrial market sector, and a product mix with more early stage contracts than is typical.
Bookings of new business remained strong during the third quarter with the largest contributions coming from the defense, industrial and natural resources market sectors. Backlog at the end of the fiscal 2007 third quarter was $205,945,000, up 14 percent from $181,193,000 a year ago, and down 2 percent from $209,386,000 at December 31, 2006.
Craig LaBarge, chief executive officer and president, commented, "The excellent year-over-year sales growth and the continued vigor of new bookings confirm the overall strength of our business. We are disappointed that third-quarter gross margin dipped below our typical range of 20 percent to 23 percent. However, we have implemented action plans to reduce labor and material costs on the affected contracts and we expect gross margin will be gradually restored to our usual range over the next few quarters.
"The sales growth in the fiscal 2007 third quarter versus the same period a year ago was the result of increased shipments to customers in a variety of market sectors, with the largest dollar increases coming from defense and natural resources customers," said Mr. LaBarge.