April 18, 2012 | last updated June 1, 2012 1:57 pm

Amphenol sees better days after 1Q 'strong start'

Amphenol Corp. posted flat first-quarter profits on a slight uptick in sales, but it was the Wallingford electronic cable and connector maker's improved margin and mounting backlog that had it crowing Wednesday.

For three months ended March 31, Amphenol netted $127.3 million, or 77 cents a fully diluted share, down from $128.9 million, or 72 cents a share, the same period in 2011.

First-quarter revenues were up 4 percent to $982 million vs. $941 million a year ago.

CEO R. Adam Norwitt said Amphenol is off "to a strong start to 2012," with operating margin at 18.9 percent. Its products are sold in the automotive, aerospace, broadband communications and industrial markets.

Moreover, the company had a record $1.03 billion in new orders during the first quarter, which sets the stage for better revenues and profits later in the year.

So confident is Amphenol that it raised its second-quarter revenue outlook to $1.04 billion to $1.06 billion and earnings in the range of 82 cents to 85 cents a share.

For the year, it expects revenues in the range of $4.105 billion to $4.19 billion and earnings of $3.30 to $3.38 a share. Previously, it forecast $4.05 billion to $4.15 billion in revenue and $3.23 to $3.34 in earnings.

Earlier in April, Amphenol said it completed its purchase of Nelson-Dunn Inc., a Cerritos, Calif., maker that sells $45 million a year in high-tech interconnect assemblies for use in the oilpatch.

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