CINCINNATI (AP) ¿ LSI Industries Inc., which makes lighting for convenience stores, said Thursday it narrowed a its fiscal fourth-quarter loss from a year earlier, when a charge weighed down results. The news drove LSI shares up 65 cents, or 9.4 percent, to $7.55 in morning trading. The company's loss for the three months ended June 30 amounted to $257,000, or a penny per share, compared with a loss of $25.8 million, or $1.18 per share, during the year-earlier quarter. Results included goodwill impairment charges of $260,000 in the latest quarter and $28 million in the year-earlier quarter. Excluding those charges and an amount for litigation, the company's per-share results would have broken even in the latest quarter. That compares with a loss of 5 cents per share in the prior-year period. Net sales slid 24 percent to $50.2 million from $66.4 million. The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, on average, expected a loss of 3 cents per share on revenue of $49.8 million. Those estimates typically exclude one-time items.
"The fourth quarter and fiscal 2009 were difficult periods for LSI Industries due to weak economic conditions which adversely affected our markets," Robert J. Ready, president and CEO, said in a statement. "Even if it is too early to declare a resumption of economic growth in the overall economy, at LSI we are seeing signs that give us optimism for our business during the first half of fiscal 2010," he said. The company said it expects to return to profitability in fiscal 2010. LSI declared a regularly quarterly cash dividend of 5 cents per share payable Sept. 8 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 1. It also set the annual indicated cash dividend rate at 20 cents per share for fiscal 2010.