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Jabil Circuit hits 4Q targets, sees strong growth ahead

Jabil Circuit met analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter Tuesday, earning $47 million, or 24 cents a share, on sales of $1.1 billion.

First Call Corp. consensus predicted the contract electronics firm would earn 24 cents a share in the quarter.

Jabil (NYSE: JBL) shares closed up $2 to $61 ahead of the earnings report.

The $1.1 billion in sales marks a 77 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it pocketed $27.2 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $602.3 million.

"We are pleased to report record fourth quarter and fiscal 2000 results," said newly appointed CEO Tim Main in a prepared release. "These results were made possible through the dedication of our employees who continue to deliver world-class results in a high-growth environment. We applaud their efforts."

For the fiscal year, Jabil earned $150.8 million, or 80 cents a share, on sales of $3.6 billion. In fiscal 1999, Jabil earned $95.4 million, or 55 cents a share, on sales of $2.2 billion.

Company officials also said it expects 50 percent sales growth in fiscal 2001 as well as a 50 percent jump in operating income.

"The overall business fundamentals are robust," Main said. "We are well positioned to capitalize on growth opportunities with a comprehensive set of services, a strong global footprint and great employees around the world."

Last quarter, Jabil met the Street estimate when it earned $38.2 million, or 21 cents a share, on sales of $965.8 million.

Jabil shares hit a 52-week high of 68 in August after slipping to a low of 22 11/16 in October. It also split 2-for-1 back in March.

Assuming Jabil delivers the sales and earnings growth expected of it this quarter, you can bet it will receive a lot more attention from analysts and fund managers in the coming year.