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Hurco beats expectations with higher sales, profit

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Hurco Cos. Inc. saw slightly higher profit in the first quarter on a 16-percent jump in sales and service fees, the Indianapolis-based industrial technology company reported Friday morning.

Hurco earned $2.37 million, or 36 cents per share, in the period ended Jan. 31, up from $2.25 million, or 34 cents per share, for the same quarter of fiscal 2013.

The results far exceeded the expectations of analysts, who predicted profit of 21 cents per share.

Sales and service fees, or revenue, rose to nearly $51 million, up from $44 million a year ago.

Hurco's sales were flat in North America, but rose 19 percent in Europe, to $36.5 million, and increased 4 percent in Asia, to $6 million.

The company also reported a 12-percent rise in orders during the latest quarter.

"I am pleased that Europe has shown some improvement from the economic disruption experienced last year,” Hurco CEO Michael Doar said in a prepared statement. “Historically, our business has depended on the premium reputation our products have earned in Europe, which makes us sensitive to changes in market conditions there.”

Shares of Hurco, which designs and makes interactive computer controls, software and computerized machine tools, rose 2.7 percent Friday morning, to $26.50 each.

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