Lakeland Industries (LAKE) Stock Up on Ebola Suit Demand
Shares of Lakeland Industries Inc. (LAKE) were up +4.11 or +35.49 percent to $15.69 per share in Thursday's premarket, after the company released an update to its business activities following the stock market close yesterday. Lakeland Industries stock closed at $11.58, down -0.66 or -5.39 percent in Wednesday's regular trading session.
Lakeland issued a press release saying that the company had received orders for one million of its protective suits in the wake of a worsening Ebola outbreak. The company announced on September 12th that it was increasing its manufacturing capacity for its specialty protective suits for healthcare workers and other people potentially being exposed to the Ebola virus.
The company said that monthly production capacity for its ChemMAX and MicroMAX protective suit lines had increased 50 percent from August, 2014, before the spike in demand, to October, and was on track for a 100 percent increase from that level by January of 2015.
In addition to the orders for a million suits, the company received substantial orders for other products such as hoods, gloves and foot coverings. Lakeland said that it did not begin shipping current orders until this month - the end of its fiscal 2015third quarter reporting period - and that the main impact from the orders would not be seen until the end of its fiscal 2015 fourth quarter on January 31st, 2015.
Christopher J. Ryan, Chief Executive Officer of Lakeland Industries said that, "Recent developments have enabled us to strengthen our balance sheet, increase forward cash flow from the elimination of interest service on expensive debt, and increase production capacity to contribute to the fight against the spread of Ebola which has led to a material improvement in our business, He continued saying, "At the same time, we have also been experiencing an improvement in operating conditions for the balance of our business globally. I am very proud of the way the worldwide team of Lakeland Industries has responded to the Ebola crisis while continuing to provide the highest level of service and quality garments to our traditional customers.
Lakeland stock has been extremely volatile since news of the Ebola outbreak began. The stock was trading under $7 per share on September 30th, spiking up to a high of $29.55 on October 13th. The stock then fell sharply, reaching the level of yesterday's closing price of $11.58. The company noted in its press release that it was actively bidding for more orders, which could further increase business. Today's premarket suggests the stock might be ready to make another substantial run.
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