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American Precision Industries Inc. said Tuesday that its third-quarter profits soared by 45 percent as the Cheektowaga manufacturer continued its string of solid earnings growth.

The third-quarter gains gave American Precision its 13th straight quarter with earnings that have increased by at least 25 percent and also set record highs for new orders, backlog, sales and profits.

American Precision said its profits surged to $863,000, or 24 cents per share, from $719,000, or 17 cents per share, a year ago. The company's sales increased by 52 percent to $31.6 million from $20.8 million the year before.

The manufacturer of electronic components, heat transfer and motion technology equipment said its earnings were bolstered by two April acquisitions -- its $12.3 million purchase of the heat transfer division of Ketema Inc. in Grand Prairie, Texas, and its $4.2 million acquisition of Gettys Corp. for its motion control business.

Most of the improvement in sales and earnings came from the company's heat transfer and motion controls businesses, said John M. Murray, the firm's vice president of finance.

About half of the earnings improvement from American Precision's heat transfer group came from its renamed API Ketema unit, while about 35 percent of the gain in earnings at its motion control group came from its API Gettys operations, Murray said.

At the same time, American Precision's electronic components business generated only a slight increase in sales and a modest rise in profits as its markets softened. "They contributed (to the increase) but not in a substantial way," he said.

The company said its new order bookings shot up by 33 percent during the quarter to $32.7 million. That increase helped boost its backlog of orders by 23 percent to $32.2 million at the end of September.

For the first nine months of the year, American Precision's profits surged by 40 percent to $4.7 million, or 66 cents per share, from $3.4 million, or 48 cents per share, a year ago. The company's sales rose by 41 percent to $85 million from $60.3 million the year before.

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