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In any case, here is a national-security type stock somewhat in the flavor of Taser, that looks good to me and should be on firm footing for the near future. Ceradyne, Inc. (CRDN) "...develops, manufactures, and markets advanced technical ceramic products and components for industrial, defense, consumer and microwave applications." CRDN performed well today in an otherwise mediocre market. They closed at $30.50 up $3.54 or 13.13% on the day. What drove the price higher was a preliminary report on third quarter earnings. This story was released on BUSINESS WIRE and I read it online on the NYTimes on the Web.
For the quarter ended September 30, 2003, sales almost doubled to a record $27 million compared to $14.3 million last year. New orders for the quarter increased 225% (!!!) to a record $52 million from $16 million in the same quarter last year. These were initial results and net earnings were not made available.
Looking at Morningstar.com, we find a fairly steady increase in revenue with a slight hiccup in 2001: $26.3 million in revenue in 1998, $30.4 million in 1999, $45.9 million in 2000, $45.3 million in 2001 (the hiccup), $61.2 million in 2002 and $65 million in the trailing twelve months.
Earnings have been erratic but have increased from $0.04 to $.41 during the same period (1998-2002).
Free cash flow has been less impressive with $5 million in 2000, ($6) million in 2001, ($4) million in 2002 and $0 million in the trailing twelve months.
Assets/liabilities show $.5 million in cash and $37.3 million in other current assets, plenty to cover the $11.2 million in current liabilities and $1.8 million in long-term debt.
Looking at Yahoo.com, we find that this is a relatively small cap company with a market cap of $265.84 million. The trailing p/e is a bit high at 44.20 but the PEG ratio isn't bad at 1.68. The price/sales is up a bit at 3.21 but these numbers aren't too bad in light of the spectacular growth just reported.
There are 8.72 million shares outstanding with 7.50 million of them that float. 288,000 shares are out short representing 2.149 days of average trading as of 9/8/03. No dividend is paid.
This is an interesting stock that is right in the midst of our national security/defense issues. They are busy selling the government, as I understand it, ceramic armor including creramic armor vests for military personnel and ceramic armor for helicopters. They also have non-military business as well. I like this company a lot in terms of an investment but do not at this time own any shares. I am fairly optimistic about the future price performance of this stock.