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AIR PRODUCTS REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER RESULTS

 ALLENTOWN, Pa., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Reflecting previously announced charges for workforce reduction costs and selected asset write-downs which totaled $76 million, or 67 cents per share, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE: APD) reported a net loss of $14 million, or 13 cents per share, in the fourth quarter compared to net income of $71 million, or 63 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.
 Excluding these charges and other non-operating items, Air Products earned $60 million, or 52 cents per share, in the current quarter, versus $65 million, or 57 cents per share, last year. Sales rose 2 percent to $856 million.
 In commenting on the quarter's results, Air Products' Chairman H.A. Wagner said, "Our operating performance reflected higher overall results in our industrial gas and chemical segments despite a significant deterioration in European profits due to currency and weak business conditions. Our operating results were also adversely affected by lower profits in our Equipment and Technology segment and a higher effective tax rate."
 The following segment discussion excludes the financial impact of charges for workforce reduction and asset write-downs.
 Industrial gas sales in the quarter were unchanged versus last year while operating income rose 2 percent. Volumes in the U.S merchant and on-site businesses improved, however profits were significantly lower in Europe due to slightly lower merchant gas volumes and margins, and unfavorable currency effects.
 Fourth quarter chemical sales increased 7 percent and operating income was up 30 percent. Higher volumes in several major product lines contributed to the improved profits. Lower polymer margins and somewhat higher natural gas feedstock costs adversely affected the results. Last year's fourth quarter included costs for a turnaround at the polyvinyl alcohol plant in Kentucky.
 Results in the environmental and energy systems business were strong, but lower than last year's record fourth quarter which included a gain from selling a one-half interest in a Florida cogeneration project. Operations at all major facilities remained strong, including American Ref-Fuel's newest waste-to-energy facility in New York.
 In the Equipment and Technology segment, a significantly different product mix and higher costs substantially reduced operating income.
 Corporate and Other segment results for the fourth quarter included a 2 cent per-share gain from the sale of stock in an insurance company that Air Products acquired in 1986 when it participated in forming the company.
 This year's fourth quarter included an after-tax charge of $37 million ($58 million before tax) for costs to reduce the company's workforce by 7 to 10 percent over the next two years as part of a profit improvement program. It also included a $39 million after-tax charge ($62 million before tax) for asset write-downs involving the landfill gas business in the environmental and energy systems segment, the epoxy and agricultural chemical product lines, and miscellaneous assets in the industrial gas segment.
 For fiscal 1993, Air Products reported net income of $201 million, or $1.76 per share, compared to $271 million, or $2.40 per share last year. Excluding fourth quarter charges for work force reduction and asset write-downs, Air Products earned $277 million in 1993 which is equal to last year's income before an extraordinary item for debt retirement. Excluding the charges, extraordinary item, and non- operating items, Air Products earned $264 million, or $2.32 per share, versus $268 million, or $2.37 per share last year. Sales increased 3 percent to $3.3 billion.
 In commenting on 1993's results, Wagner said, "On an operating basis, Air Products' profits were slightly below last year's record results. Overall, Air Products performed well despite a declining European economy and higher U.S. tax rates. Our businesses generated high operating cash flows which will facilitate our purchase of up to 4.5 million shares of our common stock and the continuation of our strong capital spending program. The share repurchase plan reflects our belief that our stock represents an attractive investment and our continued confidence in future earnings growth."
 Editor's Note:
 Air Products announced today its intention to begin purchasing up to approximately 4.5 million shares of its common stock, subject to market conditions. As of Sept. 30, 1993, Air Products had approximately 114 million shares outstanding.
 AIR PRODUCTS AND CHEMICALS, INC.
 Summary Of Consolidated Financial Information
 (Unaudited)
 (In millions, except earnings per share)
 Three months ended Sept. 30 1993 1992
 Sales $855.5 $838.8
 Net Income (14.2) (a) 71.1 (c)
 Earnings Per Share (.13) (a) .63 (c)
 Twelve months ended Sept. 30 1993 1992
 Sales $3,327.7 $3,217.3
 Income Before Extraordinary Item 200.9 (b) 277.0 (d)
 Extraordinary Item - (6.0)(e)
 Net Income 200.9 271.0
 Earnings Per Share
 Income Before Extraordinary Item 1.76 (b) 2.45 (d)
 Extraordinary Item - (.05)(e)
 Net Income 1.76 2.40
 Average Shares Outstanding 113.9 113.0
 (a) Includes an after-tax charge of $76.1 million, or $.67 per share, for costs associated with reducing the workforce by 7 to 10 percent over a two-year period and for selected asset write- downs. Also includes an after-tax gain of $2.3 million, or $.02 per share, from the partial sale of a stock investment in an insurance company.
 (b) Includes an after-tax charge of $76.1 million, or $.67 per share, for workforce reduction-related costs and selected asset write- downs. Also includes an after-tax gain of $13.0 million, or $.11 per share, from an insurance settlement related to a chemicals facility; the sale of a business venture; and the sale of stock options and partial sale of a stock investment in an insurance company.
 (c) Includes an after-tax gain of $6.5 million, or $.06 per share, from the sale of a one-half interest in the Orlando cogeneration project.
 (d) Includes an after-tax gain of $9.1 million, or $.08 per share, from the sale of a one-half interest in the Orlando cogeneration project and the sale of land by an equity affiliate.
 (e) Early retirement of 11-3/8 percent debentures.
 /delval/
 -0- 10/21/93
 /CONTACT: Kevin J. Ramundo of Air Products and Chemicals, 215-481-4346/
 (APD)


CO: Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: CHM SU: ERN

MP -- PH011 -- 5091 10/21/93 10:44 EDT
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Date:Oct 21, 1993
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