Substantial increases in volume, prices, and manufacturing efficiencies contributed to passive-component maker AVX Corp.'s "best quarter in history," the company said in a conference call to analysts Thursday.
Earnings per share were 49 cents for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with 7 cents per share in the equivalent year-ago quarter. Net sales for the quarter increased 34% year-over-year to $416.4 million, while gross margin nearly doubled to 21.08%
"The market continues to be strong," said Dick Rosen, chairman and chief executive of AVX, Myrtle Beach, S.C., who specifically mentioned growth in the telecommunications, data processing, and medical arenas.
The company said several factors pushed up profits for the quarter, including its advanced products segment and strong sales of its tantalum and ceramic capacitors.
AVX is continuing to driving forward with plans to ramp up production of its tantalum capacitors, a program set in motion last year. Rosen said tantalum capacity is up 30% and expects to increase it by another 25% heading into the fall.
The December quarter also included $3 million of additional income related to a settlement with an unnamed supplier of "defective materials," the company said.
After the earnings report, AVX's stock jumped about 16% by late Friday to close just above $59 per share.