ASTRO-MED INC. develops designs manufactures and sells a comprehensive line of specialty data printers and related electronic systems computersoftware and printer consumables. Among the specialty printers are the MTseries which includes the MT95K2 and the MT-95000 and the Dash serieswhich includes the DASH 10 introduced in fiscal 1995 and four other machines. The MT series and the Dash series are generally referred to as `data recorders` and are used to capture process analyze and record data related to engineering scientific industrial and medical tests. AstroMed Inc. has a market cap of $45.38 million; its shares were traded at around $6.24 with a P/E ratio of 13.5 and P/S ratio of 0.63. The dividend yield of AstroMed Inc. stocks is 3.7%. AstroMed Inc. had an annual average earning growth of 6.6% over the past 5 years.
Highlight of Business Operations: The Companys current year third quarter spending for selling, research & development (R&D) and general and administrative expenses declined 1.1% from the prior year to $6,558,000. Specifically, selling & marketing expenses decreased 2.5% from the previous year due to the Italy restructuring and lower travel and entertainment expenses in the current quarter. R&D expenses in the quarter were $1,254,000, a 5.9% increase from the prior years third quarters spending. The increased spending in R&D is confined to purchases of outside professional engineering services. As a percentage of sales, R&D spending was 7.1% in the third quarter of the current year as compared to 6.2% in the third quarter of the previous year. General & administrative spending declined 3.4% from prior year to $1,140,000. The decreased in general and administrative expenditures is mainly attributed to lower incentive compensation, offset by an increase in professional service fees.
Operating expenses in the nine months of the current year for selling, R&D and general and administrative were $20,203,000, representing a 4.0% increase from the prior year. Selling and marketing expenses rose 2.5% from the prior year to $12,927,000 with the increase traceable to personnel costs related to compensation from higher commission expense, wages and advertising costs. R&D spending for the current nine months grew by 7.7% to $3,680,000 as compared to the same period in the prior year and represents 6.6% of the current years sales compared to 6.3% of sales in the prior year. The current year increase in R&D spending is primarily attributable to an increase in the procurement of outside software engineering services. General and administrative expense for the first nine months of the current year were $3,596,000, a 6.1% increase to from the prior year. The higher spending level in the current year is mainly attributed to an increase in professional service fees.
Sales revenues from the Test & Measurement product group were $4,099,000 for the third quarter of the current fiscal year representing an 8.1% decrease as compared to sales of $4,458,000 for the same period in the prior year. Within the product group, the Ruggedized products sales were down 36.1%, from prior year due to delays in the deployment of the new Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787 commercial aircraft. However, sales of the Dash product line were up 20.9% from the prior year. Operating expenses rose 5.0% from the prior year spending level. Segment operating profits for the third quarter were $525,000, 54.9% lower than the third quarter of the previous year. The decrease in current year third quarter segment operating profit resulted in segment operating profit margin of 12.8% as compared to the prior years third quarter margin of 26.1%.
Sales revenues from the QuickLabel Systems product group were $9,231,000 in the third quarter as compared to $9,919,000 in the prior years same quarter. The lower sales were distributed among hardware products and service and other sales, down 33.4% and 13.7%, respectively, and consumable products sales up 3.5% from the prior year. QuickLabels current quarter segment operating profits were $961,000 and reflect a profit margin of 10.4%, a decrease from prior years third quarter segment profit margin of 10.8%.
Sales in the third quarter for the current year for Grass Technologies product group were $4,351,000 as compared to $4,762,000 in the prior years third quarter. The lower sales in the quarter was traceable to the Research, Consumable, and Service and Other product lines which were down 15.8% from the same period in the previous year. Current year third quarter sales in the clinical markets were approximately flat with the prior year, although GTs sleep and EEG product lines posted growth rates of 34.7% and 22.8%, respectively. However, the long term epilepsy monitor product sales were lower by 62.9% from the previous year. Third quarter operating expenses for GT were down 8.4% from the previous years third quarter spending due to savings realized from the restructuring initiative implemented in the prior year. Segment operating profits were up in the quarter, with the segment achieving an operating profit margin of 14.1% as compared to a segment operating profit margin of 10.7% reported in the third quarter of the prior year.
Sales revenues of the Grass Technologies product group have been strong in the current fiscal year. GT sales were $13,991,000 for the nine months of the current year as compared to $13,321,000 for the same period of the prior year. The year over year increase of 5.0% was achieved through growth of the clinical products (sleep and long term monitoring diagnostic products) up 9.6% and consumable products of electrodes and creams up 5.0%. The segments current year operating profit has improved from last year, resulting in segment operating profit margin of 13.9% for the first nine months of the current year as compared to 8.2% reported in the same period of the previous year. The increased profitability is an outgrowth of sales volume, factory absorption and product mix.
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