May 4, 2011
Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of FEI (Nasdaq: FEIC ) rose more than 13% in intraday trading after the company reported first-quarter results that blew away estimates.
So what: We've seen this before. In the fourth quarter, FEI embarrassed Wall Street by annihilating expectations. This time, the nanoscale measurement specialist said revenue rose 6% to $197 million, while profit improved by $0.02 a share, to $0.54. Analysts were expecting $185.8 million and $0.46, respectively, according to Yahoo! Finance.
Now what: Pricing power helped spur the gains as gross margin rose nearly 4 percentage points year-over-year. Bookings also improved 14%, reflective of increased demand for its products in the life sciences, electronics, and research industries.
Better still, management expects the winds to continue blowing favorably. FEI expects to earn $0.55 to $0.61 a share on $195 million to $210 million in second-quarter revenue, well above the $185.1 million and $0.45 analysts had been calling for.
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