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APOGEE REPORTS FY93 DECLINE IN SALES, EARNINGS, AS EXPECTED

 MINNEAPOLIS, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- In line with expectations, Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: APOG) today reported a 47 percent decline in fiscal (Feb. 27) 1993 net earnings to $4.5 million, or 34 cents per share, from $8.5 million, or 63 cents per share, in the prior year. Net sales declined 4 percent to $572 million from $596 million.
 However, the order backlog for the leading construction and automotive glass company increased 39 percent to $322 million at year end, versus $232 million a year earlier. The increase in backlog included significant new curtainwall projects in both the United States and Asia, as well as other new business.
 For the fourth quarter, net earnings declined 86 percent to $226,000 or 2 cents per share, from $1.6 million or 12 cents per share, while net sales rose 5 percent to $149 million from $142 million.
 "We do believe that our primary markets -- nonresidential construction and replacement auto glass -- have reached their nadir and will begin a slow recovery in the coming year," said Donald W. Goldfus, chairman and chief executive officer. "This is evidenced by the strength in our fourth quarter sales. While we don't see a robust improvement in our industry environment, and margin improvement will likely lag the sales gains, we do have confidence that Apogee will continue to outperform its markets and its industry peers in fiscal 1994."
 Goldfus noted that many of Apogee's competitors have operated unprofitably or exited the market during the past few years, while Apogee itself has remained profitable throughout its four decades of operations. In addition, Apogee's divisions have increased market share through this consolidation period, positioning them to gain proportionately more business during any recovery.
 "The message we have been sending throughout this industry cycle remains unchanged," Goldfus said. "We are focusing on ways to build efficiency and market position today, so that we emerge from this downturn as a stronger and inherently more profitable competitor than we were just a few years ago."
 Performance Review
 Apogee's commercial construction division, the nation's largest designer and installer of curtainwall and window systems, posted its first loss in history in fiscal 1993 -- an operating loss of $5.1 million versus operating income of $15 million a year earlier -- as sales declined 10 percent and operating margins reflected strongly competitive pricing. Division backlogs increased 45 percent from a year ago, however, and the division's new ventures in the detention/security market achieved profitability during fiscal 1993, according to Goldfus.
 "Higher marketing expenses related to the pursuit of international business contributed to the profit decline, but we are reducing our overhead to more appropriate levels," he said.
 The window fabrication division, which also focuses primarily on the nonresidential construction market, recorded a $506,000 operating loss, compared with operating income of $7.4 million in fiscal 1992, as sales declined 15 percent to $75 million from $89 million. The architectural products units posted a 23 percent sales decline, largely reflecting market weakness, but strong backlog at year end and production efficiencies implemented in recent months should lead to an improved performance in the coming year, Goldfus said.
 "Meanwhile, the division's window coverings businesses posted a 22 percent increase in sales and a strong gain in operating income," Goldfus said. "We look for continued strong performance from these operations in the year ahead."
 Apogee's glass fabrication division, the nation's largest fabricator of architectural replacement glass, registered a substantial turnaround from the prior year, when consolidation of West Coast operations led to an operating loss. For fiscal 1993, operating income of $7.8 million, compared with a $2.3 million operating loss in fiscal 1992, even as revenues increased just 3 percent to $112 million from $109 million.
 "We gained significant operating efficiencies as a result of our consolidation, and we were able to increase both sales and units of architectural glass," Goldfus noted. "Our Tru Vue picture-framing glass business posted a sharp recovery as well."
 The division's auto glass fabrication business, Curvlite registered a decline in sales and operating income, due to steep price reductions in the auto glass business, but remained solidly profitable, he added. Meanwhile, the 50-percent-owned Marcon Coatings joint venture made an increased contribution to division results, while doubling its architectural and residential glass coating capacity.
 Apogee's installation and distribution division, which owns and operates 236 auto glass replacement shops, 40 glass distribution centers and a nationwide toll-free network of 3,000 owned and participating auto glass shops, also recorded a substantial earnings turnaround in fiscal 1993. Operating income of $5.8 million compared to a nominal operating loss, while sales rose 8 percent, to $166 million from $154 million.
 "This improved performance was remarkable when contrasted with the substantial price concessions to auto insurance companies and a generally weak market environment that continued through the past year," Goldfus said.
 Apogee's Viratec Thin Films joint venture, a high-technology coatings operation, achieved profitability in fiscal 1993, after several years of start-up losses, Goldfus added. He credited both volume throughput and operating efficiencies for the breakthrough.
 "Equally significant, we closed out the year with a solid backlog of orders for Viratec," he added.
 Continued Financial Strength
 The company's balance sheet remained strong, but largely unchanged, on a year-to-year comparison. During the year, the company repurchased 424,600 shares of common stock at an average price of $8.88 per share -- which contrasts quite favorably with the year-end closing price of $11.62 per share. However, the repurchase led to a slight decline in shareholders' equity, to $112.3 million from $113.8 million, while book value per share increased marginally to $8.53 from $8.45. Long-term debt increased to $28.4 million from $25.3 million a year ago, leaving year-end debt at a conservative 18 percent of capitalization.
 Apogee Enterprises is an industry leader in the fabrication, installation and distribution of glass and aluminum. Its products and services include glass, windows and curtainwall for commercial and institutional construction and remodeling markets; curtainwall installation at major high-rise construction sites; design, manufacture and installation of institutional and government security systems; metal and glass coating services; fabrication, sale and installation of automotive glass; and such consumer-oriented products as venetian blinds, shutters, picture frame glass and computer anti-glare screens. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company's stock is traded on NASDAQ's National Market System under the symbol APOG.
 APOGEE ENTERPRISES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED STATEMENT OF INCOME
 (Dollars in thousands, except per share data)
 13 Weeks Ended Percent
 2/27/93 2/29/92 Change
 Net sales $149,047 $142,354 5
 Cost of goods sold 130,796 116,001 13
 Gross profit 18,251 26,353 -31
 Selling, general and
 administrative expenses 18,323 22,708 -19
 Equity in (earnings) loss
 of affiliated companies (538) 393 237
 Provision for business
 restructuring 0 0 --
 Operating income 466 3,252 -86
 Interest expenses, net 416 276 51
 Other expense (income) 0 0 --
 Earnings before income taxes 50 2,976 -98
 Income taxes (176) 1,369 -113
 Net earnings $226 $1,607 -86
 Earnings per share:
 Average common and common
 equivalent shares
 outstanding 13,184,000 13,483,000 --
 Earnings per common and
 common equivalent share $.02 $.12 -83
 Cash dividends per
 common share $.070 $.065 8
 52 Weeks Ended Percent
 2/27/93 2/29/92 Change
 Net sales $572,450 $596,281 -4
 Cost of goods sold 494,249 494,701 0
 Gross profit 78,201 101,580 -23
 Selling, general and
 administrative expenses 71,832 76,531 -6
 Equity in (earnings) loss
 of affiliated companies (1,875) 2,529 174
 Provision for business
 restructuring 0 5,800 -100
 Operating income 8,244 16,720 -51
 Interest expenses, net 1,794 970 85
 Other expense (income) 0 0 --
 Earnings before income taxes 6,450 15,750 -59
 Income taxes 1,936 7,245 -73
 Net earnings $4,514 $8,505 -47
 Earnings per share:
 Average common and common
 equivalent shares
 outstanding 13,293,000 13,512,000 --
 Earnings per common and
 common equivalent share $.34 $.63 -46
 Cash dividends per
 common share $.270 $.260 4
 -0- 4/26/93
 /NOTE: For more information on Apogee Enterprises, Inc. via facsimile at no cost, simply dial 1-800-PRO-INFO and enter the company code number 014./
 /CONTACT: Donald W. Goldfus, chairman and CFO, or William G. Gardner, treasurer, 612-835-1874, both of Apogee; or Michael Rosenbaum of The Financial Relations Board, 312-266-7800, for Apogee/
 (APOG)


CO: Apogee Enterprises, Inc. ST: Minnesota IN: SU: ERN

KH -- MN005 -- 0761 04/26/93 13:35 EDT
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