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BUSINESS NEWS 04 Mar 05

04 Mar 05. Ceradyne, Inc. (Nasdaq:CRDN – News; Company) today reported results for the fourth quarter and twelve months ended December 31, 2004. Sales for the fourth quarter 2004 increased 151.6% to a record $83.4m from $33.1m in the fourth quarter of 2003. Net income for the fourth quarter 2004 increased 108.7% to a record $8.8m, or $0.35 per diluted share, compared to net income of $4.2m, or $0.17 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2003. Fourth quarter net income included a $1.4m ($0.06 per share) after tax expense incurred in connection with the acquisition of ESK Ceramics, which related primarily to the amortization of the backlog and expensing the step up of the inventory acquired. Fully diluted average shares outstanding for the fourth quarter were 24,823,000 compared to 24,264,000 in the same period in 2003. Operations of ESK Ceramics have been consolidated since September 1, 2004, and contributed $27.3m to fourth quarter 2004 sales. Gross profit margin increased to 31.3% of net sales in the fourth quarter of 2004 from 30.1% of net sales in the fourth quarter of 2003. The acquisition-related expenses impacted the gross profit margin for the fourth quarter of 2004 by 2.6% of net sales. The provision for income taxes was 34.4% in the fourth quarter 2004, compared to 35.0% in the fourth quarter 2003. Sales for the year ended December 31, 2004, increased to a record $215.6m, up 112.5% from $101.5m in 2003. For the year ended December 31, 2004, net income increased to $27.6m, or $1.12 per diluted share, on 24,598,000 average shares outstanding, from $11.2m, or $0.51 per diluted share, on 21,900,000 shares, for the year ended December 31, 2003. Net income for the year ended December 31, 2004, was up 145.4% over last year, and earnings per diluted share for 2004 increased 119.6% compared to 2003. For the year, fully diluted average shares outstanding were 24,598,000 compared to 21,900,000 shares in 2003.

08 Mar 05. EDAC Technologies Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board: EDAC – News), a designer and manufacturer of tools, fixtures, jet engine components, injection molds and spindles, reported results for the fourth quarter of 2004.Sales for the fourth quarter of 2004 were $9,631,000 and net income was $2,012,000 or $0.43 per diluted share, versus sales of $5,992,000 and a net loss of $107,000 or a loss of $0.02 per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2003. The fourth quarter benefited from an income tax credit of $1,567,000. Net income prior to the tax credit was $445,000. For the fiscal year 2004, sales were $33,247,000 and net income was $2,862,000 or $0.62 per diluted share versus sales of $25,677,000 and net income of $6,579,000 or $1.46 per diluted share for the fiscal year 2003. The fiscal year 2003 benefited from a gain of $7,253,000 from debt restructuring. Without the gain for the fiscal year 2003 the net loss would have been $674,000. The fiscal year 2004 benefited from an income tax credit of $1,831,000 and debt forgiveness of $250,000. Net income prior to the tax credit and without the debt forgiveness would have been $781,000.

08 Mar 05. Finmeccanica, the Italian aerospace and engineering group, has given a mandate to investment banks Morgan Stanley, Societe Generale and Banca IMI to coordinate a new bond issue. Finmeccanica’s board has indicated a maximum value of €600m for non-convertible bonds with maturities of up to 30 years.
(Source: Abstracted from La Stampa)

07 Mar 05. Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest maker of liquid crystal displays, on Monday said LCD prices were unlikely to recover until the fourth quarter, backtracking on its earlier forecast they might rise as early as the second quarter. The gloomy forecast follows a supply glut that pushed LCD prices down by nearly 20 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year, squeezing profit margins at flat panel display makers. “Demand for LCD TVs is strong but average selling prices are not likely to move much for the time being,” Ch

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