NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (AP) ¿ Taylor Devices Inc., which makes shock absorbers and other equipment that protects buildings from earthquakes, said its fiscal fourth-quarter profit plunged 52 percent on lower sales.

For the fourth quarter ended May 31, profit dropped to $336,531, or 11 cents per share, from $706,737, or 22 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Sales fell 11 percent to $4.5 million from $5 million last year. The company said its order backlog grew to $13.1 million from $11.4 million at the end of the fiscal year.

"2009 was a most challenging year," said President Douglas P. Taylor, in a statement. "We stated our commitment to maintaining profitability through the severe downturn in the U.S. construction market and we are hopeful that the worst is now over."

For the full year, the company earned $571,894, or 18 cents per share, compared with profit of $1.5 million, or 48 cents per share, a year ago. Sales decreased to $16.7 million from $18.6 million.

Shares of Taylor Devices rose 25 cents, or 7.5 percent, to $3.60 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded between $2.10 and $8.35 over the last 52 weeks.

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