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Profits for Comptek Research Inc. shot up 76 percent for the quarter ended Dec. 31, propelled by acquisitions of other defense electronics firms, the West Seneca-based company announced.

Comptek earned a record $1.58 million for the third fiscal quarter, up from $899,000 a year ago. On a per-share basis, profits were 23 cents, vs. 17 cents.

The profits were slightly better than Wall Street's consensus expectation of 22 cents per share. Comptek stock rose 50 cents Thursday to close at $12 on the American Stock Exchange.

The acquisition of Amherst Systems Inc. last March gave a boost to sales and earnings in year-over-year comparisons, the company said. Quarterly sales grew 47 percent, to 35.8 million from $24.3 million.

The earlier purchase of Advanced Systems Development Inc. in 1996 is also boosting the company's electronic warfare simulation business, the engine of its growth.

"The company's superior financial performance over the last four years is a direct reflection of our commitment to establishing Comptek as a company of prominence within its industry," chief executive John Sciuto said.

Achievements during the quarter included winning a $7.7 million Navy contract for technical services and acquiring assets of Phase Two Industries Inc., a military software company in Santa Clara, Calif.

During the quarter Comptek also cut its long-term debt by converting debt to stock. The company converted $9 million in subordinated debentures debt to stock at a price of $9.50 a share, cutting long-term debt to $42.9 million.

Backlog at Dec. 31 was $165.9 million, up from $150.9 million a year earlier but down from the previous quarter's level of $178.3 million.

For the nine months ended Dec. 31, profits were $3.4 million on sales of $107.5 million, compared to profits of $2.3 million and sales of $68 million a year earlier. Profits per-share were 55 cents vs. 45 cents.

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