Transcat Focusing on Turnaround

Transcat ( TRNS) reiterated its intent Tuesday to boost results at its flagging calibration services business.

The Rochester, N.Y., testing company said at its annual shareholder meeting that it expects to show strong first-half distribution products sales growth, with second-half gains returning to "more typical single-digit growth." Transcat said it plans to return to growth in calibration services, but will add to staffing in that business "only if new calibration business exceeds our capacity."

Transcat also said it hopes to show a 1-to-3-point margin gain across its operations.

The news comes a month after the company swung to a first-quarter loss, saying calibration services results in the quarter ended June 26 "did not meet our expectations." In the first quarter, calibration services sales fell 6.5% from a year earlier, and margins slumped 2.8 percentage points.

On Tuesday, however, the company sounded a more hopeful note.

"We made sizeable efforts in fiscal 2004 to improve financial performance and achieve operational efficiencies," said CEO Carl Sassano. "Our strategy in fiscal year 2005 is to focus on gaining business and market share with customers who value quality systems and operate in regulated environments."

Transcat sells professional-grade test, measurement and calibration instruments and provides calibration and repair services to the process, life science and manufacturing industries. On Tuesday, its shares slipped 15 cents to $2.83.

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