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Insteel’s fourth-quarter results showed quite a turn-around from the same period a year ago, and its year-end results were equally strong.

In the fourth quarter of its fiscal year, which ended Oct. 3, the Mount Airy-based firmed reported earnings of $7.4 million, or 38 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $1.8 million, or 9 cents per share, during the same quarter in 2019.

For the year, net earnings stood at $19 million, or 98 cents per share, up considerably from $5.6 million, or 29 cents per share, from the end of the fiscal year 2019.

For the fourth quarter of this year, the company reported net sales increased 21.9% to $138.2 million from $113.4 million during the same quarter a year ago, quarter driven by a 27.7%

increase in shipments that offset a 4.6% decrease in average selling prices. Shipments increased 12% from the third quarter of fiscal 2020 and average selling prices increased 1.1%. The

company also benefited from an extra week in the current year quarter based on its fiscal calendar.

For the year, net sales increased 3.7% to $472.6 million from $455.7 million in the prior year, driven by a 17.3% increase in shipments that offset an 11.5% decrease in average selling prices, as well as the extra week in the current year based on the company’s fiscal calendar.

Insteel reported that it ended the year debt-free with $68.7 million of cash and no borrowings outstanding on its $100 million revolving credit facility.

“Looking ahead to fiscal 2021, we expect our financial results will remain vulnerable to uncertain market conditions depending on the strength and direction of the U.S. economic recovery,” said H.O. Woltz III, president, and CEO.

“The latest forecasts for non-residential construction indicate a bottoming or modest improvement, but the sustainability of those trends is not yet clear. Public construction has not experienced the level of weakness forecast at the onset of the pandemic, although the impact varies widely from state to state. Federal action on new transportation spending or proposed state budget relief has the potential to be a positive catalyst if implemented by the U.S. Congress.

“Despite the economic uncertainties, we remain optimistic about our key initiatives, which should benefit our fiscal 2021 performance. We are pleased with our performance in the engineered structural mesh market during 2020 and expect further growth in 2021.

“Additionally, the trade cases filed in April and June 2020 alleging illegal activity by importers in the U.S. PC strand and standard welded wire reinforcement markets have progressed favorably. The PC strand cases are now scheduled to conclude during our third fiscal quarter and the standard welded wire reinforcing case is expected to conclude during the fourth fiscal quarter of 2021. As with any litigation, we cannot predict the outcome, but we believe the facts supporting the cases are strong.”