Littelfuse Inc., Des Plaines, Ill., today reported record sales and earnings for the third quarter of 2000. Sales were $96.4 million, a 31% increase from sales of $73.3 million for the third quarter of 1999, while net income rose 48% to $9.7 million, compared to net income of $6.6 million for the same period in the prior year.
Diluted earnings per share rose 44% to 44 cents in the third quarter of 2000, from earnings of 30 cents per share for the comparable period a year ago.
"Continued strong electronics demand in all regions of the world fueled higher sales and earnings in the third quarter," said Howard B. Witt, chairman, president and chief executive. "With our steadily improving performance, we are realizing the benefits of our strategy to focus on electronics as our growth engine."
For the third quarter of 2000, worldwide sales of electronic products increased 60%, automotive sales increased 2% and power fuse sales decreased 5% over the same period a year ago. Similar to the second quarter, higher automotive OEM sales in the U.S. were offset by lower automotive aftermarket sales and the effects of currency translation
in Europe, the company said.
"Looking ahead, we anticipate that fourth quarter sales will grow about 7%-10% over a prior- year comparison that will include suppression products for the first time," Witt said. We expect to close out this year with sales up over 25% and earnings up approximately 50%."
"Overall company growth rates are beginning to slow from the extraordinary rates of earlier this year, reflecting some softening in the automotive markets, a weak euro, and inclusion of suppression products in the prior year comparison," he added. "However, we expect our electronics markets to remain strong throughout 2001. This gives us confidence that 2001 will be another record year for Littelfuse."