ELMIRA — First-quarter sales and profits were up at Hardinge, Inc., an Elmira–based machine-tool manufacturer.
Net sales at the company grew 2 percent during the quarter to $74.7 million when compared with the first quarter of 2011. However, sales were down $16.4 million, or 18 percent, from the fourth quarter of 2011, when many customers accelerated purchases to take advantage of tax benefits expiring in 2011.
Net income climbed 77 percent to $2.4 million, or 21 cents per share, up from $1.1 million, or 12 cents, a year ago.
“Our sales channels experienced a high level of quote activity during the first quarter, but orders started off slowly,” Hardinge Chairman, President, and CEO Richard L. Simons said in a news release. “Orders in March have picked up and continued to be strong through April. Based on our current backlog and order activity, we expect sales over the next two quarters to be similar to the last half of 2011.
“Although for the year, we are not expecting significant year-over-year sales growth, we do believe we will have a stronger margin mix of business and be able to better leverage our operations to drive earnings.”
Headquartered in Elmira, Hardinge (www.hardingeus.com) manufactures machine tools for the aerospace, agricultural, transportation, consumer-goods, communications, electronics, construction, defense, energy, pharmaceutical and medical-equipment, and recreation industries.
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