Newport Corp., a manufacturer of laser research equipment, reported fiscal 1987 third-quarter net income of $1.2 million, down 29% from $1.7 million a year earlier. Sales for the three months ended April 30 decreased slightly to $10.69 million from $10.75 million a year earlier.
For the first nine months, net earnings of $3.5 million were down 24% from $4.6 million while sales of $31.9 million rose 7.7% from $29.6 million for the first nine months of the Newport Beach-based company' fiscal 1986.
Separately, the company's directors have authorized the purchase, over a period of time, of up to 1 million shares of Newport Corp.'s common stock outstanding--or about 11% of the shares outstanding. At current prices, that represents an expenditure of about $12 million, the company said.
"The sales decrease reflected the sluggish order rate in the beginning of the quarter," said Robert C. Hewitt, vice president of finance. "The lower earnings are attributable to start-up costs associated with the introduction of new products, continuing development of our international marketing capabilities, and lower interest income," he said.
Hewitt said the company's order rate has picked up since the beginning of the third quarter and that officials expect "more favorable year-to-year comparisons in the fourth quarter as a result of our strengthened internal operations."