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Energy storage and power delivery products maker, Maxwell Technologies Inc. (MXWL - Analyst Report) reported fourth quarter 2011 adjusted earnings (earnings before non-recurring items, but including stock-based compensation expense) of 6 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 4 cents. Results also came above the year-ago quarterly earnings of 2 cents per share.

On a reported basis, the company reported earnings of 6 cents per share in the quarter versus a loss of 9 cents in the year-ago quarter.

Operational Performance

Maxwell Technologies’ revenue was $42.5 million in the fourth quarter 2011, up 24.1% from $34.2 million in the year-ago quarter, and marginally beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $42.0 million. Ultracapacitor revenue was $26.2 million, up 30% year over year. Revenue from high voltage capacitor and microelectronics products was $16.3 million, up 16% from the year-ago quarter. The quarter witnessed strong demand for ultracapacitor products in backup power and stop-start idle elimination systems in micro hybrid autos, along with higher demand from established customer bases in wind energy and hybrid bus drive systems.

In the reported quarter, Maxwell Technologies clocked operating income of $2.2 million, compared with an operating loss of $0.6 million in the year-ago period. Overall, the company recorded net income of $1.6 million compared with a net loss of $2.4 million in the year-ago period.

Financial Condition

Maxwell Technologies reported cash and cash equivalents of $29.3 million compared with $39.8 million at fiscal-end 2010. Long-term debt decreased to $68 thousands only in the reported quarter from $12.6 million at fiscal-end 2010.

Background

Maxwell Technologies is a leading manufacturer of ultracapacitors, high-voltage capacitors and microelectronics products. Looking ahead, the company’s products are sure to experience strong demand growth related to the utility infrastructure, renewable energy, public transportation, and space programs. Particularly the company’s key end markets appear likely to benefit from government stimulus programs as well as more stringent automotive emissions legislation.

Outlook

We presently retain a short-term Zacks #2 Rank (Buy) and a longer-term Neutral recommendation on the stock. Thus in the near term we would advise investors to prefer the stock for accumulation vis-à-vis its Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) peers like Advanced Photonix Inc. (API - Snapshot Report) and Anaren Inc. .

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