Insteel Industries Inc. (NYSE: IIIN) recently announced its second-quarter net earnings had more than tripled from the same period a year ago.

Net earnings for the quarter were $14.9 million, or 76 cents per share, up dramatically from $4.4 million, or 23 cents

per share, in the same period in 2020.

Net sales increased 21% to $139 million from $114.9 million in the prior-year quarter driven by a 15% increase in average selling prices and a 5.2% increase in shipments.

For the first six months of the year, net earnings were up even more, at $23.1 million, or $1.18 per share, from $4.9 million, or 25 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. Net sales increased 21.7% to $258.6 million from $212.4 million in the prior-year period, driven by a 12.7% increase in shipments and an 8% increase in average selling prices.

Net earnings for the prior-year period reflect a $900,000 decrease in the cash surrender value of life insurance policies and $300,000 of restructuring charges and acquisition costs related to the STM acquisition, which, in the aggregate, reduced net earnings by 5 cents per share.

Insteel ended the quarter debt-free with $58.9 million of cash and no borrowings outstanding on its $100 million revolving credit facility.

“Looking ahead to the second half of our fiscal year, we expect solid performance given the favorable trends in non-residential construction markets along with the usual seasonal upturn in demand,” said H.O. Woltz III, Insteel’s president, and CEO. “Recent private non-residential construction leading indicators are signaling a rebound in activity close to pre-pandemic levels and public construction activity has remained resilient which causes us to be optimistic about the demand environment for the next couple of quarters.”

“Over the last year we have pursued anti-dumping and countervailing duty trade cases against 16 countries we believe violated U.S. trade law with respect to their exports of PC strand and standard welded wire reinforcement to U.S. markets,” Woltz said. “We are pleased to report that we have received favorable determinations in the cases and expect to obtain margins against every country and every company we targeted. This lengthy process should wrap up by the end of our third quarter.