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BETZ LABORATORIES, INC. REPORTS THIRD QUARTER SALES AND EARNINGS

 TREVOSE, Pa., Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Betz Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BTL), an international company which produces and markets specialty chemical treatment programs for water, wastewater and process systems, today reported that third quarter net sales declined by 3 percent from $182.9 million to $176.5 million. Net earnings were down 18 percent from $21.5 million to $17.6 million. Primary earnings per common share declined 18 percent from $.71 to $.58 and fully diluted earnings per common share decreased 21 percent from $.68 to $.54. Sales for the nine month period ending Sept. 30, 1993, decreased 3 percent from $534.4 million to $516.5 million. Net earnings declined 9 percent from $62.0 million to $56.5 million. The company's 1993 nine month net earnings includes a one-time credit recorded in the first quarter in the amount of $900,000 resulting from changes in the method of accounting for income taxes and retiree health benefits. Primary earnings per common share decreased 10 percent from $2.04 to $1.84 and fully diluted earnings per common share declined 11 percent from $1.95 to $1.74. Both primary and fully diluted earnings per common share through nine months include a positive $.03 as a result of changes in accounting methods.
 During the quarter, the company made a number of decisions to reduce operating expenses on a prospective basis. Due to lack of profitability, the company discontinued offering laboratory analytical services to customers on a fee paid basis. The company also decided to reorganize the Betz Equipment Systems Division in order to place more emphasis on the development and sale of its computerized monitoring and control systems and operate more efficiently. As a result of these and other cost control measures, the company's third quarter operating expenses include a $4 million charge for workforce reductions.
 Primary and fully diluted earnings per common share for the quarter were adversely affected by approximately $.11 which includes $.08 for workforce reductions, $.01 for foreign currency translations and $.02 for the increase in the federal tax rate.
 Commenting on results of operations, John F. McCaughan, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "Our third quarter results were negatively impacted by sluggish growth in the industrial sector of the economy, particularly the chemical refining and paper industries, Betz' key customer industries. Some customers in these industries are reducing consumption of existing treatment programs to meet short-term cost control objectives. Although we are adding new business at a record pace, the shrinkage in our business at existing accounts is more than offsetting our new business gains. As in prior quarters, our foreign sales, on a combined basis, were up in local currencies but were down approximately 10 percent when translated to U.S. dollars.
 "Within the U.S., sales of refinery process chemicals by Betz Process Chemicals, Inc. were up slightly for the quarter. Betz Entec, Inc. experienced modest sales gains of water treatment programs to the commercial, institutional and light industrial marketplace. Sales gains by these subsidiaries were more than offset by lower sales at Betz Industrial Division, which markets water treatment programs to large industrial accounts and Betz PaperChem, Inc., which markets specialty process chemicals to the paper industry."
 BETZ LABORATORIES, INC.
 Consolidated Statements of Operations
 (In thousands, except per-share amounts)
 Periods ended Three months Nine months
 Sept. 30 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Net sales $176,543 $182,860 $516,510 $534,383
 Operating costs and expenses:
 Cost of products sold 61,085 62,324 178,762 183,847
 Selling, research and
 administrative expenses 86,466 86,070 248,956 251,416
 Total 147,551 148,394 427,718 435,263
 Operating earnings 28,992 34,466 88,792 99,120
 Other income (expense):
 Investment and other income 581 745 2,607 2,497
 Interest expense (33) (143) (87) (378)
 Total 548 602 2,520 2,119
 Earnings before income taxes
 and cumulative effect of
 accounting changes 29,540 35,068 91,312 101,239
 Income taxes 11,901 13,607 35,683 39,281
 Net earnings before
 cumulative effect of
 accounting changes 17,639 21,461 55,629 61,958
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting changes:
 Income taxes --- --- 3,600 ---
 Retiree health care, net
 of $1,700 income taxes --- --- (2,700) ---
 Net earnings 17,639 21,461 56,529 61,958
 Primary earnings per
 common share:
 Before cumulative effect of
 accounting changes $.58 $.71 $1.81 $2.04
 Accounting changes --- --- .03 ---
 Primary earnings per
 common share .58 .71 1.84 2.04
 Fully diluted earnings per
 common share:
 Before cumulative effect of
 accounting changes $.54 $.68 $1.71 $1.95
 Accounting changes --- --- .03 ---
 Fully diluted earnings
 per common share .54 .68 1.74 1.95
 Average number of common shares:
 Primary 28,583 28,406 28,716 28,480
 Fully diluted 31,354 31,152 31,463 31,228
 -0- 10/25/93
 /CONTACT: R. Dale Voncanon, vp-finance of Betz Laboratories, 215-355-3300/
 (BTL)


CO: Betz Laboratories, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU: ERN

MJ-LJ -- PH033 -- 6486 10/25/93 16:08 EDT
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Date:Oct 25, 1993
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