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Charles & Colvard sales increase 13 percent in fourth quarter

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Moissanite gemstone maker Charles & Colvard reported Tuesday that net sales increased 13 percent in the fourth quarter to $8.1 million.

Net income for the quarter was $4.2 million, or 21 cents per share, compared with $1.8 million, or 9 cents per share, during the same period in 2011.

The Morrisville company continued to ramp up its sales and marketing efforts in the quarter. Operating expenses increased $1.3 million, or 56 percent, in the quarter and were up $4 million, or 49 percent, for the year.

In recent years Charles & Colvard has begun selling finished jewelry products directly to consumers at its website. The company is also building up a home part business called Lulu Avenue.

Net sales for the year were up 40 percent to $22.4 million. Loose moissanite gemstone sales were up 24 percent and finished jewelry sales were up 87 percent.

“Our wholesale business executed exceptionally throughout the year, providing significant increases in sales of loose jewels and finished jewelry; both providing the necessary cash flow to grow our consumer-direct businesses as we invest in our future," said CEO Randy McCullough in a statement.

Moissanite is made from silicon carbide. Charles & Colvard has an exclusive agreement with Durham-based Cree to provide it with silicon carbide.

Charles & Colvard announced last month that it had renewed its agreement with Cree, allowing for new silicon carbide material to be delivered quarterly through July 2015.

Charles & Colvard's shares closed Monday at $3.91. The stock is flat over the past year.

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About the blogger

Business reporter David Bracken came to the N&O in 2004. He covers commercial and residential real estate. Contact David at 919-829-4548 or e-mail him.