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Graham's profits jump 44 percent

Graham Corp.'s third-quarter profits jumped by 44 percent, easily topping analyst forecasts, as the Batavia manufacturer's sales rebounded by 31 percent from an unusually weak quarter a year ago.

Graham said it earned $1.8 million, or 19 cents per share, during the quarter that ended in December, compared with $1.3 million, or 13 cents per share, a year earlier.

The heat transfer equipment maker's sales rose to $22.7 million from $17.3 million as the company's U.S. Navy and nuclear power products business accounted for about a third of Graham's overall sales, up from about a quarter a year ago, as its key energy markets remained weak.

Graham said it expects its sales during the fiscal year that ends in March to range between $88 million and $92 million, which would be roughly flat compared with last year's $90 million in revenue.

The weakness in the company's energy markets continues to hurt Graham's order flow. New orders fell by 18 percent during the third quarter, which reduced its backlog of orders by nearly 5 percent to $99.1 million.

James R. Lines, Graham's president and CEO, said in a statement that he believes the company's energy markets have started to improve, although it has not yet translated into an uptick in either the number or quality of projects that are being put up for bid by potential customers.

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