BROOKINGS, S.D., Feb. 18, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Daktronics, Inc. (Nasdaq:DAKT) today reported fiscal 2014 third quarter net sales of $115.4 million, operating income of $3.6 million and net income of $2.9 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, compared to net sales of $111.1 million, operating income of $1.1 million and net income of $2.7 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2013. Fiscal 2014 third quarter orders were $153.2 million compared to $134.3 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2013. Backlog at the end of the fiscal 2014 third quarter was $170 million, compared with a backlog of $149 million a year earlier and $132 million at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2014. Net sales, operating income, net income and earnings per share for the nine months ended January 25, 2014 were $415.7 million, $29.7 million, $20.4 million and $0.47 per diluted share, respectively. This compares to $393.8 million, $28.6 million, $20.9 million and $0.49 per diluted share, respectively, for the same period in fiscal 2013. Free cash flow, defined as cash provided by operations less net purchases of property and equipment, was $30.0 million for the first nine months of fiscal 2014, compared to $26.6 million for the same period in fiscal 2013. Cash and marketable securities at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2014 were $81.2 million, which compares to $64.7 million at the end of fiscal 2013 and $50.1 million at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2013. "We are pleased with our third quarter financial results for fiscal 2014. For the quarter, our order volume included a number of multi-million dollar video system orders in the Live Events and Commercial business units and included over $20 million of third-party advertising orders. Due to the cyclical nature of our sports business and outdoor construction season, our third quarter historically is our lowest performing quarter, however our overall sales and operating income levels improved over last year due to an increase in order activity," said Reece Kurtenbach, president and chief executive officer.