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Andrew Surges on Antenna Sale

Andrew (ANDW) surged Thursday after the wireless company posted a fourth-quarter profit and agreed to sell its mobile antenna product line.

For its fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, the Orland Park, Ill., company earned $569,000, or less than a penny a share. That reverses the year-ago loss of $1.2 million, or a penny a share. Sales surged to $488 million from $345 million a year earlier.

The latest-quarter profit was reduced to the tune of a dime a share by one-time charges and amortization. Excluding those costs, earnings beat the Thomson First Call analyst consensus estimate by a nickel a share.

Andrew cited increased wireless infrastructure market demand and growth in satellite communications for the latest-period gains.

"We are pleased that operating results exceeded our previously revised guidance. During the final two weeks of the quarter, we experienced greater-than-anticipated sales across most major product groups," said CEO Ralph Faison. "Our high degree of order flexibility and fast response times, once again, demonstrate the strength of our scalable manufacturing model."

For the first quarter, Andrew expects to post earnings of 3 to 6 cents a share on sales of around $455 million. Earnings will include costs of around 4 cents a share. Analysts had projected a 10-cent profit on sales of $468 million.

"Our sales guidance for the first quarter anticipates normal seasonality," said Faison. "Driven by continued wireless operator capital expenditure for network upgrades and expansion, we believe we are strategically positioned to grow faster than the overall wireless infrastructure market, improve operational performance and generate significant positive cash flow from operations in fiscal 2005."

The results came as Andrew definitively agreed to sell its mobile antenna product line to PcTel (PCTI) for $10 million in cash. The line includes global positioning satellite, consumer and professional antenna products, and posted fiscal 2004 sales of $29 million. The deal is expected to close within the next 30 days.

Andrew said it expects to record a $7.1 million pre-tax loss in its fiscal fourth quarter related to exiting the automotive and mobile antenna product lines. Combined sales for the automotive and mobile antenna product lines were $29 million in fiscal 2004.

On Thursday, Andrew rose $1.33 to $14.03.

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