Shares of Aceto Corp. climbed more than 20 percent Friday as the company's generic drug business helped push fourth-quarter net income to nearly triple the level of the year-ago quarter.

The Port Washington company, which distributes generic drugs, nutriceuticals and pharmaceutical ingredients, reported net income of $13.6 million versus $5.6 million in the 2014 quarter. Diluted earnings per share came in at 46 cents compared to 19 cents in the prior year's period. Net sales rose 5 percent to $146.6 million.

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"Our strongest earnings quarter in the company's history, driven by strong growth in our human health segment, capped our strongest year ever," Sal Guccione, chief executive of Aceto, said in a statement. "We continued the transformation of Aceto towards human health, with our human health and pharmaceutical ingredients segments collectively accounting for 68 percent of our total sales and 76 percent of total gross profit for the year."

The company, which reported its earnings after the market close Thursday, also distributes specialty chemicals for pigments, coatings and agriculture.

Shares of Aceto jumped 21.1 percent to close at $26.79 Friday.

Among the major institutional holders of Aceto shares is East Setauket hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, with 310,200 shares as of June 30, according to an August filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.