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CONE MILLS CORPORATION ANNOUNCES FIRST QUARTER 1993 INCREASES IN SALES AND EARNINGS

 GREENSBORO, N.C., April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Cone Mills Corporation (NYSE: COE) announced today first quarter net sales of $195.0 million, an 11.9 percent increase over first quarter 1992 sales of $174.2 million. Operating income before interest and taxes increased by 13.2 percent to $21.6 million as compared with $19.1 million for last year's comparable period. Net income for first quarter 1993 was $12.6 million or $.42 per share of common stock after preferred dividends.
 First quarter 1992 net income of $12.0 million and earnings of $.53 per share included an after tax benefit of $2.2 million related to an income tax refund, and outstanding shares did not include 6.9 million shares issued in the company's mid-1992 Initial Public Offering. On a pro forma basis, excluding the $.08 per share impact of the tax refund and adjusted for the company's Initial Public Offering of stock, earnings per share for first quarter 1992 were $.34 as compared with the most recent quarter's earnings of $.42 per share.
 The company's gross margin (net sales minus cost of sales and depreciation) increased to 21.5 percent of sales for first quarter 1993 as compared with 20.3 percent for first quarter 1992 as margins benefited from lower cotton costs and improved manufacturing productivity. Selling and administrative expenses increased from $16.4 million for first quarter 1992 to $20.2 million for first quarter 1993 as a result of redeployment of people previously charged to discontinued lines to support expanding sportswear and denim businesses, increases in salaries and benefits costs, and expenses associated with the company's secondary offering of common stock.
 Apparel segment sales were $142.4 million, up 13.1 percent, and home furnishings segment sales of $52.6 million advanced by 8.8 percent as all product groups experienced increased revenues. Apparel segment profit margins of 12.0 percent of sales in first quarter 1993 were unchanged from the pervious year. Home furnishings segment profit margins increased from 9.5 percent of sales in first quarter 1992 to 9.8 percent in first quarter 1993 as a result of stronger performance in printed fabrics and real estate operations.
 Export sales were $34.5 million or 17.7 percent of first quarter 1993 sales as compared with $27.4 million or 15.7 percent of first quarter 1992 sales. The increases were primarily from expansion in the company's Latin American and Pacific Basin markets.
 The company continued to strengthen its financial position as long- term debt declined to 31 percent of combined long-term debt and equity capital as compared with 32 percent at year-end 1992, and 66 percent at the end of first quarter 1992, which was prior to the company's mid-year 1992 Initial Public Offering of stock and refinancing its debt.
 Inventories were $146.9 million at the end of first quarter 1993 as compared with year-ago levels of $141.6 million due primarily to increases in raw materials inventories. Accounts receivable were $52.5 million for the most recent quarter-end as compared with $107.8 million for the previous year. The most recent financial statement reflects the sale of $40 million of accounts receivable under the company's Receivables Purchase Agreement and improved rates of collection.
 According to J. Patrick Danahy, chief executive officer: "We are pleased with the continued strong performance of our apparel fabrics businesses and encouraged by improving results in our home furnishings lines. Near-term, our backlogs for the apparel segment at the end of the most recent quarter were $197.2 million, up 22 percent from year-ago levels. Our expanding international business, coupled with our recently announced plans to invest in the largest denim manufacturer in Mexico and to build a joint venture denim plant in Mexico, should provide a growth path for the company in the longer term. Nevertheless, we are cautious about conditions in the U.S. economy because of the growing gap between consumer expectations for a rebound in job growth and standards of living, and the intensifying appetite of government to fund its own agenda. Consumer confidence and consumer spending are the keys to the continuation of this economic expansion."
 Cone Mills Corporation, headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., is the largest producer of denim fabrics in the world and is the largest printer of home furnishings fabrics in the United States. The company is the largest domestic exporter of denims and is a major exporter of printed home furnishings fabrics. The company's manufacturing plants are located in North Carolina, South Carolina and Mississippi.
 CONE MILLS CORPORATION
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
 (amounts in thousands, except per share data)
 (unaudited)
 Thirteen Thirteen
 Weeks Ended Weeks Ended
 4/4/93 3/29/92
 Net Sales $ 195,035 $ 174,246
 Cost of Sales 147,958 134,139
 Selling and Administrative 20,246 16,387
 Depreciation 5,238 4,649
 173,442 155,175
 Income from Operations 21,593 19,071
 Interest Expense - net 1,562 1,352
 Income from Operations before
 Income Taxes 20,031 17,719
 Income Taxes 7,412 5,675
 Net Income $ 12,619 $ 12,044
 Net Income Available to
 Common Shareholders $ 11,840 $ 10,606
 Earnings Per Common Share -
 Fully Diluted $ .42 $ .53
 Average Shares Outstanding 27,877 19,415
 CONE MILLS CORPORATION
 CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
 (amounts in thousands)
 (unaudited)
 ASSETS 4/4/93 3/29/92
 Current Assets:
 Cash $ 2,126 $ 6,422
 Accounts receivable - net 52,505 107,838
 Inventories 146,873 141,590
 Other current assets 2,605 3,428
 Total Current Assets 204,109 259,278
 Other Assets 1,284 4,395
 Property, Plant and Equipment
 - net 188,337 179,312
 LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS'
 EQUITY
 Current Liabilities:
 Notes payable and seasonal
 borrowing facility $ 6,369 $ 27,277
 Current maturities of
 long-term debt 708 10,902
 Accounts payable and accrued
 expenses 67,279 72,024
 Income taxes payable 3,778 5,662
 Deferred income taxes 25,656 21,352
 Total Current Liabilities 103,790 137,217
 Long-Term Debt 76,337 169,877
 Deferred Items 40,623 42,736
 Stockholders' Equity 172,980 93,155
 $ 393,730 $ 442,985
 -0- 4/27/93
 /CONTACT: John L. Bakane, Vice President and CFO, or David E. Bray, Treasurer, Cone Mills, 919-379-6220/
 (COE)


CO: Cone Mills Corporation ST: North Carolina IN: TEX SU: ERN

CM -- CH003 -- 1279 04/27/93 11:05 EDT
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Date:Apr 27, 1993
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