For the first quarter of fiscal 2009, NCI reported revenue growth of 14.8% year over year, which was higher than the industry average of 1.4%. This growth appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, as EPS improved 25.9% compared with the same quarter a year ago. We feel that NCI's two-year trend of positive EPS growth should continue. The company also reported increased net income, which rose 28.8% from $3.63 million to $4.68 million. An additional strength is the company's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29, which is below the industry average and indicates successful management of debt levels. To add to this, NCI has a quick ratio of 1.55, demonstrating an ability to cover short-term liquidity needs.
Management was pleased with what it considered solid results for the first quarter. Looking ahead, the company announced expectations of diluted EPS in the range of 34 cents to 36 cents for the second quarter and $1.44 to $1.52 for full-year fiscal 2009. The stock has risen 35.77% over the past year, and we feel that the stock should continue to move higher on the strength of the positive factors detailed above, despite its low profit margins. Bear in mind, however, that almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline.
Atrion (ATRI - Get Report) designs, develops, manufactures, sells, and distributes products and components for the medical and healthcare industry. We have rated the company's stock a buy since April 2003 on account of Atrion's growth, efficiency, solvency and solid stock price performance.
For the first quarter of fiscal 2009, Atrion reported a slight revenue increase of 1.8% year over year. Although this result did not match the industry average of 5.9% growth, it does appear to have helped boost EPS, which improved 12.6% when compared with the same quarter last year. Net income also increased in the first quarter, rising 13.1% from $3.66 million to $4.13 million and significantly exceeding the industry and S&P 500 averages. Atrion has no debt to speak of, and we consider its resulting debt-to-equity ratio of zero to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 4.51, which clearly demonstrates its ability to cover short-term cash needs.