NI to boost staffing by 17% as sales hit record levels -

NI to boost staffing by 17% as sales hit record levels

National Instruments has set a quarterly revenue record with $250 million in the fourth quarter of its financial year, a 24 percent increase compared to Q4 2009. This exceeded the company’s guidance of between $230 million and $244 million and there is more good news as the its large order business, defined as orders greater than $20,000, grew 22 percent sequentially.

Net income for Q4 2010 was $38 million and GAAP gross margin increased 60 basis points year-over-year to 77.5 percent. Non-GAAP gross margin increased by 50 basis points year-over-year to 78.0 percent.

NI virtual instrumentation and graphical system design product sales were up 24 percent year-over-year. NI instrument control product sales were up 20 percent year-over-year in Q4. Product revenue was $234 million, up 24 percent year-over-year, and software maintenance revenue was $16 million, up 21 percent year-over-year.

Revenue in US dollar terms for Q4 2010 compared to Q4 2009 was up 16 percent in the Americas, up 24 percent in Europe and up 37 percent in Asia. In local currency terms, revenue was up 28 percent in Europe and up 27 percent in Asia.

The good fine quarter meant that for the full financial year revenue was a record of $873 million, up 29 percent year-over-year and the GAAP operating margin of 14.7 percent. Gross profit for the year was $673,137    compared with $506,710 in 2009.

Alex Davern, NI's EVP, COO and CFO said,  “As part of our investment for 2011, we are budgeting to increase our R&D personnel by 19 percent and our field sales force by 24 percent. Overall headcount is budgeted to increase by 17 percent; however, the incremental cost of these additions will be partially offset by an expected reduction in our variable compensation in 2011.”

NI is predicting a strong Q1 year-over-year revenue growth, with revenue expected to be between $230 million and $244 million. The National Instruments board has declared a 3-for-2 stock split and increased the quarterly dividend to $0.15 per share.

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