Oxford Instruments Shares Gain as Asia Demand Boosts Earnings

Oxford Instruments Plc, a U.K. maker of high-technology tools such as X-ray tubes and cryogenic water pumps, rose the most in almost three years as earnings and sales picked up in the third month of its fiscal year.

“The year started slowly with performance in the first two months of the year down against a very strong comparative period in the prior year,” the company, which originated at the University of Oxford, said in a statement today. “In the third month of the quarter, orders, sales and profits were much improved compared to each of the first two months and were also ahead of the same period in 2012/13.”

The stock climbed as much as 15 percent to 1,438 pence in London trading and was up 10 percent as of 11:59 a.m., valuing the company at 782 million pounds ($1.2 billion). Before today, the stock had dropped 12 percent this year.

Oxford Instruments, whose testing and analytical equipment is used by companies such as Siemens AG, is benefitting from rising demand in Asia, where the average monthly order intake in the quarter rose 18 percent from the monthly average in the last financial year. At the same time, the average monthly order intake dropped by 20 percent in North America and 1 percent in Europe.

“This was a more resilient trading update than many had feared”, said Andrew Douglas, an analyst at Jefferies.

Oxford Instruments said its business will continue to make progress in line with its expectations for the remainder of the financial year.

“Our broad spread of geographies and technologies and our strong pipeline of new products continue to underpin the long-term prospects for the group,” the company said.

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