Columbia-based Meridian Medical Technologies Inc. reported net income of $425,000 for its fiscal first quarter yesterday, up 20 percent from $354,000 in the first quarter last year.
Diluted earnings per share were 12 cents for the three months that ended Oct. 31, a penny more than in last year's first quarter.
Revenue was $13 million, a 10.5 percent increase over the $11.8 million posted for the first quarter of last year.
James H. Miller, Meridian's president and chief executive officer, said the results were in line with what the company expected. He attributed the increased earnings to higher sales, cost-cutting and lower interest payments as a result of debt reduction.
"It's certainly what we projected," Miller said, "and we expect this growth to continue during the year."
No analysts cover the company, but investors sent Meridian shares tumbling 22.6 percent after the earnings report. The shares lost $3 to close at $10.25, more than 50 percent off their 52-week high of $21.
Meridian's core products are EpiPens, automatic injectors filled with epinephrine to calm reactions to bee stings and other allergies, and pre-filled auto-injectors to treat the effects of chemical warfare.
The core products accounted for most of the revenue growth. The company has also developed Prime ECG, a disposable plastic vest that uses 80 electrodes to measure the heart's electrical activity. It was patented in April.