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Analogic hits all-time high after 4Q earnings

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Analogic Inc. climbed to an all-time high Friday after the medical imaging and security equipment company posted strong fiscal fourth-quarter results.

THE SPARK: Analogic said its net income more than doubled to 96 cents per share in its fourth quarter ended July 31, easily beating Wall Street estimates. FactSet said that analysts were expecting earnings of 74 cents per share on average.

The company said sales of medical imaging products held steady and revenue from ultrasound and security products improved. Analogic credited the gains to new products, a larger direct-sales force, and better efficiency.

THE BIG PICTURE: Analogic's revenue grew 9 percent in fiscal 2012, and the company forecast similar results in the current fiscal year. It said organic revenue, or revenue excluding acquisitions and special items, should grow in the high single digits. Analysts are forecasting improvement of about 7 percent, to $553.4 million.

THE ANALYSIS: Benchmark Capital analyst Mike Greene said the Peabody, Mass., company is expecting stronger profit margins in the new fiscal year along with solid revenue growth. He said upgrades in Analogic's explosives detection system will help its sales and added that its ultrasound division is posting greater sales in the U.S. and expanding into new markets.

Greene kept a "Buy" rating on Analogic shares and raised his price target to $90 per share from $82.

SHARE ACTION: Analogic stock rose $9.58, or 13.8 percent, to $78.77 in afternoon trading after rising as high as $79.20 earlier. Its previous high for the year had been $71.24 per share on Wednesday.

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