BROOKINGS, S.D., May 28, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Daktronics, Inc. (Nasdaq:DAKT) today reported fiscal 2014 fourth quarter net sales of $136.2 million and net income of $1.8 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, compared to net sales of $124.5 million and a net income of $1.8 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013. Fiscal 2014 fourth quarter orders were $137.7 million compared to $113.8 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013. Backlog at the end of the fiscal 2014 fourth quarter was $171.6 million compared to a backlog of $141.3 million a year earlier and $169.8 million at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2014.
Net sales, net income and earnings per diluted share for the fiscal year ended April 26, 2014 were $552.0 million, $22.2 million and $0.51 per diluted share, respectively. This compares to $518.3 million, $22.8 million and $0.53 per diluted share, respectively, for fiscal 2013. The 2014 fiscal fourth quarter and annual earnings per share was negatively impacted by $0.05 due to the recognition of a $2.3 million valuation allowance against our deferred tax asset for our equity in investments.
Free cash flow, defined as cash provided by operations less net purchases of property and equipment, was $22.9 million for fiscal 2014 compared to $41.3 million for fiscal 2013. Cash and marketable securities at the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 were $71.0 million, which compares to $64.7 million at the end of the fiscal 2013 fourth quarter."We are pleased with our 8.5 percent growth in orders for the year. We were able to secure a number of multi-million dollar orders in the Live Events business unit, including six of the seven NFL stadium bids. Our International unit increased orders primarily in the sports arena and on-premise advertising areas. Our reseller and national account areas grew for the year while spectacular and billboard orders remained relatively flat in our Commercial business unit. Schools and Theatres orders decreased for the year due to a decrease in demand and a decrease in the size of the products, which lowered the average dollar size of the orders. Transportation business unit orders decreased for the year due to a large non-repeating order in fiscal 2013. The overall increase in orders contributed to our sales growth of 6.5 percent. For the 2014 fiscal year, operating income increased by over 19 percent and operating income as a percent of sales rose to 6.6 percent as compared to 5.9 in the prior fiscal year," said Reece Kurtenbach, president and chief executive officer.