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APOGEE REPORTS MARGINALLY PROFITABLE FIRST QUARTER; WEAK INDUSTRY DEMAND LEADS TO FLAT SALES, AS FORECAST

 APOGEE REPORTS MARGINALLY PROFITABLE FIRST QUARTER;
 WEAK INDUSTRY DEMAND LEADS TO FLAT SALES, AS FORECAST
 MINNEAPOLIS, June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- As forecast, Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: APOG) reported today that weak demand levels and strongly competitive pricing pressures led to a marginally profitable first quarter. In announcing the results to shareholders at Apogee's annual meeting today, Donald W. Goldfus, chairman and chief executive officer, indicated that market challenges may persist throughout the year, although the full year is definitely expected to be profitable.
 For the period ended May 30, 1992, Apogee reported net earnings of $319,000, or two cents per share, down sharply from $2.7 million, or 20 cents per share, a year earlier. Net sales of $130.9 million were down slightly from $133.8 million in fiscal 1992.
 "At the present time, I see it as a stretch to meet last year's earning level, but it's too early to predict," Goldfus said in comments prepared for the annual meeting. In fiscal (Feb. 29) 1992, Apogee earned $8.5 million, or 63 cents per share, on net sales of $596.3 million. He indicated that the company is working through current economic conditions to strengthen Apogee's position as the nation's largest curtainwall contractor and architectural glass fabricator, and as one of the largest fabricators and retailers of replacement auto glass.
 "Over the past five years, Apogee has strengthened its position in virtually every market we serve," he noted, "many competitors have left and many more are on the verge of leaving. As our markets recover, you'll discover Apogee is stronger than ever."
 Consolidated backlog of $228 million was down marginally from $232 million at both the close of the fourth quarter and 12 months earlier, Goldfus reported. He noted, however, that the backlog number excludes a recently received letter of intent for the commercial construction division's largest contract ever, the $42 million curtainwall at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
 The commercial construction division registered a 93 percent decline in operating income, as sales declined 5 percent during the quarter. Goldfus said the company's expansion in security and international markets are generating high upfront costs. However, he noted, the division is winning a significant share of the business still available in its traditional markets.
 The window fabrication division, which also serves construction markets, registered a 91 percent decline in operating income for the quarter as limited industry activity led to a 24 percent decline in sales.
 Apogee's glass fabrication division, which recently transferred its California operations to the main facilities in Minnesota, began to obtain some benefits of the consolidation in the first quarter. Operating income more than quintupled from a very low base while sales increased 5 percent. However, Goldfus noted, low prices for architectural and automotive glass have thus far limited the division's ability to truly benefit from higher volumes.
 Likewise, Apogee's installation and distribution division continued to feel the effects of significant price erosion -- due to intense competition for large volume, insurance-related business. The division's earning rose 61 percent for the quarter from a very low base a year ago -- as sales increased 5 percent. Goldfus called the sales increase "very encouraging," but added the division must continue to focus on cost reduction and efficiency program in order to restore good profitability to the business.
 At the close of the first quarter, long-term debt of $27.3 million was down 7 percent from a year earlier -- representing just 18 percent of capitalization. Shareholders' equity of $114.3 million, or $8.42 per share, was up 3 percent from $110.8 million, or $8.22 per share, a year earlier.
 Viratec Thin Films, Apogee's optical-grade glass coating joint venture, further cut its quarterly losses, as the unit began to build sales of products based upon its proprietary coating technology. Viratec hopes to achieve further sales and operational improvements in the upcoming months.
 Goldfus emphasized that the company isn't simply waiting for its markets to recover. Instead, Apogee's operating units are focused on reducing costs, improving efficiencies, building penetration of existing markets and developing new markets as a means of restoring growth in advance of any market recovery.
 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
 (Unaudited)
 (In thousands except per-share amounts)
 13 Weeks Ended Percent
 5/30/92 6/1/91 Change
 Net sales $130,878 $133,755 - 2
 Earnings before income taxes 550 4,624 - 88
 Income taxes 231 1,919 - 88
 Net earnings $319 $2,705 - 88
 Earnings per share
 Average common and common
 equivalent shares 13,513,000 13,539,000 --
 Earnings per common and
 common equivalent share $0.02 $0.20 - 90
 Cash dividends per common share $0.065 $0.065 --
 -0- 6/23/92
 /CONTACT: Donald W. Goldfus or William G. Garnder, 612-835-1874, both of Apogee Enterprises; or Janet Denefe or Michael Rosenbaum, 312-266-7800, both of the Financial Relations Board, for Apogee/
 (APOG) CO: Apogee Enterprises, Inc. ST: Minnesota IN: CST SU: ERN


DB -- MN002 -- 2742 06/23/92 10:03 EDT
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Date:Jun 23, 1992
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