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DEXTER REPORTS RESULTS FOR THE FOURTH QUARTER OF 1992 AND THE YEAR

 WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn., Feb. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The Dexter Corporation (NYSE: DEX), a leading specialty materials producer, today reported that earnings for 1992 were $38.2 million, or $1.58 per share, compared to a loss of $7.1 million, or $.29 per share, in 1991. Excluding the divestiture gain of $.40 per share and restructuring activity charge of $.37 per share, earnings for the year 1992 were $1.55 per share, yielding a 22 percent increase over a comparable $1.27 per share for 1991 which excludes the "Provision for Environmental Settlement Costs" of $.86 per share, the anticipated loss on divestitures of $.46 per share and the restructuring activities charge of $.24 per share. Sales for 1992 were a record $951.4 million, a 1 percent increase over sales of $937.7 million in 1991 despite a decrease in 1992 of $27.6 million due to the net effect of acquisitions and divestitures. Apart from the acquisitions and divestitures, sales for the year increased $41.3 million.
 Sales for the fourth quarter of 1992 were $224.6 million, a 5 percent decrease compared to the same period in 1991 due principally to the sale of the Water Management business in mid 1992. Earnings for the quarter were $8.7 million, or $.36 per share, compared to the $10.6 million net loss, or $.44 per share, for the fourth quarter of 1991. The fourth quarter 1991 net loss comprises $.46 per share to recognize the anticipated loss on divesting businesses, a charge for restructuring of $.21 per share, and earnings from operations of $.23 per share.
 Comparable earnings from operations for the fourth quarter of 1992 were $.36 per share, a 57 percent increase over 1991. The sale of the plastisols business in the fourth quarter of 1992 resulted in a $4.7 million pretax gain. Offsetting this favorable impact was a $4.6 million pretax charge for restructuring activities in the quarter. Approximately two-thirds of this restructuring charge was provided for severance costs in the United States with the remaining one-third for asset write-down resulting from the realignment of the company's businesses.
 The 5 percent decrease in sales for the fourth quarter of 1992 comprises a 2 percent increase in volume, a 1 percent decrease due to lower currency translation rates on international sales and a 6 percent decrease due to net effect of acquisitions and divestitures. The 1 percent increase in sales for the year 1992 compared with 1991 comprises a 3 percent increase in unit volume, a 1 percent increase due to the effect of higher currency translation rates on international sales and a 3 percent decrease due to net effect of acquisitions and divestitures.
 Products with strong performance in the fourth quarter of 1992 and on an annual basis compared with last year include electronic encapsulation materials, printed wiring board products, and at majority- owned Life Technologies, Inc., molecular biology and cell culture products. In addition, aerospace adhesives and acoustical materials serving the automotive market were strong for the year compared with last year. Products with weaker performance in 1992 include both beverage can coatings and nonwoven materials for the U.S. market.
 Consolidated gross margin, stated as a percentage of sales, for the fourth quarter of 1992 was 32.5 percent versus 31.9 percent for the same period last year. The composition of this favorable result is a 2.3 percent increase principally due to productivity and cost containment programs offset by a 1.7 percent decrease due to the Water Management divestiture. Consolidated gross margin of 33 percent for the full year 1992 is unchanged from 1991. However, this actually represents an increase of 1 percent due to increased productivity and cost containment programs, offset by a 1 percent decrease due to the divestiture of the high gross profit Water Management business.
 Marketing and administrative expenses decreased 15 percent for the fourth quarter and 5 percent for the year. These decreases resulted from the divestiture of the Water Management business which had significantly higher marketing and administrative costs stated as a percentage of sales.
 Interest expense was level with the fourth quarter last year but increased $2 million on a year-to-date basis compared with 1991 due to a higher level of long-term borrowing from the beginning of the fourth quarter of 1991.
 The consolidated effective tax rate for 1992 was 37.7 percent compared with a rate of 109.5 percent for the same period last year. An effective rate of 37 percent was applied to results from operations in both years other than the 1992 gain on divestiture, which was subject to higher state tax rates. Additionally, a portion of the "Provision for Environmental Settlement Costs" and the majority of the loss on divestiture were not tax deductible in 1991.
 During the fourth quarter, Dexter signed a letter of intent to enter into a global alliance for aerospace coatings with Akzo Coatings International B.V. The alliance with Akzo includes the acquisition by Dexter of Akzo's U.S.-based Americas aerospace coatings business, and in addition creates a 60/40 Akzo majority-owned joint venture based in Europe to supply aerospace coatings to the rest of the world. The alliance also includes the transfer of Dexter's U.S.-based coil coatings business to Akzo and is expected to result in a capital gain. The result of this alliance is that Dexter will have an enlarged and broader-based aerospace coatings business in the Americas and access to the rest of the world markets through the joint venture.
 K. Grahame Walker, president and chief executive officer, stated, "The fourth quarter of 1992 and the year resulted in solid volume and earnings growth from our ongoing operations. We are particularly pleased with the growth in the automotive and electronic segments despite the lingering effects of the recent recession. We continue to be encouraged by the success of our restructuring and cost containment programs. We believe that having entered the final phases of our restructuring and having achieved more efficient and effective operation of our businesses, we are now strategically positioned to capture the wealth of opportunities that exist for us."
 THE DEXTER CORPORATION
 Net Sales by Market
 (In thousands of dollars)
 Periods ended Three Months Pct. Twelve Months Pct.
 Dec. 31 1992 1991 Change 1992 1991 Change
 Aerospace $ 9,983 $ 11,984 -17 $ 45,998 $ 47,000 - 2
 Automotive 14,072 14,016 -- 59,923 51,734 16
 Electronics 34,192 30,454 12 137,622 118,232 16
 Food Packaging 52,589 56,461 - 7 225,493 225,969 --
 Medical 71,263 67,927 5 288,817 265,233 9
 Other 42,472 55,158 -23 193,586 229,566 -16
 Consolidated $224,571 $236,000 - 5 $951,439 $937,734 1
 The net effect of businesses acquired or divested decreased net sales of the Aerospace market by $1.1 million for the quarter and increased net sales $0.9 million year-to-date. Business divestitures caused a decrease in net sales of the Automotive market by $1.1 million for the quarter and $2.3 million year-to-date. The net effect of acquired or divested businesses decreased net sales of the Electronics market by $0.5 million for the quarter and increased net sales $5.7 million year-to-date. The effect of divested businesses decreased net sales of the Medical market by $0.9 million for the quarter and $2.2 million year-to-date. The effect of divestitures caused a decrease in net sales of $10.5 million for the quarter and $29.2 million year-to- date in the "Other" category.
 THE DEXTER CORPORATION
 Statement of Income
 (In thousands of dollars, except per share amounts)
 Periods ended Three Months Pct. Twelve Months Pct.
 Dec. 31 1992 1991 Chng. 1992 1991 Chng.
 Revenues:
 Net sales $224,571 $236,000 - 5 $951,439 $937,734 1
 Other income 2,198 1,597 38 6,130 6,749 -9
 Total 226,769 237,597 - 5 957,569 944,483 1
 Expenses:
 Cost of sales 151,591 160,647 - 6 637,164 628,577 1
 Marketing and
 administrative 43,513 51,073 -15 188,263 198,334 -5
 Research and
 development 10,368 10,071 3 42,216 42,056 --
 Interest 4,634 4,631 -- 18,799 16,800 12
 Provision for
 environmental
 settlement costs
 and related
 legal fees -- -- -- -- 25,068 --
 Divestiture and
 restructuring
 activities:
 (Gain) loss on
 divestiture of
 product lines (4,697) 12,607 -- (16,173) 12,607 --
 Charge for restructuring
 businesses, net 4,550 8,714 -48 14,168 9,849 44
 Income (loss)
 before taxes 16,810 (10,146) -- 73,132 11,192 --
 Income taxes 6,314 (690) -- 27,555 12,251 125
 Income (loss) before
 minority interests 10,496 (9,456) -- 45,577 (1,059) --
 Minority interests 1,824 1,167 56 7,374 6,060 22
 Net income (loss) $ 8,672 $(10,623) -- $ 38,203 $ (7,119) --
 Net income (loss)
 per share $.36 $(.44) -- $1.58 $(.29) --
 Dividends declared
 per share $.22 $.22 -- $.88 $.88 --
 Average shares
 outstanding (000) 24,277 24,149 1 24,220 24,145 --
 THE DEXTER CORPORATION
 Condensed Statement of Financial Position
 (In thousands of dollars, except per share amounts)
 12/31/92 12/31/91
 ASSETS
 Cash and short-term investments $ 65,028 $ 39,734
 Accounts receivable, net 131,818 152,169
 Inventories:
 Materials and supplies 54,693 63,324
 In process and finished 94,065 97,652
 LIFO reserve (24,151) (23,617)
 Total 124,607 137,359
 Prepaid and deferred expenses 40,014 33,165
 Total current assets 361,467 362,427
 Property, plant and equipment,
 at cost, net 298,869 299,342
 Excess of cost over net
 assets of businesses acquired 49,683 54,021
 Other assets 72,006 68,681
 Total $782,025 $784,471
 LIABILITIES & SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY
 Current installments of long-term debt $ 2,768 $ 2,590
 Accounts payable 70,954 78,399
 Accrued liabilities and taxes 78,533 82,252
 Dividends payable 5,339 5,313
 Total current liabilities 157,594 168,554
 Long-term debt 179,024 188,702
 Deferred items 82,974 69,595
 Minority interests 46,819 43,838
 Shareholders' equity:
 Common stock and paid-in capital 36,434 33,320
 Retained earnings 309,157 292,278
 Currency translation effects (16,361) 1,845
 Treasury stock (13,616) (13,661)
 Total shareholders' equity 315,614 313,782
 Total $782,025 $784,471
 Equity per share $12.98 $12.99
 -0- 2/2/93
 /CONTACT: Kathleen Burdett or John D. Thompson, 203-627-9051, or Kevin Costello, 212-644-9560, all of Dexter/
 (DEX)


CO: The Dexter Corporation ST: Connecticut IN: AUT SU: ERN

GK-OS -- NY020 -- 1803 02/02/93 11:14 EST
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Date:Feb 2, 1993
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