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MARION MERRELL DOW ANNOUNCES RECORD SALES AND EARNINGS FOR 1992

 KANSAS CITY, Mo., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Marion Merrell Dow Inc. (NYSE: MKC) today reported record sales and earnings for the fourth quarter and for the year ended Dec. 31, 1992, reflecting strong international growth, the contribution from new product sales and the benefits of cost management efforts.
 Full-year 1992 net sales rose 16 percent to $3.3 billion from $2.85 billion in 1991. Net income for the year was $706 million compared with $585 million, a 21 percent increase. Earnings per share were $2.51 in 1992, a 21 percent increase from $2.07 a year earlier.
 "We are very pleased to report the third consecutive year of 20 percent or greater earnings growth since 1989, when Marion Merrell Dow was created," said Fred W. Lyons, Jr., president and chief executive officer. "Our global sales have grown 50 percent from where we were three years ago."
 Fourth-quarter net sales totaled $797 million, up 3 percent from $773 million a year earlier. Net income for the final three months of the year increased 13 percent to $146 million from $129 million, while fourth-quarter earnings per share were 52 cents in 1992, a 13 percent increase over 46 cents a year ago. Fourth-quarter 1992 sales did not include U.S. sales of over-the-counter products, which now are accounted for through the company's partnership with SmithKline Beecham. In the fourth quarter of 1991, U.S. over-the-counter product sales were $31 million.
 The company's adoption of two new Financial Accounting Standards Board Statements, No. 106 relating to postretirement benefit costs and No. 109 on accounting for income taxes, led to a net increase in 1992 net income of $8 million, or 3 cents per share. These effects included a current-year negative impact of $13 million, or 4 cents per share, which is not listed separately in the income statement but is reflected in earnings per share before cumulative effects of $2.44. They also include a one-time net credit of $21 million, or 7 cents per share, representing the cumulative effects from applying the standards, which leads to earnings per share of $2.51. Earnings per share without the accounting changes would have been $2.48, a 20 percent increase from 1991. There was no impact on cash flow. Because the changes were retroactive to Jan. 1, 1992, results for the first three quarters of 1992 were restated, with minimal impact. The effect in future years is not expected to be material.
 Important factors in the company's performance in 1992 included international expansion and contributions from the Cardizem(R) family of cardiovascular products, the Seldane(R) antiallergy product family and the Nicoderm(R)/Nicorette(R) smoking cessation products.
 International sales totaled $1.1 billion in 1992, one-third of the company's net sales and an increase of 29 percent from a year earlier. The international business was aided by the introduction of new products in several countries in 1992 and by the impact of previously announced acquisitions in Canada and Germany. Fourth-quarter product launches included Cardizem(R) CD in Canada, the company's Nicoderm patch in the United Kingdom (under the brand name Nicabate(TM)) and deflazacort, a bone-sparing anti-inflammatory product, in Germany.
 Sales of the Cardizem family reached nearly $1.1 billion in 1992, a 15 percent increase over the prior year. Cardizem CD, a convenient once-a-day capsule for treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure) or angina (chest pain due to insufficient blood flow to the heart), contributed $260 million in sales. In the fourth quarter, generic competition began for immediate-release Cardizem(R) tablets, when a subsidiary of the company began selling generic tablets to Rugby Laboratories Inc., and three other generic distributors entered the market. Fourth-quarter sales of the Cardizem family were $307 million, up 10 percent from a year earlier.
 "Cardizem CD had an outstanding first full year. Patients and physicians like the lower cost of Cardizem CD, as well as its once-a-day dosing and unsurpassed efficacy," Lyons said.
 Global sales of terfenadine, marketed as Seldane and Seldane-D(R) in the U.S., were $878 million in 1992, up 14 percent. Terfenadine sales in the fourth quarter were $178 million, up 3 percent from the fourth quarter of 1991. For the second half of 1992, terfenadine sales were down 3 percent. This primarily reflected the effect of strengthened label warnings concerning rare cardiovascular events among a small number of patients. The warnings state that terfenadine should not be used by patients with liver disease or in combination with certain other drugs listed in the labeling information.
 "The key is that Seldane and Seldane-D are safe when used as directed," Lyons said. "We have initiated education efforts to help physicians, pharmacists and patients understand these issues so that they can benefit from the use of our nonsedating products as the spring allergy season approaches."
 Marion Merrell Dow's smoking cessation sales were $286 million in 1992, an increase of 122 percent. The Nicoderm patch, introduced in December 1991 in the U.S., recorded $217 million in sales in its first full year. The company launched the Nicoderm patch in Canada in June and in the United Kingdom in November. Nicorette nicotine gum sales were $69 million in 1992, a decrease of 39 percent. Fourth-quarter smoking cessation sales were $38 million, a decrease of 14 percent from a year earlier, as U.S. wholesalers and retailers sold from the Nicoderm inventories they had accumulated. Fourth-quarter Nicoderm sales were $21 million.
 "Despite fluctuations in the smoking cessation market in 1992, we believe Nicoderm and Nicorette address an important long-term need for millions of people worldwide who seek to stop smoking," Lyons said.
 Sales of Carafate(R), for treatment of ulcers, remained essentially unchanged at $203 million in 1992, amid vigorous competition. Fourth- quarter Carafate sales were $54 million, a 5 percent decrease from a year earlier.
 Marion Merrell Dow's investment in Research and Development totaled $465 million in 1992, about 14 percent of sales and an increase of 18 percent from 1991.
 Marion Merrell Dow is a research-based global pharmaceutical organization dedicated to improving the longevity and quality of human life. The company is involved in the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of pharmaceutical products worldwide.
 MARION MERRELL DOW INC.
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME (A)
 Three and Twelve Months Ended Dec. 31
 (Amounts in Millions, Except for Per Share Data)
 For the For the
 Three Months Twelve Months
 Ended Dec. 31, Ended Dec. 31,
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Net sales $797 $773 $3,320 $2,851
 Cost of sales 157 180 771 660
 Gross profit 640 593 2,549 2,191
 Operating expenses:
 Research and development 128 Total operating expenses 455
416 1,595 1,342
 Operating income 185 177 954 849
 Other income, net 22 12 72 62
 Interest expense 2 4 9 15
 Income before income taxes 205 185 1,017 896
 Income taxes 59 56 332 311
 Income before cumulative
 effects of changes in
 accounting principles 146 129 685 585
 Cumulative effect of
 change in accounting
 principles - income taxes --- --- 54 ---
 Cumulative effect of
 change in accounting
 principles -
 postretirement benefits --- --- (33) ---
 Net income 146 129 706 585
 Less preferred stock
 dividends 2 1 6 5
 Net income available to
 common shareholders $144 $128 $700 $580
 Weighted average number
 of outstanding common
 shares - assuming full
 dilution 278 282 280 282
 Earnings per share, net
 income before cumulative
 effects of changes in
 accounting principles -
 assuming full dilution .52 .46 2.44 2.07
 Earnings per share,
 cumulative effect of change
 in accounting principles -
 income taxes --- --- .19 ---
 Earnings per share,
 cumulative effect of change
 in accounting principles -
 postretirement benefits --- --- (.12) ---
 Earnings per common share -
 assuming full dilution $.52 $.46 $2.51 $2.07
 Cash dividends per
 common share $.25 $.23 $.98 $.89
 (A) Unaudited data
 -0- 1/27/93
 /CONTACT: David M. Thompson or Richard M. Johnson of Marion Merrell Dow, 816-966-4000/
 (MKC)


CO: Marion Merrell Dow Inc. ST: Missouri IN: MTC SU: ERN

MC -- DV004 -- 9490 01/27/93 09:37 EST
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