National Instruments posts record 4th quarter revenue
Jan 31, 2013 (Austin American-Statesman - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Big product sales orders propelled National Instruments to record revenue in the fourth quarter, the company said Thursday.
The Austin company, which makes virtual test and measurement systems for scientists and engineers worldwide, beat analyst forecasts with a profit of $20.7 million, or 17 cents a share, on revenue of $300.3 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31. That compared with a profit of $24.3 million, or 20 cents a share, on revenue of $278.1 million for the same quarter a year ago.
It beat analysts' expectations on both earnings and revenue. Results were released after the close of stock market trading in which its stock rose 32 cents, up 1.1 percent, to close at $28.40 a share.
The company, which said it is concerned about the strength of global manufacturing activity, said it expects to take in between $276 million and $296 million in revenue for the current quarter with a profit of between 12 cents and 22 cents a share.
"We believe our ability to grow revenue and maintain our operating profit in 2012, despite significant economic headwinds, demonstrated the strength of our disruptive approach," said chief operating officer Alex Davern.
CEO and co-founder James Truchard said he remains optimistic about the company's future because of its "differentiated approach" that includes the use of its graphical software to create new applications, its modular hardware and its close interaction with customers.
National Instruments showed its biggest growth in its largest orders. Orders over $100,000 increased by 37 percent over last year, while orders under $20,000 dropped 1 percent and orders between $20,000 and $100,000 increased by 6 percent.
Sales grew fastest in East Asia, where they were up 24 percent from last year, and emerging markets, where they increased 42 percent. That compared with 3 percent growth in the Americas and an 8 percent decrease in Europe.
The company said it continues to benefit from an undisclosed customer to which it made the largest application sale in the history of the company. That sale accounted for $59 million in orders a year ago and those orders are expected to continue this year. The sale involved both software and hardware for development of a production test solution.
For all of 2012, it had revenue of $1.14 billion, up 12 percent from a year ago. Its profit was $90.1 million down slightly from a profit of $94.1 million a year ago.
The company employs 6,869 people worldwide and 2,644 in Austin.
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