(RTTNews) - Zebra Technologies Corp. (ZBRA), a manufacturer of thermal bar code label and receipt printers, said its first-quarter profit more than doubled from last year, benefited from a 17.6% growth in sales, as business conditions improved in all geographic regions. The company also provided earnings and revenue forecast for the second quarter.

For the first quarter, the Lincolnshire, Illinois-based company's net income surged to $24.73 million or $0.42 per share from $9.35 million or $0.16 per share in the previous year. Results for the quarter include $1.82 million in exit and restructuring costs which lowered diluted earnings by $0.02 per share.

On average, nine analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.31 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Total net sales for the quarter grew 17.6% to $226.43 million from $192.61 million in the same quarter last year, benefited from improved business conditions in all geographic regions, with the highest rates of growth in Latin America and Asia Pacific. Analysts anticipated revenues of $222.95 million for the quarter.

Net sales of tangible products were $202.08 million, up from $166.68 million a year ago. Revenues from services and software decreased to $24.35 million from $25.92 million in the preceding year.

Geographically, revenues from North America increased 12.9% to $96.55 million from $85.51 million a year ago. Total international revenues grew 21.3% to $129.88 million from $107.1 million in the year earlier.

Gross margin improved to 47.4% from 44.6% in the prior year.

Operating income was $31.72 million, up from $14.17 million in the year earlier. Total operating expenses increased to $75.61 million from $71.63 million reported in the year 2009.

Anders Gustafsson, chief executive officer said, "Broad-based demand across geographies, products and industries led to Zebra's strong first quarter performance, as customers invested in Zebra solutions to improve asset management and visibility across the supply chain."

Total printers shipped were 244,422 units, compared to 199,218 units in the previous year. Average selling price of printers shipped grew to $547 from $517 in the preceding year.

Moving ahead, the company expects second-quarter earnings per share within a range of $0.26 - $0.34, including expected exit and restructuring costs of $0.01 per share, on net sales between $219 million and $233 million. Analysts expect the company to earn $0.33 per share, on revenues of $221.93 million.

ZBRA closed Monday's regular trading at $28.66 on the Nasdaq.

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