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PRAXAIR REPORTS PRELIMINARY RESULTS AND PROFIT IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVE

 DANBURY, Conn., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) reported preliminary, unaudited results for the fourth quarter and the year 1992 and that it is taking a fourth quarter charge in conjunction with a new profit improvement program. As a result of the charge and the effect of adopting two new accounting standards, the company reported a loss for the fourth quarter of $12 million, or $0.09 per share, and a loss for the year of $60 million, or $0.46 per share. The comparable 1991 quarter results were net income of $29 million, or $0.23 per share; for the year 1991, net income was $107 million, or $0.84 per share.
 Excluding the charges, and the effect of accounting changes, net income for the quarter would have been $30 million, or $0.23 per share, and for the full year, $132 million, or $1.00 per share.
 In the fourth quarter, Praxair took a charge for the profit improvement program of $65 million ($40 million after-tax). The adoption of new accounting standards resulted in an additional expense of $4 million ($2 million after-tax) for the quarter, and $13 million ($8 million after-tax) for the year. In addition, the company took a cumulative effect charge of $144 million, or $1.10 per share in the first quarter from the adoption of SFAS Nos. 106 and 109, relating to post-retirement benefits and income taxes respectively.
 Sales in the fourth quarter were $637 million, up from $617 million in the 1991 quarter. Sales for the full year 1992 were $2,604 million, up from 1991 sales of $2,469 million.
 For the 1992 fourth quarter, excluding the accounting changes and the profit improvement program charge, operating profit in the United States was down from the fourth quarter of 1991 as improved volumes and fixed cost improvement efforts were offset by increased operating costs for industrial gases and lower Surface Technologies results. Excluding accounting changes and the profit improvement program charge, results were slightly down in Europe and flat in Canada, Mexico and Asia due to weak economic conditions and unfavorable currency effects. Brazil results improved on higher volumes and prices as well as favorable tax impacts.
 The profit improvement program is designed to streamline critical work processes, and to accelerate actions that will reduce costs, increase sales and cash flow, and improve the company's global competitiveness over the next three years. The charge for this program covers future costs, primarily employee severance.
 "Praxair has held its own in a tough economic environment," said H. William Lichtenberger, chairman and chief executive officer of Praxair. "Nevertheless, I am impatient about our pace of revenue and earnings growth. Praxair is fully committed to achieving our 15- percent-per-year net income growth target for our first five years as a new company. The profit improvement efforts we are announcing today will go well beyond our current $60 million cost improvement program and will create the momentum to help meet these objectives."
 Praxair is the largest industrial gases supplier in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide. The company also is a leading worldwide supplier of metallic and ceramic coatings and powders through Praxair Surface Technologies, Inc.
 PRAXAIR, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Statement of Income
 (Dollars in millions, except per share data)
 (Unaudited)
 Period Ended Three Months 12/31/92(A) 12/31/91
 Sales $ 637 $ 617
 Cost of sales, exclusive of
 depreciation and amortization 368 353
 Selling, general and administrative 107 97
 Depreciation and amortization 67 64
 Research and development (C) 16 15
 Profit improvement program 65 --
 Other expenses-net 4 11
 Operating profit 10 77
 Interest expense 24 16
 Income (loss) before income taxes (14) 61
 Income taxes (11) 32
 Income (loss) of consolidated entities (3) 29
 Minority interests (9) (1)
 Income from equity investments -- 1
 Net income (loss) $ (12) $ 29
 Earnings (loss) per common share (B) $(.09) $.23
 (A) 1992 results include a profit improvement program charge and
 the impact of accounting changes. See chart on Analysis of Profit
 Improvement Program Charges And The Impact of Accounting Changes.
 (B) Based on 133,112,115 shares (127,351,642 shares in 1991 on a
 pro forma basis)
 (C) For 1992 certain expenses previously reported as cost of sales
 and selling, general and administrative have been reclassified as
 research and development. 1991 has been reclassified on a
 consistent basis.
 PRAXAIR, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Statement of Income
 (Dollars in millions, except per share data)
 (Unaudited)
 Year Ended December 31, 1992(A) 1991(B)
 Sales $ 2,604 $ 2,469
 Cost of sales, exclusive of
 depreciation and amortization 1,450 1,402
 Selling, general and administrative 407 397
 Depreciation and amortization 257 236
 Research and development (D) 62 58
 Profit improvement program (A,B) 65 11
 Other expenses-net 87 41
 Operating profit 276 324
 Interest expense 117 117
 Income before income taxes 159 207
 Income taxes 37 68
 Income of consolidated entities 122 139
 Minority interests (45) (35)
 Income from equity investments 7 3
 Income before cumulative effect of
 accounting changes 84 107
 Cumulative effect of accounting changes (144) --
 Net income (loss) (60) 107
 Pro forma earnings (loss) per share: (C)
 Before cumulative effect of
 accounting changes $ .64 $ .84
 Cumulative effect of accounting changes (1.10) --
 Net income (loss) $ (.46) $ .84
 (A) 1992 results include a profit improvement program charge and
 the impact of accounting changes. See chart on Analysis of Profit
 Improvement Program Charges And The Impact of Accounting Changes.
 (B) 1991 results include a restructuring charge in Canada. See
 chart on Analysis of Profit Improvement Program Charges And The
 Impact of Accounting Changes.
 (C) Based on 131,567,447 shares (126,776,208 shares in 1991 on a
 pro forma basis).
 (D) For 1992, certain expenses previously reported as cost of
 sales and selling, general and administrative have been reclassified
 as research and development. 1991 has been reclassified on a
 consistent basis.
 PRAXAIR, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Segment Data
 (Dollars in millions)
 (Unaudited)
 Period Ended Three Months 12/31/92 12/31/91
 Geographic Segments:
 Sales
 United States $275 $273
 Brazil 142 120
 Europe 114 116
 Canada, Mexico, Asia & Other 106 108
 Total $ 637 $ 617
 Operating profit (loss)
 United States $(19) (A,B) $ 38
 Brazil 18 (A) 7
 Europe 7 (A) 19
 Canada, Mexico, Asia & Other 4 (A,B) 13
 Total $ 10 $ 77
 Net income (loss)
 Brazil (Praxair Share) $ 8 (A) $ (4)
 Praxair less Brazil (20) (A) 33
 Total $(12) (A) $ 29
 (A) 1992 results include a profit improvement program and the
 impact of accounting changes as follows:
 Profit Improvement Accounting Total
 Operating Profit (loss) Program Changes
 United States $(49) $ (3) $(52)
 Brazil (1) (1) (2)
 Europe (9) -- (9)
 Canada, Mexico, Asia
 & Other (6) -- (6)
 Total $(65) $ (4) $(69)
 Net income (loss)
 Brazil (Praxair Share) -- -- --
 Praxair less Brazil $(40) $ (2) $(42)
 Total $(40) $ (2) $(42)
 (B) Includes a change in the allocation of technology costs which
 increased U.S. operating profit by $3 million, with an offsetting
 decrease in Canada, Mexico, Asia and other.
 PRAXAIR, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Statement of Income
 (Dollars in millions)
 (Unaudited)
 Year Ended December 31, 1992(A) 1991
 Geographic Segments:
 Sales
 United States $1,112 $1,080
 Brazil 588 504
 Europe 480 460
 Canada, Mexico, Asia & Other 424 425
 Total $2,604 $2,469
 Operating profit
 United States $ 87 (A,B) $ 147
 Brazil 85 (A) 60
 Europe 64 (A) 76
 Canada, Mexico, Asia & Other 40 (A,B) 41 (C)
 Total $ 276 (A) $ 324 (C)
 Net income (loss)
 Brazil (Praxair Share) 29 (A) 20
 Praxair less Brazil (89) (A) 87 (C)
 Total $ (60) (A) $ 107 (C)
 (A) 1992 results include a profit improvement program and the
 impact of accounting changes as follows:
 Profit Improvement Accounting Total
 Operating Profit Program Changes
 United States $(49) $(12) $(61)
 Brazil (1) (1) (2)
 Europe (9) -- (9)
 Canada, Mexico, Asia
 & Other (6) -- (6)
 Total $(65) $(13) $(78)
 Net income (loss)
 Brazil (Praxair Share) -- (3) (3)
 Praxair less Brazil $(40) $(149) $(189)
 Total $(40) $(152) $(192)
 (B) Includes a change in the allocation of technology costs which
 increased U.S. operating profit by $11 million, with an offsetting
 decrease in Canada, Mexico, Asia and other.
 (C) Includes an $11 million restructuring charge in Canada ($7
 million after tax).
 PRAXAIR, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Analysis of Profit Improvement Program Charges
 And The Impact of Accounting Changes
 (Dollars in millions)
 (Unaudited)
 Period Ended Three Months Operating Profit Net Income (Loss)
 December 31, 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Amounts before profit
 improvement program and the
 impact of accounting changes $79 $77 $30 $29
 Adjustments:
 Current year impact of
 accounting changes (4) -- (2) --
 1992 profit improvement
 program charge (65) -- (40) --
 Total (69) -- (42) --
 As reported $10 $77 ($12) $29
 Year Ended Operating Profit Net Income (Loss)
 December 31, 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Amounts before profit
 improvement program and
 the impact of accounting
 changes $354 $335 $132 $114
 Adjustments:
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting changes -- -- (144) --
 Current year impact of
 accounting changes (13) -- (8) --
 1992 profit improvement
 program charge (65) -- (40) --
 1991 Canadian restructuring
 costs -- (11) -- (7)
 Total (78) (11) (192) (7)
 As reported $276 $324 ($60) $107
 -0- 1/27/93
 /CONTACT: Susan Szita Gore of Praxair, Inc., media, 203-794-5593/
 (PX)


CO: Praxair Inc. ST: Connecticut IN: OIL SU: ERN

LD -- NY007 -- 9393 01/27/93 06:02 EST
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