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Cobra Sales Rise 8.1%, Income Triples

10/26/2005 01:44:00 PM Eastern

Chicago — Boasting improved sales in nearly all its product lines, Cobra Electronics posted an 8.1 percent rise in third-quarter sales, coming in at $33.5 million, up from a year-ago $31 million.

Cobra, which makes mobile communications and navigation products, recorded net income of $1.8 million for the third quarter, ended Sept. 30, more than tripling the $542,000 recorded in the same three months last year. The profit rise was attributed to higher sales, lower expenses and a tax benefit.

Expenses declined to $6.8 million in the three months, or 20.2 percent of sales, compared with a year-earlier $7.3 million, or 23.6 percent of sales. The expense decrease was driven primarily by capitalization of certain expenses, and containment of variable selling expenses and fixed sales and marketing expenses. These savings were somewhat offset by increases in the cost of implementation and operation of a new computer system.

Cobra cited strength in its two-way radio sales during the three months, as well as improved sales of its Citizens Band radios, its new line of amateur 10-meter radios and radar detectors. These higher sales were offset, in part, by a decline in mobile navigation sales due to production delays of its newest models.

Gross margin was 24.8 percent in the third quarter, compared with 26.2 percent year-on-year.

“Disappointing mobile navigation sales not only offset some of the gain in sales from our other product lines, but also resulted in a lower overall gross margin as these higher margin products did not contribute to the mix as anticipated,” said Jim Bazet, president/CEO.

For the nine months, Cobra sales jumped to $86.5 million, from $78.9 million in the same period the prior year.

Net income for the nine months came in at $8.3 million, compared year-over-year to $449,000.