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ACME METALS INCORPORATED REPORTS LOSS OF $949,000, OR 18 CENTS PER SHARE, IN 1992'S SECOND QUARTER

 ACME METALS INCORPORATED REPORTS LOSS OF $949,000,
 OR 18 CENTS PER SHARE, IN 1992'S SECOND QUARTER
 RIVERDALE, Ill., July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Acme Metals Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: ACME) today reported a second quarter net loss of $949,000, or 18 cents per common share, on sales of $99,909,000. The loss compares to a second quarter 1991 loss of $626,000, or 11 cents per share, on sales of $91,732,000. Last year's second quarter benefited from an unusual item and a gain, totaling 19 cents per share.
 The second quarter loss, following first quarter earnings of $216,000, or four cents per share, produced a first half loss of $733,000, or 14 cents per share, for Acme Metals.
 "The two major negative factors in Acme's second quarter results were higher operating costs and continued weak selling prices," commented Brian W.H. Marsden, Acme's chairman, president and chief executive officer.
 "Increased operating costs primarily resulted from planned major maintenance outages during May at our steel and steel strapping operations. Normally, these outages are scheduled during the third quarter, but this year we scheduled them for May, leaving Acme better positioned to capitalize on any improved business conditions in the year's second half," Marsden added.
 "The other negative factor in the quarter was the inability to maintain pricing in Acme's integrated steel and steel strapping businesses," he explained. "Prices for our products deteriorated approximately 2 percent from already depressed levels during the quarter, primarily in our Acme Steel Co. and Acme Packaging Corp. businesses," Marsden added.
 Sales for the second quarter of $99,909,000 were up approximately nine percent from the year-earlier quarter. "The increased sales reflect the modest economic recovery we've seen so far in 1992. The quarter's loss reflects the continued competitive pressures facing manufacturers such as Acme," the Acme Metals chairman noted.
 "We believe that Acme's two-pronged strategy of modernizing its core operations and acquiring downstream users of its steel provides the strongest and surest route to long-term growth and profitability," Marsden pointed out.
 As a result, he added, the company is proceeding with a feasibility study of options for installing a thin slab caster/hot strip mill combination at its Riverdale, Ill., works. The installation under study would replace existing ingot pouring, ingot rolling and narrow hot strip mill facilities.
 "The proposed installation would be fed with high quality steel produced in Riverdale's Basic Oxygen Furnace steelmaking shop. It would allow an expansion of Acme's product range, increase its hot-rolled capacity, and achieve significant cost reductions," the Acme chairman noted.
 "This installation would permit us to even better serve both our niche market customers, as well as our downstream users of steel, all of which we would retain," Marsden added.
 A decision on whether to proceed with the project will be dependent upon the results of the full study, evaluation of various options, and full consideration by Acme's board of directors, Marsden explained.
 The company retained its strong financial condition during the second quarter. Working capital at quarter's end of $87,504,000 was down slightly from the $88,559,000 at the end of the first quarter.
 The current ratio is 2.6 to 1.
 Shareholder's equity was $150,120,000, or $27.95 per common share, down slightly from the $150,824,000, or $28.14 per share, at the end of the first quarter.
 Long-term debt remains at 28 percent of capitalization. The company has no short-term debt outstanding.
 "The economy appears to have settled onto a plateau: at a higher level than we saw last year, but not high enough to generate strong business conditions," Acme's Marsden commented.
 "Looking at the third quarter, we currently see no indication of a material strengthening, although there are also no indications of a renewed downturn," he added.
 "In this economic climate, we are directing our energies to controlling costs, seeking new markets for our products, and enhancing Acme's competitiveness through improved quality and service, Marsden explained.
 Acme Metals Inc., through its operating subsidiaries, is a fully integrated producer of steel, steel strapping and strapping tools, welded steel pipe and tube, and automotive and light truck jacks.
 ACME METALS INCORPORATED
 Unaudited Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows
 (In thousands)
 Six months ended 6/28/92 6/30/91
 Net cash provided by operating activities $ 10,095 $ 9,582
 Capital expenditures (2,187) (5,069)
 Net cash used for investing activities (2,187) (5,069)
 Purchase of common stock for treasury (79) (461)
 Other (42) -
 Net cash used for financing activities (121) (461)
 Net increase in cash and cash equivalents 7,787 4,025
 Cash and cash equivalents:
 Beginning of period 31,734 21,067
 End of period $ 39,521 $ 25,119
 ACME METALS INCORPORATED
 Unaudited Consolidated Balance Sheet
 (In thousands)
 Assets 6/28/92 12/29/91
 Current assets $141,854 $134,192
 Investments and other assets 26,886 26,814
 Property, plant and equipment - net 124,342 129,730
 Total assets $293,082 $290,736
 Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity
 Current liabilities $ 54,350 $ 50,027
 Long-term debt 56,000 59,500
 Other long-term liabilities 32,612 30,545
 Shareholders' equity 150,120 150,664
 Total liabilities and shareholders equity $293,082 $290,736
 ACME METALS INCORPORATED
 Unaudited Consolidated Statement of Operations
 (In thousands except per share data)
 Second Quarter Six Months
 6/28/92 6/30/91 6/28/92 6/30/91
 Net sales $99,909 $91,732 $198,343 $184,135
 Cost of products sold 93,714 86,090 183,955 172,468
 Gross profit 6,195 5,642 14,388 11,667
 Selling and administrative
 expense 7,409 6,913 14,636 13,814
 Operating income (loss) (1,214) (1,271) (248) (2,147)
 Interest expense - net 1,050 1,084 1,792 2,162
 Unusual item - LTV assignment -- 1,241 -- 1,241
 Other income - net 367 354 575 639
 Income (loss) before income
 taxes (1,897) (760) (1,465) (2,429)
 Income tax provision (credit) (948) (134) (732) (802)
 Net income (loss) $ (949) $ (626) $ (733) $ (1,627)
 Net income (loss) per
 common share $ (0.18) $ (0.11) $ (0.14) $ (0.30)
 NOTES:
 1. Per share amounts for 1992 and 1991 are based on the weighted average number of common and dilutive common equivalent shares outstanding during the six month period (5,403,713 in 1992 and 5,375,198 in 1991).
 2. The company has reclassified the presentation of the 1991 Consolidated Statement of Operations and Consolidated Balance Sheet to conform with the 1992 presentation.
 -0- 7/27/92
 /CONTACT: Charles A. Nekvasil of Acme Metals, 708-849-2500/
 (ACME) CO: Acme Metals Inc. ST: Illinois IN: MNG SU: ERN


SM -- NY094 -- 3611 07/27/92 15:07 EDT
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