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NN ekes out 1Q profit on improving customer demand

NN Inc., which makes precision metal bearings, eked out a profit in the first quarter with growing demand from industrial and automotive customers.

Shares rose 28 cents, or 4.3 percent, to $6.79 in afternoon trading. Earlier in the session the stock hit a fresh two-year week high of $7.50.

The company said net income was $225,000, or a penny per share, in the three months ended March 31. That compares with a loss of $9.5 million, or 59 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Excluding charges, the company made 8 cents per share. Revenue rose nearly 50 percent to $85.3 million.

The company stood by its full-year revenue guidance of $315 million to $335 million, saying it remains guardedly optimistic about the second half of 2010.

"For us to continue to meet our previously announced annual revenue guidance ... the global economy must continue to strengthen," CEO Roderick R. Baty said in a statement. "We recognize that we still have much to do to return our Company to historical levels of profitability and cash flow."

Shares of NN have traded in a range of $1.27 and $7.49 in the last 52 weeks.