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Russell Corporation Reports Fourth Quarter Results E.P.S. Exceeds Expectations.

Business Editors

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 9, 2000

Russell Corporation (NYSE-RML) today reported results for the fourth quarter and the 1999 fiscal year.

Sales for the fourth quarter ended January 1, 2000, were up 10.5% to $303,693,000, compared to the previous year's $274,857,000. Sales for the 1999 fiscal year were $1,142,234,000 versus $1,180,118,000 for the fiscal 1998 year ended January 2, 1999.

For the most recent quarter, the Company recorded net income of $1,359,000, or $.04 per share, basic and diluted, compared to a net loss of $4,632,000, or $.13 per share in the fourth quarter of 1998. For the year, net income totaled $8,388,000 or $.25 per share versus a loss of $10,379,000 or $.29 for fiscal 1998.

The 1999 fourth quarter results include after-tax charges of $20,158,000 or $.61 per share, compared to $8,590,000 or $.24 per share in the same period for 1998, related to certain non-recurring expenses, severance and the write-down and sale of certain assets included as part of a multi-year strategic plan that was announced on July 22, 1998.

Excluding non-recurring expenses and charges associated with the multi-year strategic plan, net income for the current quarter was $21,517,000, or $.65 per share, compared to $3,958,000 or $.11 per share for the fourth quarter of 1998. On an ongoing basis, earnings for the year increased 29% to $55,021,000, or $1.62 per share, basic and diluted, versus $42,578,000 or $1.18 for the prior year.

&uot;We are pleased to deliver these financial results as we transform Russell into a global consumer marketing company,&uot; said Jack Ward, chairman, president and CEO. &uot;We continue to exceed expectations both in the execution of our restructuring and in the reported financial results.&uot;

&uot;In a challenging retail environment, we are leveraging strong market positions for both the Russell Athletic(R) and Jerzees(R) brands,&uot; Mr. Ward added. &uot;With our international restructuring now fully underway, we have impacted virtually every area of the Company and have begun to realize the financial rewards.&uot;

Regarding the previously announced strategic plan, Mr. Ward emphasized, &uot;The execution of our plan has achieved significant results so far. We are funding the initiatives to build long-term growth by ensuring that Russell is cost competitive in every aspect of our business.&uot;

Over the past 18 months, the Company has announced the elimination of more than 4,200 positions, the closing of approximately 25 facilities and the consolidation of several others. &uot;Through the fourth quarter of 1999, we have incurred approximately $95 million after-tax of restructuring and other unusual expenses in order to position Russell to grow and prosper for the future,&uot; Mr. Ward added. &uot;We expect that by the end of 2000, we will have shifted more than 90% of our apparel assembly operations offshore. This action should further increase expected cost savings, and we now anticipate that approximately 5,000 positions will be eliminated as part of the current restructuring plan.&uot;

Looking forward, Mr. Ward commented, &uot;We have accomplished significant results in the last year and a half within the previously announced financial parameters, and are confident that we are now positioned to grow Russell for 2000 and beyond. We intend to accelerate growth by continuing to expand our retail and wholesale customer base, introducing innovative new product lines, and intensifying our emphasis on the consumer. We will focus on growing Russell while examining every aspect of our business for ways to increase asset utilization and further improve profitability.&uot;

This release contains certain statements that describe the Company's beliefs concerning future business conditions and prospects, growth opportunities, new product lines, offshore apparel assembly and related cost savings, and the outlook for the Company based upon currently available information. Wherever possible, the Company has identified these &uot;forward-looking&uot; statements (as defined in Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934) by words such as &uot;anticipates,&uot; &uot;believes,&uot; &uot;intends,&uot; &uot;estimates,&uot; &uot;expects,&uot; &uot;projects,&uot; and similar phrases. These forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions that the Company believes are reasonable. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause the Company's actual results, performance and achievements to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these statements, including among other matters, significant competitive activity, including promotional and price competition, changes in customer demand for the Company's products, inherent risks in the marketplace associated with new products and new product lines, including uncertainties about trade and consumer acceptance and other risk factors listed from time to time in the Company's SEC reports and announcements. The Company assumes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Russell Corporation is an international apparel company specializing in activewear, casualwear and athletic uniforms. Its major brands include Russell Athletic, Jerzees and Cross Creek. The Company's common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RML.

 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

 YEAR ENDED
 ----------------------------------------
 (Unaudited) (Audited)
 01/01/2000 01/02/1999
 ------------- --------------

Net Sales $1,142,234,000 $1,180,118,000
 ============= ==============
Income (loss) before taxes 20,330,000 (10,265,000)

Tax provision 11,942,000 114,000
 ------------- --------------
Net income (loss) $8,388,000 ($10,379,000)
 ============= ==============

Earnings per common share $0.25 ($0.29)

Earnings per common share-
 assuming dilution $0.25 ($0.29)

Shares outstanding:
 Basic 33,842,751 36,216,571

 Diluted 33,866,501 36,216,571


 QUARTER ENDED
 ----------------------------------------
 (Unaudited) (Audited)
 01/01/2000 01/02/1999
 ------------- --------------

Net Sales $303,693,000 $274,857,000
 ============= ==============
Income (loss) before taxes 8,963,000 (2,749,000)

Tax provision 7,604,000 1,883,000
 ------------- --------------
Net income (loss) $1,359,000 ($4,632,000)
 ============= ==============

Earnings per common share $0.04 ($0.13)

Earnings per common share-
 assuming dilution $0.04 ($0.13)

Shares outstanding:
 Basic 32,983,396 35,989,176

 Diluted 32,983,396 35,989,176
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 9, 2000
Words:1030
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