Shares of CTI Industries Corp. (Nasdaq: CTIB) were up as much as 79 percent from yesterday’s close in morning trading after the company announced first quarter earnings of $599,000 or 22 cents per share, up 544 percent from the same period a year ago, driven by higher sales of its pouch and novelty products, and a 3 percent increase in gross margin.
Sales of pouch products were up 208 percent from $986,000 in the first quarter 2009 to $3,041,000 in the first quarter of 2010. Most of this increase was a reflection of strong continuing sales of zippered vacuumable pouches to a principal customer. Sales of CTI’s proprietary ZipVac™ line of vacuumable pouches also increased.
Novelty product revenues were up 18.6 percent, from $6,580,000 in the first quarter of 2009 to $7,804,000 in the first quarter of 2010. Sales of laminated films showed a modest decline from $1,876,000 in the first quarter of 2009 to $1,367,000 in the first quarter of 2010.
Gross margins increased to 24.5 percent in the first quarter of 2010 compared to 21.5 percent for the first quarter of 2009. This increase is the result of increased production and sales volume during the first quarter of 2010 resulting in lower unit cost than in the same period of 2009 and a change in the mix of products sold to certain novelty and pouch products having a higher margin.