BROOKINGS, S.D., Nov. 22, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Daktronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:DAKT) today reported fiscal 2017 second quarter net sales of $170.0 million, operating income of $12.7 million, and net income of $9.0 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, compared to net sales of $157.7 million, operating income of $5.6 million, and net income of $3.2 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, for the second quarter of fiscal 2016. Fiscal 2017 second quarter orders were $116.9 million, compared to $135.6 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2016. Backlog at the end of the fiscal 2017 second quarter was $142 million, compared with a backlog of $184 million a year earlier and $198 million at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2017. Net sales, operating income, net income, and earnings per share for the six months ended October 29, 2016, were $327.1 million, $20.6 million, $14.6 million, and $0.33 per diluted share, respectively. This compares to $307.9 million, $11.7 million, $6.9 million, and $0.16 per diluted share, respectively, for the same period in fiscal 2016. Cash flow provided by operating activities in the first six months of fiscal 2017 was $15.0 million, compared with cash used of $9.0 million in the same period last year. Free cash flow, defined as cash provided from or used in operating activities less net investment in property and equipment, was a positive $10.5 million for the first six months of fiscal 2017, as compared to a negative free cash flow of $19.4 million for the same period of fiscal 2016. Net investment in property and equipment was $4.6 million for the first six months of fiscal 2017, as compared to $10.4 million for the first six months of fiscal 2016. We repurchased approximately 0.3 million shares of common stock at an average price of $6.42 per share for a total use of cash of $1.8 million during the first six months of fiscal 2017. Cash, restricted cash, and marketable securities at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2017 were $52.2 million, which compares to $52.6 million at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2016 and $53.2 million at the end of fiscal 2016.