Gorman-Rupp's ( GRC) shares advanced after the Mansfield, Ohio, maker of fluid-control equipment said its first-quarter sales and earnings were much stronger than a year ago. The company had a first-quarter profit of $4.5 million, or 42 cents a share, up from $1.7 million, or 15 cents a share, a year ago. Sales rose 28.9% to $67.1 million. Gorman-Rupp reported a $98.6 million backlog, up 10.8% from a year ago. The company said nearly all of the current backlog is expected to ship during 2006. Shares of Gorman-Rupp were up $1.78, or 7.2%, to $26.68 in recent trading.