Ceradyne acquires minority interest in Yamanaka EP; raises 2011 guidance figures

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Ceradyne has acquired a minority interest in Japanese advanced technical materials firm Yamanaka EP for an undisclosed amount. The companies have also decided to change the name of the firm to Yamanaka Ceradyne and to place a Ceradyne representative on its board of directors.

Takao Danno, president of Yamanaka, said, “We are very pleased to have our long-term supplier, Ceradyne Boron Products, as an integral part of the Yamanaka family. We anticipate continued growth in the Japanese and other Asian nuclear power plant markets over the next decade.”

Ceradyne has also announced that it is adjusting its 2011 guidance to a range of US$2.35 per fully diluted share to approximately US$2.70. The company also adjusted its 2011 sales figure from US$505 million to US$560 million. Ceradyne cited increasing gross margins and rising demand for its solar crucibles as two of the principal reasons behind the revised figures.

“We are comfortable in revising our 2011 guidance based on several factors,” commented Ceradyne’s CEO and chairman, Joel Moskowitz. “First, we are experiencing increasing gross margins. We believe this is due to higher volume efficiencies, an improved sales mix, as well as firmer pricing in our industrial and commercial markets.

“Secondly, the recent US$56.6 million ESAPI award and several potential additional armor opportunities increase the probability of a substantial increase in military business compared to 2010. Finally, the projected increased industrial ceramic business in Europe and strong demand for our high-purity fused silica ceramic solar crucible lead us to project continuing positive results throughout 2011.”

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