Lowrance Fourth Quarter Sales Increase 59% to $43.0 Million
Lowrance Electronics, Inc. announced that fourth quarter sales jumped 59% to a fourth quarter record $43.0 million, compared to sales of $27.0 million for the same quarter of fiscal 2004. Net income for the fourth quarter ended July 31, 2005, increased 23% to $2.5 million, or $0.49 per diluted share, compared to $2.0 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, for the same period in fiscal 2004. There were 5.1 million diluted shares outstanding in the fiscal 2005 fourth quarter, compared to 4.0 million diluted shares at the same time last year.
For the fiscal year ended July 31, 2005, net sales increased 31% to a record $146.4 million, compared to $111.9 million last year. Net income increased 8% to a record $9.4 million, or $1.90 per diluted share, compared to $8.8 million, or $2.20 per diluted share, in fiscal 2004. There were 4.9 million diluted shares outstanding in fiscal 2005, compared to 4.0 million diluted shares in fiscal 2004.
“Record full year and fourth quarter sales reflect the introduction of over 50 new, leading-edge SONAR, GPS/SONAR combination and GPS products supplemented by significant contributions from our new turn-by-turn automotive GPS product, the award-winning iWay 500C. As expected, the strong sales for our automotive and hand-held GPS products, which have lower gross margin percentages than the marine products, reduced the fiscal 2005 gross margin percentage to 37% of sales, compared to 42% of sales in fiscal 2004. We believe the high fourth quarter sales rate for new automotive and hand-held GPS receivers provides clear evidence this new line of products will complement our seasonal marine business,” said Darrell Lowrance, president and CEO.
General and administrative expenses increased to support additional advertising, selling and marketing expenses for our new iWay 500C and other new GPS and marine products. Lowrance incurred $0.9 million of costs related to Section 404 reporting under the Sarbanes-Oxley act, three times the estimates the Company received from its outside consultants. “We are hopeful that the SEC will continue to examine this topic and reduce the extreme burden of Section 404 reporting,” said Lowrance.
“We are continuing our strategy to leverage our business through the introduction of additional new products for the automotive and handheld GPS markets. Our new product investments in the past year enabled the strong finish in 2005, and we are excited about the opportunity to build upon this momentum in fiscal 2006. This strong growth continued during August with sales increasing more than 37% over the same month last year,” said Lowrance.