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CNS Blows Out Estimates

The maker of the Breathe Right nasal strips posts a strong first quarter.
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CNS (CNXS) investors were breathing right Wednesday after the maker of nasal strips beat first-quarter estimates.

For the quarter ended June 30, the Minneapolis company earned $4 million, or 27 cents a share, up from the year-ago $1.7 million, or 11 cents a share. Revenue rose 42% from a year ago to $23.5 million.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had forecast first-quarter earnings of 17 cents a share on revenue of $20 million. Shares surged 13% in late trading.

U.S. sales of Breathe Right strips rose 22% to $14.7 million, while international sales jumped 86% to $3.6 million. Sales of FiberChoice chewable fiber tablets more than doubled to $5.2 million.

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CNS said gross margin expanded 3 points to 70% as a result of lower product costs.

"We are pleased to be off to a strong start in fiscal 2006. First-quarter sales and profits exceeded our expectations with strong performances by Breathe Right nasal strips both in the U.S. and internationally, as well as the FiberChoice brand," said CEO Marti Morfitt. "Our results benefited from the effectiveness of important initiatives begun in the previous year, such as market testing designed to drive household penetration growth of Breathe Right nasal strips, new product development to expand the FiberChoice line and lower distributor inventories in Japan."

Late Wednesday, CNS rose $3.08 to $27.50.