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Jabil Circuit meets 3Q estimates, sees strong growth ahead

Jabil Circuit met analysts' estimates in its third quarter Thursday, raking in $38.2 million, or 21 cents a share, on sales of $965.8 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected the provider of electronics manufacturing services to earn 21 cents a share in the quarter.

Ahead of the earnings report, Jabil (NYSE: JBL) shares closed up 1 1/16 to 46 9/16.

Including a goodwill write-off of approximately $4 million, Jabil posted a profit of 19 cents a share in the quarter.

Gross profit in the quarter increased 48 percent to $94.5 million or 9.8 percent of revenue compared to $63.8 million or 11 percent of revenue in the year-ago period.

The $965.8 million in sales marks a 66 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $24.6 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $582.2 million.

Unlike competitor Solectron Corp. (NYSE: SLR), which met analysts' estimates in its latest quarter but warned of likely component shortages ahead, Jabil Circuit sees strong growth through the rest of the year.

"We are delighted with the continued strength of our core organic growth engine and with the committed efforts of our employees worldwide," said CEO Tim Main in a prepared release. "We see continued growth on the horizon and will support this growth through plant expansions and selective acquisitions."

Company officials said it plans to continue its expansion plans including building a new site in Hungary and acquiring more manufacturing capacity in Brazil to keep up with demand from customers such as Dell Computer (Nasdaq: DELL) and Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU).

Last quarter, Jabil met the Street estimate, earning $33.9 million, or 37 cents a share, on sales of $837.6 million.

Its shares moved up to a 52-week high of 47 earlier this month after bottoming out at 18 1/8 in August.

All 24 analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."

First Call Corp. consensus is predicting a profit of 79 cents a share in the fiscal year.