Kemet ( KEM), a manufacturer of tantalum, multilayer ceramic and solid aluminum capacitors, said Wednesday that for the first quarter ended June 30, its earnings fell 80% from the year-ago period, hurt by the absence of the huge one time benefit which raised the previous year's same quarter result. The company earned $0.6 million, or 1 cent a share, in the quarter, compared with $3 million, or 4 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted for items, the company swung to earnings of $12 million, or 14 cents a share. On that basis analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of $8.9 million, or 10 cents a share. First-quarter revenue rose 48.6% from a year ago to $169.6 million. Analysts were expecting a revenue of $160.6 million. "Strong demand across all regions and channels, combined with a favorable pricing environment contributed to the growth in sales for the quarter'', the company said. Gross margin for the quarter, including EPCOS tantalum business, increased to 22%. The Simpsonville, S.C.-based company swung to a first-quarter operating income of $0.5 million, compared with the operating loss of $7.5 million, a year ago. Operating margin swung to positive 0.3%, compared with the negative margin of 6.6%, a year ago. The company said that the sales from its EPCOS AG's ( EPC) tantalum unit, which it acquired in April for about $103 million, was $24.5 million. ''We are very encouraged by the fact that the new business unit, excluding the impact from the German manufacturing operations, was accretive in our very first quarter'', the company added. Shares rose 36 cents to $8.28 Wednesday.