Orange County Business Journal

Ceradyne Lands Army Order

Jane Yu Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Costa Mesa-based Ceradyne Inc. has received a $6.5 million contract for a lightweight ceramic armor system for groin protection inserts for the U.S. Army.

The company is a manufacturer of ceramics-based products and components for the defense, industrial and energy markets, among others.

A pre-production sample will be shipped out in the current quarter, with an initial production order expected to follow shortly.

The remainder of the orders, which totals roughly $5.9 million, is expected to be shipped at the government’s discretion over the next five years.

The new contract for body-armor parts comes after a quarter of no new such orders, and at a time when Ceradyne is working through delays on a few of its other orders.

Ceradyne landed a $170 million order for its enhanced combat helmets in March. Production has been delayed because of technical issues, which “are being addressed by our staff, and we anticipate that … we will be in volume production probably late in the third quarter this year,” said Chief Executive Joel Moskowitz during a conference call with analysts following the company’s second-quarter report.

Ceradyne also received a “stop work” notice in March on a $7 million order for ceramic body armor plates from the U.S. Special Operations Command, which was initially awarded in October.

The company reported that it’s working on addressing the organization’s concern, and it expects to resume shipments in the fourth quarter.

Ceradyne has reduced earnings forecasts for the second half of the year in anticipation of a “reduction in our planned shipments of body armor,” according to Jerrold Pellizzon, chief financial officer.