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Ceradyne Jacked Up

Shares surge after the maker of high-tech ceramic easily tops earnings estimates.

Shares of



shot up Wednesday after the company posted third-quarter earnings that nearly tripled, handily surpassing Wall Street's expectations.

The company, a maker of high-tech ceramic used for armor and industrial components, reported earnings of $36.9 million, or $1.34 a share, up from $13.3 million, or 53 cents a share, a year earlier.

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Analysts polled by Thomson First Call projected earnings of $1.15 a share.

Sales surged to $185.8 million from $94.4 million, vaulting past Wall Street estimates of $162.4 million.

The company's total backlog as of Sept. 30 was $209.1 million, compared with $189.6 million at the same time a year ago.

"The above record-setting results for third quarter 2006 reflect the continuing strength and increased volume of our body armor production in California and Lexington, Kentucky in both ESAPI body armor and ESBI side plates," said Joel Moskowitz, Ceradyne's president and CEO, in a statement.

Ceradyne shares recently were up $5.70, or 14%, to $46.95.