http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/050209/cgw004_1.htmlZebra Technologies Corporation (Nasdaq: ZBRA - News) today announced strong growth in net sales, net income and earnings per share to record levels for the fourth quarter and year that ended December 31, 2004. Quarterly net income increased 31.0% to $31,963,000, or $0.44 per diluted share, from $24,395,000, or $0.34 per diluted share, for the same period a year ago. Net sales for the fourth quarter of $174,874,000 topped the upper end of the company's sales guidance range and were up 18.8% from $147,200,000 for the fourth quarter of 2003. Per- share figures were adjusted for a three-for-two stock split that was paid on August 25, 2004, in the form of a 50% stock dividend. Zebra also announced continued strong business momentum and a favorable outlook for the first quarter of 2005.For 2004, annual net income increased 31.6% to a record $120,643,000, or $1.66 per diluted share, from 2003's $91,696,000, or $1.28 per diluted share. Record net sales for 2004 were $663,054,000, up 23.6% from $536,397,000 for the prior year."High sales growth across all dimensions of our business -- products, channels, geographic regions -- helped sustain exceptional business strength throughout the year," stated Edward Kaplan, Zebra's chairman and chief executive officer. "Our performance is a direct result of pursuing a strategy to gain market share, extend global reach and deliver more solutions for established and high-growth specialty printing applications. We are serving international customers better with more Zebra representatives working with a more robust set of valued channel partners in strategic geographic territories. Our entire range of printer products is consistently meeting with strong market demand, as companies and organizations build infrastructure and enable enterprise mobility."Mr. Kaplan added, "We enter 2005 with positive business momentum, a stronger Zebra brand, better business execution and greatly extended competitive leadership. The trends that made for a successful 2004 will have an enduring effect this year and beyond: greater deployments of mobile and wireless printing, better coverage in high-growth international geographic regions including China, and a wider array of business improvement applications with robust thermal printer products. All of this, plus the growing opportunities in radio frequency identification and vertical market applications make us optimistic about further growth and success in building greater stockholder value in 2005."At December 31, 2004, Zebra had $557,993,000 in cash, investments and marketable securities, and no long-term debt. Inventories totaled $59,255,000 and accounts receivable were $96,881,000 to reflect the higher level of business....Zebra also announced its financial forecast for the first quarter of 2005. Net sales are expected within a range of $175,000,000 and $178,000,000, with earnings between $0.43 and $0.45 per diluted share.
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