Keithley Instruments, a provider in electrical solutions for emerging measurement needs, today announced record net earnings for the quarter ended March 31. Net income for the second quarter of fiscal 1999 was $1,984,000, or $0.26 per share, up 155% from $779,000, or $0.10 per share, in the prior year's quarter. Net earnings for the 1999 second quarter were a record high (excluding gains recorded for the sales of businesses). Net sales for the second quarter were $24.4 million, flat compared to the prior year after excluding prior year's sales from the Radiation Measurements Division (RMD) which was sold in the fourth quarter of fiscal 1998 and the Quantox product line sold in the first quarter of 1999. Including RMD and Quantox in the prior year, net sales were down 18%. Sequentially, net sales for the second quarter increased 20% from the first quarter excluding Quantox sales in that quarter.
Excluding RMD and Quantox in the prior year's quarter, orders for the second quarter of $27.5 million were up 13% from the prior year. Strong orders for the company's parametric test products serving the semiconductor industry accounted for the increase. Geographically, orders were up significantly in the U.S. and the Pacific Basin region, but down in Europe. Order backlog grew $2.6 million during the quarter to $12.1 million at March 31.
Net income for the first half of fiscal 1999 was $5.8 million, or $0.74 per share, on a diluted basis. Excluding the gain on the sale of the Quantox product line in fiscal 1999, net income was $2.7 million, or $0.35 per share, up 43% from $1.9 million, or $0.23 per share, in last year's first half. For the six months ended March 31, net sales were $45.3 million, down 26% from the same period last year. Excluding net sales from RMD and Quantox, sales for the first half of fiscal 1999 were down 13% from the same period in fiscal 1998.