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Tech Industry

Jabil Circuit hits target, sets stock split

Jabil Circuit met analysts' estimates in its second quarter Thursday, earning $33.9 million, or 37 cents a share, on record sales of $837.6 million. It also set a 2-for-1 stock split.

First Call consensus expected the circuit board manufacturer to earn 37 cents a share in the quarter.

Jabil (NYSE: JBL) shares closed up 5 15/16, or 8 percent, to 84 1/16 ahead of the earnings report.

The $837.6 million in sales marks a stunning 50 percent jump from the year-ago quarter when it pocketed $22.3 million, or 27 cents a share, on sales of $558.7 million.

"We are very pleased with the continuing strength of our core business and the performance and contributions of our employees in a challenging growth environment," said CEO Tim Main in a prepared release. "In support of this growth, we will continue to invest in our core competencies to maintain and improve upon our performance and fundamental manufacturing execution."

In the quarter, gross profits improved 40 percent to $84.1 million, or 10 percent of sales, compared to $60.1 million or 10.8 percent of sales in the year-ago period.

Operating income for the quarter grew 41 percent to $50.6 million or 6 percent of sales compared to $35.9 million or 6.4 percent of sales for the second quarter of 1999.

Its shares moved up to a 52-week high of 90 7/8 earlier this month after falling to a low of 35 3/4 in August.

Twenty-three of the 25 analysts tracking the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

First Call consensus sees Jabil earning $1.57 a share in the fiscal year. Jabil competes with Flextronics (Nasdaq: FLEX), Celestica (NYSE: CLS), SCI Systems (NYSE: SCI) and Solectron (NYSE: SLR).>