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IEC lands $50 million contract, adds 109 staffers in fiscal first half

IEC lands $50 million contract, adds 109 staffers in fiscal first half

IEC Electronics Corp. has been awarded a top global defense company contract worth more than $50 million.

The multiyear contract is for a program the Newark manufacturer has supported for several years from a single service line. The new contract will support the entire outsourcing of a program associated with secured communications equipment for U.S. aircraft, ground vehicles and surface warships, officials said Wednesday.

“This contract win is an exciting development for IEC because we believe it demonstrates this leading defense contractor’s continue confidence in our capabilities and dependability as a full-service electronics manufacturer for life-saving, mission-critical programs,” IEC President and CEO Jeffrey Schlarbaum said in a statement. “We have deliberately focused on enhancing our technical capabilities to position IEC as a distinguished, vertically integrated manufacturing partner who has the ability to serve as a seamless extension of our customers’ supply chain, including the ability to fulfill their entire life-cycle outsourcing needs.”

IEC officials did not disclose the name of the Tier 2 Department of Defense contractor or which DOD branches might ultimately use the electronics. But Schlarbaum in IEC’s earnings call May 11, suggested the company had experienced an increase in orders from longtime customers.

“Our growth continues to be purely organic, driven by our customers who, based on our ability to meet and exceed their expectations, are awarding us new programs and projects,” he said in the call.

The call made clear that something was in the works: IEC in the first half of fiscal 2019 added 109 employees, including 58 new hires in the second quarter.

“The life-saving and mission-critical nature of the programs we support requires that we hire and train staff in advance of a particular program ramping up,” Schlarbaum said in the earnings call. “While we have automated systems for a large number of our manufacturing process steps, the complex designs that we are tasked to translate into finished products most often require highly skilled personnel to perform various forms of assembly and tests.”

For the second quarter ended March 29, IEC reported revenues of $37.3 million, a more than 17 percent increase from the year-ago quarter. Net income for the quarter was $700,000, compared with $1.6 million in the second quarter last year. On a per-share basis, earnings were 6 cents.

IEC is a provider of electronic manufacturing services to advanced technology companies that produce life-saving and mission-critical products for the medical, industrial, aerospace and defense sectors. The company last year announced plans to expand its Newark operations, rather than locate elsewhere. The $50 million expansion is slated for completion this year.

IEC shares (NYSE: IEC) were up more than 11 percent in heavy trading midday Wednesday. At $6.68, IEC stock was trading at roughly the midrange of the company’s 52-week high-low.

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