Ceradyne, Inc. recently reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2003. Sales for the quarter increased 31% to a record $19.2 million from $14.7 million in the first quarter of 2002. Net income was also a record at $1.5 million, a 161% increase from $579,000 for the first quarter of 2002. Earnings per share this quarter were $0.17 per diluted share vs. $0.07 per diluted share for the comparable year-ago quarter. The tax provision combining federal and state tax rates was 35% for both periods. New bookings for the quarter rose sharply to $29.1 million from $14.2 million in the first quarter of 2002. Backlog at the end of the quarter also rose to $45.6 million, including $1.4 million of unexercised options, from approximately $27.5 million, including $1.7 million in unexercised options, in the first quarter of 2002. "The recovery in gross margins to 26% from 20% a year ago, and substantial improvement in operating margins to 12% from 6%, are the result of the company's commitment to increase efficiency at all levels," said Joel Moskowitz, president and chief executive officer. "The implementation of lean-measure initiatives, such as Demand Flow(R) technology announced last year, has contributed to these positive results."
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