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RF INDUSTRIES, LTD. (NASDAQ:RFIL) today announced that sales for the first quarter ended January 31, 2012 increased 34% to a first quarter record $5,559,000 compared to sales of $4,140,000 in the first quarter last year. Consolidated net income, for the typically weakest seasonal quarter of the fiscal year, was $117,000, or $0.02 per diluted share, compared to $351,000, or $0.05 per diluted share, in the same period last year.
The Company also announced today that its Board of Directors has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.05 per common share, payable April 16, 2012 to shareholders of record on March 30, 2012. RFI currently has approximately 6,860,000 common shares outstanding.
"Record first quarter sales at Bioconnect and RF Wireless combined with a seasonally strong performance at Cables Unlimited to produce the highest first quarter sales in RFI's history. Gross margins also improved at each of these three businesses. This strong performance was offset by lower sales at RF Connector & Cable Assembly, where project delays at large wireless carrier end-users slowed shipments to distributors and commodity costs increased, prior to the publication of the new RF Connector & Cable Assembly pricing schedule. Going forward, we anticipate that RFI will be participating in a number of new wireless and infrastructure projects scheduled for development this year," said Howard Hill, RFI's Chief Executive Officer.
RFI's overall first quarter gross margin was 45%, compared to 52% of sales in the same period last year. Margins were affected by higher commodity prices coupled with lower sales at RF Connector & Cable Assembly. Additionally, 26% of total first quarter sales were attributable to Cables Unlimited, acquired in June 2011, where a lower gross profit margin of 37% in the quarter significantly reduced RFI's Company-wide average gross margin.
Sales for the RF Connector & Cable Assembly segment were down 9% to $3,104,000 from $3,407,000 in the first quarter of fiscal 2011, primarily associated with a $202,000 sales decline at Aviel, which shipped a large military-related contract in the first quarter last year. Lower sales at Aviel and increased commodity prices at the RF Connector & Cable division reduced segment gross profit to 51%, compared to 56% of sales in the first quarter last year. Operating profit for this segment was $104,000, compared to $626,000 in the first quarter of fiscal 2011.