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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP / BARBARA MURPHY

Cal Amplifier's Net Up 90%, but Investors Bail

June 25, 1996|BARBARA MURPHY

California Amplifier's net income rose 90% during the company's fiscal second quarter, but that showing caught analysts--who had expected better results--by surprise.

Net income for the Camarillo electronics company rose to $1.62 million, or 13 cents a share, from $852,000, or 7 cents, in the year-earlier period. Revenue for the period ended June 1 increased 36% to $17.3 million from $12.7 million.

Two of three analysts had expected earnings to reach 14 cents a share, while a third, Dayna Crider of J.C. Bradford, expected 15 cents.

"In the last six quarters, we exceeded analysts' estimates," said Michael Ferron, chief financial officer.

He theorized that momentum traders, who purchase rapidly rising stock and bail out at the first sign of weakness, had bought the company's shares as they increased almost 10-fold over the past year and were now hurrying to sell.

Accounts receivable soared 74% from the first quarter, to $8 million from $4.6 million. The company blamed the timing of certain foreign shipments and collecting letters of credit for the surge.

"That's not unusual with international sales," Crider said.

Research and development expenses increased 53% to $1.5 million as the company developed new components for digital wireless cable products, and for its Multicipher Plus system that scrambles broadcasts so only certain subscribers can receive broadcasts.

"We would expect development and start-up costs on these projects [to] continue into the second quarter," said CEO Ira Coron.

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