Ceradyne, which manufactures body armor in Lexington, announced quarterly earnings Tuesday that soared year over year.
"Almost all areas reflected an excellent start to 2011," Chief Executive Joel P. Moskowitz said in a statement.
Overall sales for the first quarter were $150.1 million, up 36.5 percent from $110 million in the same period a year ago. The company earned $23.6 million, or 94 cents a share. That's up nearly 400 percent from $5 million, or 20 cents a share, a year ago.
New orders in the quarter were $231.7 million, more than double the $105.7 million recorded in the same period a year ago.
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Revenue for Ceradyne's Advanced Ceramic Operations division, which includes body armor, saw sales growth of 41.7 percent to $76.7 million in the quarter. That segment has struggled in past quarters. The segment had operating income of $17 million, up more than 500 percent from just $2.8 million a year ago.
The company also upgraded its earnings guidance for the full year based on "these first-quarter results and a cautiously optimistic outlook for the balance of 2011," Moskowitz said in a statement.
The company now projects annual sales of $570 million to $600 million and earnings in the range of $3.10 to $3.50 per share. The company's previous guidance was $505 million to $560 million in sales and earnings of $2.35 per share to $2.70 per share.