Jabil Circuit ( JBL) delivered an upside surprise after the bell Wednesday, reporting that both earnings and revenue in the second quarter exceeded the company's forecasts and Wall Street's expectations. The contract manufacturer earned $40 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with $10.1 million, or 5 cents a share, in the same period of fiscal 2003, according to generally accepted accounting principles. Revenue in the February quarter grew 30% year over year to $1.5 billion, compared with $1.1 billion a year earlier. The company had forecast revenue of $1.33 billion to $1.4 billion. Pro forma earnings increased to $49.7 million, or 24 cents a share, 2 cents more than analysts polled by Thomson Financial had expected and 2 cents to 4 cents better than the company predicted. Looking to the third fiscal quarter, the company told investors to expect pro forma earnings of 25 cents to 27 cents a share, on sales ranging from $1.57 billion to $1.62 billion. The forecast was also better than Wall Street had expected, with current consensus of EPS of 24 cents on sales of $1.46 billion. Earlier in the day, shares of rival manufacturer Plexus ( PLXS)
jumped after being upgraded by UBS Securities. But that upgrade didn't create much of an updraft in the electronics manufacturing sector; volume was average, with most of the companies making modest gains on a generally up day. Jabil gained 76 cents, or nearly 3%, to $28.14 in regular trading Wednesday; after hours, the stock was recently up 74 cents, or 2.6%, to $28.90.