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ALLTRISTA CORPORATION SAYS EARNINGS SHOULD MEET ANALYSTS' EXPECTATIONS FOR FULL YEAR, ALTHOUGH THIRD QUARTER WAS LOWER THAN IN 1992

 MUNCIE, Ind., Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Third quarter earnings for Alltrista Corporation (NASDAQ: JARS) were under those of a year ago; however, for the full year, the company says it should be in the $1.65-1.75 per share range expected by most security analysts.
 For its third quarter, Alltrista reported net income of $3,454,000, a 25 percent decrease from last year's $4,621,000, and earnings per share of 47 cents, 25 percent below 1992's 63 cents. Earnings for the quarter reflect a four cent per share charge to increase deferred taxes and the current year income tax expense to comply with the recently enacted Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. Sales for the quarter of $72,273,000 were four percent under the $75,544,000 in the same period last year.
 Nine month net income was $11,331,000, an 85 percent increase from last year's $6,128,000, and earnings per share of $1.55 climbed 85 percent from the 84 cents experienced in 1992. Sales for the nine months of $221,132,000 were six percent above the $209,389,000 last year.
 Last year's nine month results reflected a $4.9 million pre-tax (41 cents per share after-tax) charge to consolidate two plastic packaging operations, while 1993 nine month net income included a $714,000 or 10 cent per share after-tax non-cash charge for adoption of a new accounting standard for post retirement benefits (FAS No. 106). Excluding the effect of these items in the respective periods, earnings per share for the nine months advanced by 32 percent.
 William L. Peterson, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said lower third period earnings were due to several factors in addition to the tax adjustment, including the negative impact of severe weather conditions in the Midwest and Southeast on the Consumer Products Company's home canning product line, continued lower sales and margins in the plastic packaging operation and certain ongoing expenses that were not incurred in prior years, such as defined contribution retirement benefits and costs associated with being a new public company, including product packaging identity changes.
 Third quarter operating income in Alltrista's metal products segment was marginally lower than in 1992 as a result of lower margins on coinage for the U.S. Mint. Peterson said that a new supply agreement with the Mint will become effective in mid-November, with pricing at the current level. The Metal Services Company had higher sales and operating income for the period due to improved operating efficiency.
 Among the remaining businesses of Alltrista, the Industrial Plastics Company had improved sales and operating income, Unimark Plastics had lower income on a slight increase in sales and the LumenX Company reported higher sales and a reduced loss versus the same period of 1992.
 The company continues to emphasize cash flow and economic value added throughout the organization. At quarter-end, long-term debt was $45 million, a $30 million reduction since the company began operation on April 2, 1993. Interest expense was $.7 million in the third quarter and $2.8 million for nine months in 1993 compared with $1.5 million and $3.9 million for the respective periods in 1992.
 Peterson said fourth quarter income should be considerably above the one cent per share recorded a year ago. "We are on schedule in turning around LumenX and the Baltimore plant of the Metal Services Company. The business outlook is good and we are projecting improved results for 1994."
 ALLTRISTA CORPORATION
 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 (thousands, except per share data)
 Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
 Oct. 3, Sept. 27, Oct. 3, Sept. 27,
 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Net sales $72,273 $75,544 $221,132 $209,389
 Costs and expenses 65,362 66,433 197,739 189,509
 Interest expense 680 1,545 2,767 3,925
 Unusual item --- --- --- (4,860)
 Earnings before taxes
 and accounting change 6,231 7,566 20,626 11,095
 Provision for taxes
 on income (2,777) (2,946) (8,581) (4,413)
 Minority interest --- 1 --- (554)
 Accounting change --- --- (714) ---
 Net income $ 3,454 $ 4,621 $ 11,331 $ 6,128
 Earnings per share $ .47 $ .63 $ 1.55 $ .84
 Fully diluted earnings
 per share $ .45 $ .63 $ 1.51 $ .84
 Weighted average
 shares outstanding 7,336 7,291 7,320 7,291
 -0- 10/20/93
 /CONTACT: Larry Miller of Alltrista, 317-281-5099, or after hours, 317-286-5856/
 (JARS)


CO: Alltrista Corporation ST: Indiana IN: HOU CHM SU: ERN

KL -- CL007 -- 4407 10/20/93 09:09 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 20, 1993
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