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ACME METALS REPORTS FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS OF $144,000, OR TWO CENTS PER SHARE

 RIVERDALE, Ill., April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Acme Metals Incorporated (NASDAQ-NMS: ACME) today reported first quarter net income of $114,000 or two cents per common share on sales of $107,863,000.
 The earnings compare to 1992 first quarter net income, as originally reported, of $216,000, or four cents per share, on sales of $98,434,000. First quarter 1992 results were later adjusted to a net loss of $50,144,000, or $9.29 per share, due to Acme's adoption in 1992 of FAS No. 106, "Employers Accounting for Postretirement Benefits, other than Pensions," and FAS No. 109, "Accounting for Income Taxes," on net sales of $98,522,000.
 "We're pleased that, after full-year net losses for 1991 and 1992, Acme Metals has been able to earn a small profit for the second quarter in a row," commented Brian W.H. Marsden, the company's chairman and chief executive officer.
 "The nearly 10 percent sales increase registered in 1993's first quarter clearly indicates improving economic conditions. The strengthening economy permitted us, for the first time in more than four years, to announce a meaningful price increase for flat-rolled steel products during the quarter. By mid-March, the increase had been implemented in our flat-rolled sheet and strip markets.
 "Even so, our average selling prices, especially in steel, during the first three months of this year remained below that of early 1992," the Acme chairman noted.
 First quarter 1993 income was reduced by a $743,000 (pre-tax) one- time charge, related to a signing bonus paid unionized employees in February at the company's Acme Steel Company and Acme Packaging Corp. subsidiaries. The bonus followed ratification of a one-year labor contract, which expires Aug. 31, 1993.
 Its effect was partially offset, however, by a $300,000 (pre-tax) local property tax refund recorded in the quarter.
 Working capital at the end of the first quarter was $92,611,000, up from $89,435,000 at year-end 1992. The current ratio was 2.5 to 1, unchanged from year-end.
 Stockholders' equity was $89,423,000, or $16.64 per common share, essentially unchanged from $89,295,000, or $16.67 per share at year-end 1992. During 1992, shareholders' equity was reduced by $59,260,000, as a result of the adoption of FAS 106 and FAS no. 109, and a charge related to the recognition of an actuarially determined minimum pension liability for underfunded plans.
 As the company enters its traditionally strong second quarter, Marsden is optimistic that the company's 1993 financial performance will continue to improve.
 "A second price increase for our commercial steel products is being implemented in the second quarter. In addition, our Acme Packaging Corporation and Alpha Tube Corporation subsidiaries have also instituted price increases, which will benefit profit margins, as the increases are phased in, beginning in this quarter," Marsden explained.
 "I'm especially encouraged by the continuing success of our efforts to reduce costs throughout the company and by our backlog of unfilled orders which has grown consistently over the last several months," he added.
 Marsden also pointed out that Acme Metals is moving toward a decision on its study on whether to install a $300,000,000 thin slab caster/hot strip mill complex at its Acme Steel Company's Riverdale, Ill., plant.
 As previously reported, if the project is approved, there will be a one-time, non-cash charge to write down those assets which will be replaced because of the new technology, totaling between $10,000,000 and $15,000,000, and a provision to record estimated costs related to the associated restructuring of operations. The restructuring charge cannot be quantified at this time.
 "We have now settled on the equipment suppliers, pending satisfactory resolution and fine-tuning of costs, and we are in the process of selecting an investment banking firm to work with us on the financing of this project. As perceived today, the financing package will probably involve a combination of existing cash, equity and debt. It is expected to take from three to six months to complete the financing package," he explained.
 "However, before the board of directors can make a final decision to proceed with this project, it is essential that we have a new long-term labor agreement in place.
 "If all these things come together and the board of directors makes a decision to proceed, the new facilities could start operations in late 1995," Marsden noted.
 Acme Metals Incorporated, 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. Its common stock is traded on NASDAQ's National Market system with the symbol ACME.
 ACME METALS INCORPORATED
 Consolidated Balance Sheets
 (in thousands, unaudited)
 Assets: 3/28/93 12/27/92
 Current assets $ 153,068 $ 148,860
 Investments and other assets 30,998 31,153
 Property, plant and equipment, net 118,561 120,689
 Total assets $ 302,627 $ 300,702
 Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity:
 Current liabilities $ 60,457 $ 59,425
 Long-term debt 56,000 56,000
 Other long-term liabilities 14,106 15,023
 Postretirement benefits other than
 pensions 82,641 80,959
 Shareholders' equity 89,423 89,295
 Total liabilities and
 shareholders' equity $ 302,627 $ 300,702
 ACME METALS INCORPORATED
 Consolidated Statements of Operations
 (in thousands except per share data, unaudited)
 Three months ended 3/28/93 3/29/92
 Net sales $ 107,863 $ 98,522
 Cost of products sold 100,345 90,555
 Gross profit 7,518 7,967
 Selling and administrative expense 6,729 7,149
 Operating income 789 818
 Interest expense (1,384) (1,387)
 Interest income 368 645
 Other-net 417 208
 Income before income taxes and
 cumulative effect of changes
 in accounting principle 190 284
 Income tax provision 76 105
 Cumulative effect of changes in
 accounting principle, net of taxes (50,323)
 Net income (loss) $ 114 $ (50,144)
 Per Common Share:
 Income before cumulative effect of
 changes in accounting principle $0.02 $0.03
 Cumulative effect of changes in
 accounting principle, net of taxes (9.32)
 Net income (loss) $0.02 $9.29)
 NOTE: Per share amounts for 1993 and 1992 are based on the weighted average number of common and dilutive common equivalent shares outstanding during the three-month period (5,404,013 in 1993 and 5,369,127 in 1992).
 ACME METALS INCORPORATED
 Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
 (in thousands, unaudited)
 Three Months Ended 3/28/93 3/29/92
 Net cash provided by (used for)
 operating activities $ (113) $ 5,030
 Capital expenditures (1,755) (553)
 Net cash used for investing activities (1,755) (553)
 Purchase of common stock for treasury (79)
 Other 12 (107)
 Net cash provided by (used for)
 financing activities 12 (186)
 Net increase (decrease) in cash and
 cash equivalents (1,856) 4,291
 Cash and cash equivalents at
 beginning of period 49,224 31,734
 Cash and cash equivalents at
 end of period $47,368 $36,025
 -0- 04/22/93
 /CONTACT: Charles A. Nekvasil, director of public and investor relations of Acme Metals Inc., 708-841-8383, ext. 2266/
 (ACME)


CO: Acme Metals Incorporated ST: Illinois IN: MNG SU: ERN

AH -- NY067 -- 9443 04/22/93 12:25 EDT
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Date:Apr 22, 1993
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