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Park Electrochemical stock jumps on strong earnings report

The Melville maker of composites for the aerospace market reported a 25.7% jump in net sales.

Park Electrochemical, with offices in this Melville building,

Park Electrochemical, with offices in this Melville building, saw its stock price jump after the report. Photo Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

Park Electrochemical Corp. Thursday reported a 25.7 percent year-over-year increase in third quarter net sales from continuing operations and a special dividend following the sale of its electronics business.

Following the report, shares of the Melville maker of composite materials for the aerospace market jumped 11 percent to close Thursday at $20.44.

Twelve months ago, the stock was trading at $16.70.

The results, reported before Thursday's stock market open, reflected the sale of Park's electronics business, which was listed as a discontinued operation, to Tokyo-based AGC Inc. on Dec. 4 for $145 million.

Park's continuing operations are focused on aerospace, such as composite materials used in commercial jet engines and winglets used in business jets. 

In a conference call Thursday, Park chairman and chief executive Brian E. Shore said the sale completed the "transformation" of the company, which went through "a very difficult period" after deciding to go into aerospace in January 2007. "We were even laughed at," he said, "but we didn't quit."

The special cash dividend is valued at $86 million, or $4.25 per share, and is payable to shareholders on Feb. 26. 

Net sales from continuing operations were $12.9 million compared to $10.2 million in the 2017 period.

Net income was $2.1 million, or 10 cents per diluted share, including a one-time tax benefit of $788,000 from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December 2017.  

That compared to net income of $344,000, or 2 cents per diluted share, in the year-earlier quarter.

Shore said Park is exploring aerospace acquisitions that would be "unique, different . . . additive to Park."

He said the company has participated in some auctions where the price was too rich and also reached out to companies that were not for sale.

"We're still out there, looking for opportunities," he said.

Shore also said the company is seeking joint-venture partners to build a factory in Asia.

In response to a question, Shore said that 3D-printing technologies are "on our radar screen" for making composite structures for aerospace customers. 

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