Why Methode Electronics, Inc. Stock Marched Higher Today

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 Methode Electronics (NYSE: MEI  ) jumped more than 13% Thursday after the company released better-than-expected fiscal fourth quarter results.

So what: Quarterly sales rose 51.7% year-over-year to $224.9 million, while net income nearly quintupled over the same period to $48.2 million, or $1.25 per share. Analysts, on average, were only expecting earnings of $0.54 per share on sales of $198.38 million.

Note, however, that Methode also saw significant one-time benefits to its bottom line, notably including both the $17.5 million release of a U.S. deferred tax valuation allowance, and a $3.2 million in gains related to the sale of its Lumidigm investment. Excluding the impact of its one-time items, Methode's quarterly net income would have been $18.8 million, or $0.49 per share.

Now what: But investors were willing to overlook this considering Methode also provided strong fiscal 2015 guidance. Specifically, the company sees sales in the range of $835 million to $860 million, which should result in earnings per share in the range of $1.85 to $2.00. By contrast, analysts were only modeling fiscal 2015 sales and earnings of $746.3 million and $1.79 per share, respectively.

Shares of Methode currently trade around 1.8 times trailing 12-month sales, and 19.4 times the midpoint of management's expected fiscal 2015 earnings -- both reasonable premiums to pay given Methode's impressive growth. As a result, and even after today's pop, I think Methode Electronics should be able to still reward patient long-term investors from here.

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