GREENSBORO, N.C. — Guilford Mills Inc. reported earnings for the quarter ended Sept. 20 shot up 84 percent to $12.7 million, or 90 cents a share, from $6.9 million, or 50 cents a share, a year ago.
Sales rose 15.7 percent to $216.8 million from $187.4 million.
Results benefited from reengineered programs, improved manufacturing processes and cost containment measures, said John Emrich, president and chief operating officer, in a statement.
Earnings for fiscal 1996 inched up 1 percent to $34 million, or $2.38 a share, from $33.6 million, or $2.41 a share on fewer shares outstanding a year ago. Sales gained 6.1 percent, coming in at $830.3 million against $782.5 million.
With results far outpacing Wall Street estimates, analyst Jay J. Meltzer of LJR Redbook Research commented that Guilford — a producer of knit fabrics for apparel, home furnishings and the automotive market — certainly had a “nice quarter.” He had estimated 66 cents a share for the quarter and attributed the extra 24 cents to strong performance in all areas. For the year, Meltzer had estimated $2.15 a share.
Emrich commented that second-half performance was particularly strong due to the growth in several core apparel products and the continued market penetration with Hofmann Laces, acquired Jan. 17.
Additionally, Emrich cited strong international operations, most notably in Mexico, which gained 21 percent in sales despite a difficult operating environment.
European operations generated an 11 percent sales increase in the fourth quarter due to new programs.
Emrich’s outlook for next year is optimistic, as the integration of Hoffman Laces with Guilford has produced new products in both intimate apparel and home furnishings.