Transcat ( TRNS) said fourth-quarter earnings rose more than fivefold from a year ago, thanks mainly to higher sales in its biggest segment, distribution products.

Transcat earned $2.8 million, or 38 cents a share, in the quarter, up from $504,000, or 7 cents a share, a year ago. Sales rose 3% to $16.1 million, reflecting a 5% rise in product sales to $10.5 million and a 1% rise in services sales to $5.5 million.

Within distribution products, the gross profit margin fell by 2.4 percentage points to 23.1% in the fourth quarter, reflecting the timing of rebates. Within calibration services, gross margin rell 3.3 percentage points to 28.9%, reflecting investments in service infrastructure and sales mix.

"As we look ahead, we expect to build on the solid foundation that has been established over the previous four years, with continued steady growth in revenues. In fiscal year 2007, our goals are to achieve distribution products sales growth in the high single digits and calibration services sales growth in the low to mid teens," the company said.

"We are confident that the strategies and resources we have in place will win us greater recognition in our markets and generate increased demand for our services and products," the company said.

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