Bioconnect Medical Cabling and Interconnect sales increased 11% to a first quarter record $674,000 compared to $608,000 in the same period last year. Higher sales raised gross margin to 41%, compared to 37% of sales, and operating income was up 36% to $182,000 from $134,000 in the same period last year.
RF Wireless sales increased 169% to a first quarter record $337,000 from $125,000 in the first quarter last year as RadioMobile commenced delivering product for the Los Angeles County Fire Department wireless system upgrade. The bulk of the remaining approximate $2,350,000 in revenue associated with this contract is expected to be recognized in the current fiscal year. Gross margin improved to 35% from 32% of sales and the operating loss for this segment was cut in half to $108,000 from $231,000 in the same quarter last year. RadioMobile recently delivered a web-based reporting system for a large security services firm and, separately, received a contract to design, build and test a private shared wireless network in California.
In its traditionally weakest quarter, Cables Unlimited had first quarter sales of $1,444,000. A favorable product mix, combined with efficiency improvements made since its acquisition, raised gross margin to 37%, eclipsing a gross margin of only 22% of sales in the previous fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. Higher cash and non-cash expenses incurred for amortization and depreciation, primarily associated with intangible assets, combined with additional expenses for professional fees, resulted in operating income for Cables Unlimited of $37,000 for the quarter.
As of January 31, 2012, RFI reported cash and cash equivalents of $1,597,000 and investments in short-term certificates of deposits of $3,095,000 for a total of approximately $4,692,000 in liquid and short-term capital resources. Working capital was $13,306,000, the current ratio was 6 to 1 and stockholders' equity was $18,566,000, or $2.68 per outstanding share. During the quarter, the Company utilized cash of approximately $787,000 to repurchase 232,000 common shares in open market transactions and paid cash dividends of $353,000.