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CONE MILLS CORPORATION ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER RESULTS

 CONE MILLS CORPORATION ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER RESULTS
 GREENSBORO, N.C., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Cone Mills Corporation (NYSE: COE) announced today third quarter sales from continuing operations of $170.5 million as compared with $164.9 million for last year's comparable period. Net income for the 1992 period before extraordinary items was $10.9 million, or $.35 per share of common stock after preferred dividends. After extraordinary expenses of $2.0 million related to early termination of leveraged buyout debt in connection with the Company's debt refinancing completed during the quarter, the Company earned $8.9 million or $.28 per share after preferred dividends. By comparison, in the third quarter of 1991, the Company had income of $2.1 million from continuing operations and a net loss of $5.9 million after results of discontinued operations.
 For the first nine months of 1992, net sales from continuing operations were $527.4 million with net income of $33.8 million, or $1.33 per share of common stock after preferred dividends before extraordinary expense and $31.8 million or $1.24 per share of common stock after extraordinary expense. By comparison, sales for the first nine months of 1991 from continuing operations were $471.8 million with income from continuing operations of $4.1 million or a loss of $.02 per share of common stock after preferred dividends.
 After adjustment for the sale of two small businesses during the past 12 months, sales for the third quarter of 1992 were up 5.2 percent as compared with the same quarter of 1991. Apparel sales improved as a result of increased sales volume and prices for heavyweight denims, and yarn dyed and chamois shirtings. The Company experienced weaker sales of blended uniform and sportswear fabrics and specialty prints than in the previous year's third quarter. Sales of home furnishings products continue to be ahead of year ago levels.
 Gross profit (net sales less cost of sales and depreciation) as a percentage of net sales for third quarter of 1992 was 21.1 percent as compared with 13.7 percent for the third quarter of 1991. Export sales increased to $24.6 million or 14.4 percent of sales as compared with $21.2 million or 12.8 percent of sales for the previous year's comparable period.
 Earnings were up sharply for the third quarter from the previous year in the apparel fabrics segment due to higher prices of approximately 5 percent and lower cotton costs. Earnings were lower for the period in the home furnishings segment as compared to the previous year's third quarter due primarily to higher bad debt expense, a physical inventory reconciliation charge and, to a lesser extent, a less profitable product mix. The Company had sharply lower interest expense compared with the previous year's quarter as a result of lower debt levels and reduced interest rates.
 According to Pat Danahy, Chief Executive Officer, "The Company's overall sales and earnings trends continue favorable, as strong demand for heavyweight denims and lower cotton costs have more than offset the slower than expected recovery of the fancy apparel and home furnishings markets. Cone's financial position continues to strengthen as a result of strong earnings, reductions of inventories and receivables, and substitution of a more efficient debt structure for the Company."
 The Company completed its debt refinancing during the quarter, which continued its transition from a highly leveraged private company to a well capitalized public company. At Sept. 27, 1992, the Company had outstanding $75 million of long term debt borrowed from Prudential Insurance company and $4 million borrowed under its bank revolving credit agreement, as well as $40 million of receivables sold under the Company's new accounts receivable purchase facility. In addition to strong cash flow from earnings and the liquidation of working capital associated with discontinued lines, debt had been substantially reduced in the second quarter with a portion of the net proceeds of the Company's initial public offering completed in June 1992. By comparison, the amount of debt borrowed at Sept. 29, 1991, under its previous credit facility was $230.3 million.
 Accounts Receivables as of the end of the third quarter declined by $54.3 million from year ago levels. This decrease was caused by the sale of $40 million of receivables in accordance with the Company's receivables purchase agreement and the reduction in sales associated with discontinued lines.
 Inventories were down $16.8 million from the end of the 1991 third quarter, primarily the result of the continuing reduction of working capital associated with discontinued lines.
 In September 1992, the Company used $21.5 million of net proceeds from its initial public offering consummated in June 1992, to reduce Class A Preferred Stock.
 Mr. Danahy commented, "Overall, our third quarter earnings exceeded plan in an economic environment that was slightly weaker than expected. Fourth quarter business continues to be favorable as denim facilities are operating at capacity and are scheduled to operate during the Thanksgiving Holiday. At third quarter end the order backlog for apparel fabrics was $135.4 million, up
10.9 percent compared with $122.1 million at Sept. 29, 1991." Danahy observed: "Future changes in quarterly order backlog will be less dramatic as we begin making comparison with strong 1992 sales. The Company added approximately 2 percent to yarn dyed denim capacity in 1992 and plans to add 4 percent in 1993. At Carlisle, another screen printing machine will be added in the first quarter of 1993. We are encouraged by near term results and believe the Company is well positioned to benefit from the recovering economy."
 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 OPERATIONS
 (Amounts in thousands, except per share data)
 (unaudited)
 13 Weeks Ended 39 Weeks Ended
 9/27/92 9/29/91 9/27/92 9/29/91
 Net Sales $170,536 $164,937 $527,353 $471,800
 Cost of Sales 129,949 138,132 405,125 393,447
 Selling and Administrative 16,527 14,070 49,862 43,703
 Depreciation 4,584 4,147 13,799 12,553
 Restructuring Cost - 767 - 767
 151,060 157,116 468,786 450,470
 Income from Operations 19,476 7,821 58,567 21,330
 Interest Expense - net 1,942 4,576 6,463 14,475
 Income from Continuing
 Operations before
 Income Taxes 17,534 3,245 52,104 6,855
 Income Taxes 6,597 1,134 18,284 2,772
 Income from Continuing
 Operations $10,937 $2,111 $33,820 $4,083
 Discontinued Operations
 (Loss) from Operations
 (net of income tax benefit
 of $4,831 - $9,761 - 1991) - (8,008) - (16,179)
 Net income (Loss) before
 extraordinary item $10,937 $(5,897) $33,820 $(12,096)
 Extraordinary item -
 Expenses related to early
 extinguishment of debt -
 (Net of income tax benefit
 of $1,212) (2,009) - (2,009) -
 Net Income (Loss) $8,928 $(5,897) $31,811 $(12,096)
 Income (Loss) Available to
 Common Stock:
 Income (Loss) from
 Continuing Operations $9,818 $654 $30,053 $(265)
 Net income (Loss) $7,809 $(7,354) $28,044 $(16,444)
 Earnings (Loss) Per Share:
 Income (Loss) from
 Continuing Operations $.35 $.03 $1.33 $(.02)
 Income (Loss) before
 Extraordinary Item $.35 $(.37) $1.33 $(1.47)
 Net income (Loss) $.28 $(.37) $1.24 $(1.47)
 Average Shares Outstanding 27,471 19,675 22,654 11,221
 CONE MILLS CORPORATION
 CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
 (amounts in thousands)
 ASSETS 9/27/92 9/29/91
 Current Assets:
 Cash $2,558 $4,614
 Accounts receivable - net 55,905 110,188
 Inventories 130,771 147,545
 Other current assets 2,980 3,215
 Total Current Assets 192,214 265,562
 Other Assets 9,489 7,523
 Property, Plant and Equipment - net 179,497 194,454
 $381,200 $467,539
 LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
 Current Liabilities:
 Notes payable and seasonal
 borrowing facility $7,088 $19,067
 Current maturity of long-term debt 894 21,366
 Accounts payable and accrued
 expenses 67,955 60,020
 Income taxes payable 9,260 135
 Deferred income taxes 24,103 21,873
 Total Current Liabilities 109,300 122,461
 Long-Term Debt 80,841 200,250
 Deferred items 41,028 48,585
 Stockholders' Equity 150,031 96,243
 $381,200 $467,539
 -0- 10/21/92
 /CONTACT: John L. Bakane, Vice President & CFO, or (Investor Relations) David E. Bray, Treasurer, Cone Mills, 919-379-6220/
 (COE) CO: Cone Mills Corporation ST: North Carolina IN: TEX SU: ERN


JM-DF -- CH007 -- 2977 10/21/92 14:17 EDT
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