GSI Lumonics

(GSLI)

reported third-quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations for the period.

Income for the third quarter rose to $7.2 million, or 17 cents a diluted share, from $2 million, or 6 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Wall Street expected the company to earn 16 cents a share in the latest third quarter, according to

First Call/Thomson Financial

.

The company, which supplies laser-based manufacturing systems and services to the semiconductor and other markets and provides precision optics for fiber-optic telecommunication networks, said third-quarter sales rose 25% to $97.6 million from $78 million a year ago.

Backlog at Sept. 30 totaled $103 million, compared with $81 million at the end of the third quarter a year ago. Order bookings totaled $97.8 million, up from $86.1 million for the same period last year.

Based on backlog and expected new bookings, GSI believes fourth-quarter sales will increase and may reach $100 million. Before a gain in the range of $1.50 a share from the sale of

Life Sciences

, the company expects diluted earnings per share to "reflect continued modest improvement."