Raven Industries 4Q Income Jumps 49 Percent

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) â¿¿ Raven Industries' fourth-quarter net income jumped 49 percent from the year before as the industrial products maker saw strong demand and increased profit margins in its large plastic sheeting division.

Shares rose nearly 5 percent Tuesday in morning trading.

Raven Industries makes an array of specialty products for the agricultural, aviation and construction industries. Its products include thick plastic films used on construction sites, parachutes and global positioning devices for farmers.

The company said sales were up in all of its units, but higher revenue and profits in the quarter were driven by its engineered film division.

The engineered film unit accounts for about one-third of Raven Industries' total revenue. The division's plastic sheeting is sold through third-parts distributors and Raven Industries' own sales force.

CEO Daniel Rykhus said the films division was buoyed by new products like the Dura-Skrim Textured Series of sheeting, which is used in landfills and mines. The company boosted profits in part by making its factories more efficient, he said.

Revenue in the engineered films division was $36 million, up 48 percent from the year before. That was faster growth than another other unit. Operating income at the unit more than doubled, rising to $6.5 million from $3 million the year before, far outpacing income growth in other divisions.

The company said that during the quarter ended Jan. 31, it earned net income of $11 million, or 60 cents per share, compared to $7.4 million, or 41 cents per share, during the same period a year before.

Revenue during the quarter was $96.3 million, up 36 percent from $70.7 million in the prior year period.

Rykhus said the company will grow this year as it reaps the benefits of investments it made during 2011. The company expanded its manufacturing base and invested in new product research, he said.

For the full fiscal year that ended in January, the company earned net income of $50.6 million, or $2.77 per share, compared to $40.5 million, or $2.24 per share, the year before. Revenue was $381.5 million, up 21 percent from $314.7 million in prior year period.

Shares of Raven Industries Inc. rose $2.79, or 4.5 percent, to $64.22 in morning trading.

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