Jabil Circuit ( JBL) posted first-quarter earnings Tuesday that beat analysts' expectations by 2 cents as sales soared 31% from a year ago. The St. Petersburg, Fla.-based company also said it expects fiscal year 2006 targets to hit the high end of previous targets, exceeding current Wall Street estimates. Jabil, a provider of electronics manufacturing services, earned $76.9 million, or 37 cents a share, in the first quarter ended Nov. 30, up from $55.9 million, or 27 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding certain items, Jabil's core earnings increased to $92.8 million, or 44 cents a share in the quarter, from $65 million, or 32 cents a share, a year earlier. Net revenue for the first quarter rose 31% to $2.4 billion from $1.8 billion for the same period a year ago. Analysts were expecting the company to earn 42 cents a share, before items, on $2.29 billion in sales in the first quarter, according to Thomson First Call. The company's guidance called for revenue of $2.2 billion to $2.4 billion and core earnings of 40 cents to 44 cents a share. GAAP earnings were forecast to range from 32 cents to 39 cents a share. For the second quarter, Jabil targeted core earnings of 34 cents to 38 cents a share on revenue of $2.1 billion to $2.3 billion. GAAP earnings should range from 30 cents to 34 cents a share, the company said. Analysts were most recently calling for second-quarter earnings of 37 cents a share on $2.13 billion in sales. Jabil updated fiscal year 2006 guidance, saying it expects to hit the high end of previous targets. Jabil estimated revenue at $9.3 billion, the top end of the previous range of $8.7 billion to $9.3 billion, and core earnings at $1.65 a share, the high end of the previous range of $1.55 to $1.65 a share.