Astronics profits soar with new acquisitions - The Buffalo News

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Astronics profits soar with new acquisitions

Astronics Corp.’s business soared during the spring, thanks to its buying binge over the past year. And so did it’s stock Wednesday.

The East Aurora aircraft lighting and electronics manufacturer’s profits and sales both more than doubled during the second quarter as the company brought in new business from a series of four acquisitions it has made during the past year.

That sent Astronics’ shares, which had hit a six-month low Monday, up by 14.83 percent, or $7.63, to close at $59.08.

And with the company’s existing business growing by 14 percent, the added revenues from the new acquisitions made Astronics more profitable by spreading its costs over a bigger sales base.

Peter Gundermann, Astronics’ president and chief executive officer, said he expects the company’s profitability to keep improving, especially as the inventory write-downs that the firm has been absorbing because of the acquisitions begin to decline in the coming quarters.

“Our market and product lines remain strong,” Gundermann said during a conference call Wednesday.

Astronics said its profits jumped to $13.1 million, or 70 cents per share, compared with $5.2 million, or 28 cents per share, a year ago, even after absorbing $8.7 million in added costs from an acquisition-related inventory in its test services business.

The company’s sales soared to $174.6 million, up from $70.8 million a year ago, with the acquisitions accounting for nearly all of the increase.

Revenues from Astronics’ existing businesses grew by 14 percent.

The sales were stronger than the $158 million analysts were expecting.

Astronics also revised its sales forecast for this year higher by about 2 percent, saying it now expects revenues to range between $640 million and $665 million, which would be more than the $639 million analysts are forecasting.

During the second quarter, earnings from the company’s aerospace business, which makes products ranging from aircraft lighting to the cabin electronics that allow airline passengers to plug electronic devices into their seats, jumped by 81 percent to $20.8 million as the three aerospace acquisitions it has made pushed sales up by 77 percent.

Revenues from Astronics’ existing aerospace business grew by 15 percent.

The company’s test systems business earned $4 million, compared with a loss of $610,000 a year ago, even after absorbing the added inventory expense.

Test systems sales soared to $53.2 million from $2.2 million a year ago, with all of the increase coming from its February acquisition of EADS North America’s Test and Services Division.

Astronics executives said they expect the test systems business’ sales to fluctuate from quarter to quarter.


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