What's happening: Shares of FEI Company (NASDAQ:FEIC) roared as much as 12.3% higher on Friday morning, driven by a very impressive second-quarter report. By 1:10 p.m., the stock had settled to a 10.5% rise over the previous closing price.
Why it's happening : You don't need one of FEI's powerful microscopes to see what went right in the second quarter. Yes, sales declined 5.4% year-over-year due to currency exchange effects, but earnings rose 51% to land at $0.89 per share. The analyst consensus called for just $0.75 per share, and the result also exceeded the high end of FEI's own guidance.
FEI's science segment saw organic sales rising 5.7% year-over-year while organic industrial orders declined 5.2%.
Forward guidance was somewhat less impressive. FEI set the midpoint of its third-quarter earnings view at $0.75 per share, well below the Street's current $0.90 view. For the full year, analysts presently expect earnings of $3.54 per share, roughly at the $3.55 guidance midpoint.
"Our first-half order activity from semiconductor and life sciences customers highlights our strong technology and competitive positioning in these key growth markets," said FEI CEO Don Kania in a press statement. "As we look to the second half of 2015, our current backlog shows a high level of product deliveries in the fourth quarter, particularly to our Science customers."
That last nugget explains how FEI can expect to miss the Street consensus in the third quarter but still set full-year targets in line with analyst targets. Management sees several long-term growth drivers playing out over the next few quarters:
"We see signs of improvement in our oil and gas and material signs businesses, continued growth opportunities in Life Sciences and the expansion of our workflows into our semiconductor customers," Kania said in a conference call with analysts. "These trends along with the continued growth of our service business all support our long-term outlook."