The Big Surprise By Daktronics, Inc. (NASDAQ: DAKT)

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Daktronics, Inc. (NASDAQ: DAKT) appears to be having a great start to fiscal 2017. The company reported F1Q2017 earnings that exceeded the expectations of analysts and the management is sounding upbeat about the remainder of the year.

Here’s the F1Q scorecard

Daktronics, Inc. (NASDAQ: DAKT) managed to wring EPS of $0.13 in F1Q2017, indicating an increase from $0.09 in the same period last year and outpacing the consensus estimate of $0.05.

Revenue of $157 million for the latest quarter rose 5% from the same quarter last year and handily beat the consensus estimate of $147 million.

Free cash flow

Continued cost curtailment is paying off for Daktronics. The company generated positive free cash flow of $4.5 million in the latest quarter. About $1.8 million of the free cash flow was returned to shareholders in the form of stock buyback as the company removed 300,000 shares from public hands.

Backlog shrinks

Daktronics, Inc. (NASDAQ: DAKT) reported that a 6% jump in orders in F1Q pushed up its backlog at the end of the quarter to $198 million, suggesting a 9% sequential growth. However, backlog shrank by $7.6 million from a similar quarter last year.

Great start to the year

Despite the YoY decline in backlog, CEO Reece Kurtenbach expressed his satisfaction with the F1Q results, saying that the point to a strong start to the year for the company.

What’s lying ahead for Daktronics, Inc. (NASDAQ: DAKT)?

In the balance of fiscal 2017, Daktronics, Inc. (NASDAQ: DAKT) wants to continue focusing on internal efficiency. Through cost reduction, Daktronics expects to continue posting improving earnings and also be able to mitigate the impact of cyclicality in its industry.

One of the challenges that Daktronics is battling currently is delayed purchases. A number of customers are holding off projects because of macroeconomic pressures. But the company is looking forward to a thriving industry once the global economic conditions improve. Weaker oil prices is one major reason Daktronics is not see strong demand for its solutions as it has impact customers purchase power.

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