Intermec sees increase in sales, revenue

  • By Eric Fetters Herald Writer
  • Thursday, November 1, 2007 11:02pm
  • Business

EVERETT — Intermec Inc. saw revenue grow by 5 percent during the third quarter, reversing a year of sales declines for the company’s rugged handheld computers and inventory-tracking technology.

The Everett-based company’s revenue totaled $206 million, up from $196 million in the year-ago period. Net earnings, however, missed most analysts expectations at $4.4 million, or 7 cents a share, down from $4.8 million a year ago.

Patrick Byrne, who took over as Intermec’s president and chief executive officer during the third quarter, said this year’s third-quarter results included $3.1 million of costs related to the senior management transition.

Byrne said he’s focused on accelerating the company’s revenue growth and improving its margins on products and services.

“In our third quarter, we made some progress on these two measures of success,” Byrne told investors and analysts in a conference call Thursday.

He said the revenue growth, though modest, was significant, as it was the reversal of a downward sales trend that dated to last year.

The third quarter saw the introduction of several new products, including a handheld cordless scanner and a new printer of radio frequency identification tags.

Byrne said revenue from RFID products, seen as a key to the company’s future, were particularly promising. He also outlined changes made during the past couple months to improve the company’s sales in North America, its largest market.

“I’m more excited and confident about Intermec’s growth opportunities than the day I joined in July,” he said.

Revenue from North American sales grew by 11 percent, but sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa soared 44 percent and revenues from Asian customers grew by 47 percent. Latin American sales decreased.

Intermec’s revenue for the first nine months of the year totaled $596 million, down from $631 million in the same period of 2006. But Bryne said fourth-quarter revenue is expected to be at least $230 million, well above last year’s $219 million.

The company ended the quarter with $214 million in cash and short-term investments, up by $25 million.

Intermec shares fell $1.70, or more than 6 percent, in Thursday’s trading before the company’s earnings announcement. After the third-quarter results came out, however, the stock rebounded upward 7 percent in after-hours trading.

Reporter Eric Fetters: 425-339-3453 or fetters@heraldnet.com.

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