Molex Inc. now expects its fiscal 2001 revenue to rise as much as 20% from the prior year with profits growing even faster as the electronic and fiber-optic connector maker adds manufacturing capacity to meet increasing demand.
The Lisle, Ill., company is well on the way to meeting or exceeding that target. The company's fiscal 2001 first quarter profits rose 42%, to $64.5 million, or 33 cents a share, in the three months ended Sept. 30, from $45.5 million, or 23 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue rose 27%, to $626 million from $491.9 million.
"Due to our broad customer base and geographical presence, we continue to see an increasing number of opportunities in an expanding number of markets," said Fred Krehbiel, Molex's co-chairman and co-chief executive. "To build our manufacturing capacity we expect to spend approximately $375 million on capital spending during this fiscal year ending June 30, 2001."
Molex said the weak euro reduced its revenue by $8.3 million and order backlog, which rose 60%, to $472 million from $295 million one year ago, by about $20 million. In Europe, Molex's revenue rose 36% in local currency value and 18% in U.S. dollars. Sales rose 23% in the Far East, Krehbiel said.
"Molex is in the midst of another period of accelerated earnings per share growth driven by opportunities in communications, automotive and value-added assembly markets," said Jerry Labowitz, an analyst with Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., New York. "Sales and operating margins were ahead of expectations despite the negative effect of the euro."