Daktonics, Inc. announces record third quarter results

<< Back
Feb 18, 2004
Daktonics, Inc. announces record third quarter results

Brookings, S.D. - February 18, 2004 - Daktronics, Inc. (Nasdaq - DAKT), a worldwide leader in the scoreboard, electronic display and large screen video display industry, announced record third quarter net sales of $44.7 million and net income of $2.6 million, or $.13 per diluted share, compared with third quarter net sales of $38.2 million and net income of $1.9 million, or $.10 per diluted share, one year ago. Both sales and net income were records for the Company's third quarter.

Net sales, net income and earnings per share for the nine months ended Jan. 31, 2004, were $152.0 million, $13.6 million, and $.68 per diluted share, respectively, compared to $130.4 million, $9.0 million, and $.47 per diluted share, respectively, for the same period one year ago.

Backlog at the end of the quarter totaled approximately $43 million, compared with backlog of approximately $51 million at the end of the third quarter last fiscal year. The reported backlog does not include $6 million for the Memphis Grizzlies/FedExForum project announced January 29, 2004, as contracts were not executed prior to the end of the quarter. The timing of large orders can cause significant fluctuations on the Company's end of quarter backlog.

"Our goal remains to grow the top line at more than 15 percent per year on average, and we remain on track for that rate of sales growth this fiscal year," said Jim Morgan, president and CEO of Daktronics. "We are pleased with the strong third quarter results, in which sales were up 17 percent over the same period a year ago and were especially strong internationally. Typically the third quarter, November, December and January, is our weakest, because of the holidays that fall during the quarter, the lack of major sports seasons starting during the period, and weather that can affect progress at work sites.

"For the quarter, sales in both sports and commercial markets were up, with commercial up significantly in percentage growth. Transportation sales were down for the quarter. Year to date, sports and commercial market sales have increased significantly, with transportation sales remaining flat compared to the previous nine months," Morgan said.

"Work on various baseball projects, as well as other contracts, contributed to sports sales. We'll be turning on new systems at four major league ballparks this spring," Morgan said, "in Philadelphia, San Diego, Cleveland and Anaheim. Several minor league and college customers have also chosen Daktronics to provide systems for their facilities for the start of this season.

"Sales growth in the commercial market has been fueled by successful on-going programs with national accounts, which make up a portion of commercial sales. Additional factors include a growing interest in LED displays, many sold and installed by sign company resellers, for promotional and advertising use in an improving economy," Morgan said. "Though transportation sales were down for the quarter, we still believe that there is growth ahead for our products in these applications."

"Gross margin for the third quarter was 33.0 percent as compared to 32.4 percent for the same period one year ago," said Bill Retterath, chief financial officer. "As previously announced, we expected that margins would decline from last quarter and they declined slightly more than expected due to the concentration we had in the larger multi-million dollar transactions. Partially offsetting that, our percentage of standard products increased slightly.

"For the quarter, we experienced higher than expected operating costs due to a number of factors, including costs of our international expansion where we have seen positive growth, some one-time compensation related costs and higher professional fees. We expect to see some of these costs decline as we move forward.

"We also invested significantly in capital equipment during the quarter, primarily within our electronic subassembly area and in information systems infrastructure. We are also formulating plans to add manufacturing space to our facility in Brookings to accommodate our planned growth into the future," Retterath said.

"Our backlog of $43 million at the end of the quarter was down compared to one year ago," Morgan stated. "Looking at upcoming projects we have under letters of intent, other projects on the horizon, and anticipated orders for standard products, we expect sales for the next quarter to be in the range of $51 million to $56 million, which would put annual sales for fiscal year 2004 in the range of $203 to $208 million. We expect earnings per share for the fourth quarter to range from $.17 to $.25 per share, which would total $.85 to $.93 for the fiscal year."

Noteworthy sports projects booked in the third quarter include display systems for Denton Independent School District, Denton, Texas; Harper Creek Community School, Battle Creek, Mich.; Hickory Crawdads Baseball, Hickory, N.C.; Swing of the Quad Cities, Davenport, Iowa; Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; Durham Bulls, Durham, N.C.; University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.; Harvard University, Boston, Mass.; University of Central Arkansas, Conway, Ark.; University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio; Pengrowth Saddledome, Calgary, Canada; Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, Anaheim, Calif.; Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, N.C.; Qwest Center, Omaha, Neb.; Palace Theatre, Albany, N.Y.; Six Flags Over Georgia, Austell, Ga.; Cleveland Indians, Cleveland, Ohio; Edison International Field, Anaheim, Calif.; Aveiro Municipal Stadium, Aveiro, Portugal; and Qatar Equestrian Stadium, Doha, Qatar.

Noteworthy commercial and transportation projects booked in the third quarter include systems for Churchill Downs, Louisville, Ky.; Haltheon Management Group, Dallas, Texas; Lamar Advertising, Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.; Border Buy LLC, Tijuana, Mexico; National Tour, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.; Longo Toyota, El Monte, Calif.; MTA Long Island Railroad, Hollis, N.Y.; Sacramento International Airport, Sacramento, Calif.; Grapevine Partners/Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta, Ga.; N.C. State Dept. of Transportation, Raleigh, N.C.; Tampa International Airport, Tampa, Fla.; Silk Highway, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Ben Gurion International Airport, Tel Aviv, Israel.

The Company will webcast its quarterly conference call at 10:00 am (Central) on Wednesday, Feb. 18. To listen to the webcast, go to the home page of www.daktronics.com, and click on the icon at the bottom right corner of the screen. Completion of a short registration form, along with Windows&#174 Media Player software, are required to hear the webcast. A replay of the teleconference via the internet will also be accessible shortly after the conclusion of the conference call through www.daktronics.com. A replay of the teleconference accessible by telephone will be available for one week starting at noon (Central) on Feb. 18. To access the replay, call toll-free in the U.S. and Canada 800-633-8284 and enter code 21184654. International callers can dial 402-977-9140 and enter code 21184654 to hear the replay by phone.

Daktronics has strong leadership positions in, and is one of the world's largest suppliers of electronic scoreboards, computer-programmable displays, large screen video displays, and control systems. The Company excels in the control of large display systems, including those that require integration of complex multiple displays showing real time information, graphics, animation and video. Daktronics designs, manufactures, markets and services display systems for customers around the world in sport, business and transportation applications, and recently celebrated its 35th year in business. For more information, visit the Company's worldwide web site at http://www.daktronics.com, email the Company at sales@daktronics.com, call toll-free 1-800-DAKTRONICS (800-325-8766) in the U.S., or write to the Company at 331 32nd Avenue, P.O. Box 5128, Brookings, SD 57006-5128.

Cautionary Notice: In addition to statements of historical fact, this news release contains forward-looking statements reflecting the Company's expectations or beliefs concerning future events which could materially affect company performance in the future. The Company cautions that these and similar statements involve risk and uncertainties including changes in economic and market conditions, management of growth, timing and magnitude of future contracts, and other risks noted in the Company's SEC filings which may cause actual results to differ materially. Forward-looking statements are made in the context of information available as of the date stated. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise such statements to reflect new circumstances or unanticipated events as they occur.

-- END --

Complete press release with financial tables

news release: 02640