LAKEWOOD, Colo., Feb. 11 Mesa Laboratories, Inc.(Nasdaq: MLAB) today reported significantly higher sales and earnings for bothits fiscal third quarter and nine months ended December 31, 2007.
For the third quarter of fiscal 2008, net sales increased 13 percent to$4,614,000 from $4,095,000 in the same quarter last year. Net income for thequarter increased 37 percent to $1,121,000 or $.34 per diluted share comparedto $818,000 or $.25 per diluted share one year ago.
For the first nine months of fiscal 2008, net sales increased 15 percentto $13,768,000 from $11,956,000 in the same period last year. Net income forthe first nine months increased 36 percent to $3,415,000 or $1.04 per dilutedshare compared to $2,520,000 or $.78 per share one year ago.
"The third quarter of fiscal 2008 was another good quarter for Mesa," saidJohn J. Sullivan, President and Chief Operating Officer. "We had good revenuegrowth and exceptional earnings growth, due largely to our improved grossmargins this year. The third quarter is traditionally a weaker quarter forMesa, but this year we had exceptional growth in the quarter for our DataTraceproduct line. This was due partially to a very weak Q3 for DataTrace lastyear and partially to the exceptional performance of our U.S. sales team.DataTrace, has very good momentum going into the last quarter of fiscal 2008.While our other two core product lines, Raven and Medical, experiencedrelatively little growth in the third quarter, we see these lines recoveringin the last quarter of the year to the order rate we saw in the first half,"continued John Sullivan. "Looking ahead, we have a number of importantinitiatives that should foster both short term and long term growth. Theseinclude executing a significant new product introduction in DataTrace,increasing our R&D effort in all product lines, and implementing efficiencyimprovements in all of our operations. As always, we will undertake theseinitiatives in a cost effective manner to allow for continued earningsgrowth."
During the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 2008, sales ofthe Company's medical products and services were unchanged and increased ninepercent, respectively, compared to the prior year periods. For the quarter,small increases of shipments in the meter product line and parts and servicewere off-set by a decrease in Echo Reprocessors which were discontinuedearlier in the fiscal year. The increase for the nine month period was duechiefly to higher sales of the Company's dialysate meters and standardsolution products.
During the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 2008, sales ofDataTrace data logger products increased compared to the prior year. For thequarter, DataTrace sales increased 46 percent compared to the same period lastyear, while sales increased 17 percent for the nine month period compared tothe same period last year. The increase in DataTrace sales during the quarterreflects higher shipments of Micropack III temperature and humidity units andan increase in rental revenues. The increase for the nine month period isattributable chiefly to higher Micropack III temperature units and higherservice revenues.
Third quarter sales of Raven biological indicator products increased twopercent compared to the prior year period. The Raven biological indicatorproducts were acquired on May 4, 2006. For this reason, sales of thecompany's Raven biological indicator products benefited from an extra fiveweeks of sales for the current nine month period when compared to the prioryear period and were up 27 percent. While order volumes remained strongduring the recent quarter, shipments did not keep up with orders due toheavier order volumes late in the quarter and some disruption to manufacturingand shipments due to facility upgrades that were performed the last week ofthe quarter.
Profitability for the thir