StockerYale reports earnings up, another loss

StockerYale, the Salem-based maker of photonic-based products, continues to increase sales and lose money, according to its first-quarter earnings report released last week.

Despite a record $7.5 million in sales – a 68 percent over the first quarter of 2006 and 28 percent over the previous quarter – the company posted a net loss of $1.6 million (5 cents a diluted share), about $400,000 more than the loss it reported in the first quarter of last year, and the same amount it lost in the previous quarter.

Higher expenses account for the loss, the firm said — particularly expenses related to increasing sales and those related to the recent purchase of Phontonic Products, a British firm that now accounts for a third of the company’s sales and is responsible for more than half of the company’s sales growth.

In a conference call, CEO Mark Blodgett emphasized the company’s investment in research and development. Last quarter R&D expenses accounted to $770,000, a slight increase from the same quarter last year, and a decline as a percentage of revenue from 16 to 10 percent.

The company said it hopes that gross profits will rise in 2007, partly because it is focusing on higher-margin products, and partly because it is pushing more aggressive sales. It said it expects a “modest” increase in the number of employees which now stands at 204 employees. – BOB SANDERS

Categories: News