Ceradyne Inc., which manufactures body armor in Lexington, said Tuesday its fourth-quarter and year-end earnings fell compared with a year ago because of declines in the armor business.
"We enter 2010 cautiously as our company continues to evolve," chief executive Joel P. Moskowitz said in a statement. "Although we have accelerated our defense-related technical and marketing efforts, additional body armor orders are uncertain.
"However, we are also focusing our efforts on a wide product base, with particular emphasis on solar, nuclear as well as oil and gas opportunities."
In the fourth quarter, the company had sales of $97.6 million, down 29.7 percent from $138.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. Net income was $14.1 million, or 55 cents a share, down 31.9 percent from $20.7 million, or 79 cents a share.
The 2009 net income would have been even less if not for a $7.5 million boost received by certain tax issues.
For the full year, sales were down 41.1 percent, to $400.6 million. Net income for the year was $8.5 million, or 33 cents a share, down 91.9 percent from $104.5 million, or $3.91, in 2008. The 2009 results were affected greatly by several restructuring charges, including one taken for the closing of a plant in Bazet, France.
The company attributed the lower revenue to a decrease in body armor sales and the global economic downturn.
Moskowitz said in a statement the company's restructuring decisions in 2009 "should lay the groundwork for our future growth."
He also said Ceradyne will begin construction this month on a manufacturing plant in Tianjin, China, to support Asian customers of its solar products.
The company expects sales in 2010 of $380 million to $430 million and earnings of 60 cents to $1.05 a share.