DULUTH, Minn., Feb. 19, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IKONICS Corporation (Nasdaq:IKNX), a Duluth-based imaging technology company, reported a strong 2012 fourth quarter. Sales were up 8% and earnings, at $0.14 per share, were 109% higher than the fourth quarter of 2011 The Company ended 2012 with record sales of $17,312,000 – a 3% increase over 2011. Earnings for the year ended up at $0.35 per share – essentially the same as 2011. Bill Ulland, IKONICS CEO said: "Our patient investment in DTX and Micro-Machining technologies continues to depress earnings, but I believe we now are beginning to see the payoff, particularly with our Micro-Machining customers in the aerospace industry. "In addition to ongoing business related to the Boeing 747-8, we have received a blanket order associated with the Airbus A350, which we expect to grow as the A350 is placed into production. We also have orders beginning early in 2013 for acoustic liners from a major jet engine manufacturer; I anticipate that this product line will grow during the year," he said. "Consequently, we are expanding our manufacturing capability, adding both equipment and people. I believe that these exciting developments not only portend a profitable business for Ikonics but also are a validation of our unique technology by a very sophisticated industry." "During the year we also invested significantly in strengthening our patent position for both Micro-Machining and DTX," he continued. "Our domestic screen print market was a star performer in 2012, with sales up 7% over last year while competing in a difficult market." Ulland noted: "During the fourth quarter of 2012 we paid a $1.00 per share, one-time special cash dividend, amounting to approximately $2,000,000. We currently have cash and short-term investment of $2.4 million versus $3.9 million at the end of the third quarter of 2012, and we continue to generate a strong cash flow. I believe our current cash and its projected growth is more than sufficient to meet our growth plans. We have no long-term debt."