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APOGEE REPORTS SALES AND EARNINGS DECLINES FOR SECOND QUARTER

 APOGEE REPORTS SALES AND EARNINGS DECLINES FOR SECOND QUARTER
 MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: APOG) said today that continued soft demand in its major markets led to lower sales and earnings for the second fiscal quarter, as expected.
 For the three months ended Aug. 29, 1992, Apogee reported net earnings of $1,949,000, or 15 cents per share, down 50 percent from $3,933,000, or 29 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Sales slipped 8 percent to $145,802,000 from $158,798,000.
 For the six months, Apogee reported net income of $2,268,000, or 17 cents per share, down 66 percent from $6,638,000, or 49 cents per share, in the prior-year period. Sales fell to $276,680,000, off 5 percent from $292,553,000 a year ago.
 "Apogee continues to be profitable, but weak industry conditions -- particularly for nonresidential construction -- have slowed orders and put pressure on margins," said Donald W. Goldfus, chairman and chief executive officer. "We don't expect our markets to improve significantly in the short term, and thus fiscal 1993 earnings will fall short of last year's levels." In fiscal 1992, Apogee earned $8,505,000, or 63 cents per share, on net sales of $596,281,000.
 Goldfus noted that the backlog at Aug. 29, 1992, was $282 million, up 21 percent in the last six months, and up 26 percent from a year ago. The increase was due primarily to receipt of a $42 million contract to design and install curtainwall at the J. Paul Getty Center in Los Angeles. The contract is the largest domestic contract ever received by the commercial construction division, the nation's largest designer and installer of curtainwall systems.
 "Apogee operating units hold a leading position in nearly every market that we serve, and we continue to focus on product quality and customer service," Goldfus said. "We have built very strong competitive positions, and we expect to benefit greatly as our markets recover. In the meantime, we continue to reduce costs and seek new markets for our products and services."
 OPERATIONS REVIEW
 The commercial construction division reported a 16 percent decline in sales for the second quarter, compared with the same period a year ago, and an operating loss, its first in recent history. "Weak demand in the U.S. nonresidential construction market is affecting both sales and margins," Goldfus said. In addition, the division has assumed significantly higher marketing expenses for its detention/security business and for overseas expansion.
 "We are a contender for every major curtainwall project, but the slower pace of activity -- both in the U.S. market and internationally -- has limited the opportunities for Harmon Contract," Goldfus said. "We continue to pursue work in Asia and Europe, but so far we have secured few major jobs. Our detention/security business, meanwhile, is making steady progress, with the backlog up 51 percent from a year ago."
 The window fabrication division registered a 68 percent decline in operating income for the quarter compared with the prior year and a sales decrease of 17 percent. The division's architectural metals companies, which also serve the construction market, accounted for most of the decline. However, the flagship company, Wausau Metals, expects production levels and profitability to improve in the second half of the year.
 "The division's window coverings group, lead by the Nanik venetian blind unit, continues to perform very well," Goldfus added. "This group's strong contribution is bolstering division results."
 The glass fabrication division reported sharply improved operating income, up 154 percent largely because of the absence of the loss from its West Coast operations which were consolidated last January. That was one of a series of cost-cutting moves to respond to soft industry conditions. Sales for the quarter fell 5 percent compared with the prior year, although if the California operations are excluded from last year's results, the division would have recorded a sales increase.
 "Over the past two years, our Viracon glass fabrication unit has made remarkable progress in reducing costs, and we are now seeing dividends from the tough decisions we made," Goldfus said. "However, demand for architectural glass remains soft, and pricing reflects that situation."
 Goldfus also noted that the Tru Vue picture framing glass unit, which made a dramatic turnaround in fiscal 1992, continues at a strong pace. The Curvlite auto glass fabrication unit, however, reported lower profits for the quarter in the face of increasing price competition.
 The installation and distribution division, which has struggled with industrywide price discounting in its auto glass business for two years, turned in an improved performance in the second quarter. Sales rose 7 percent while operating income increased 114 percent over the prior- year period. The division, which operates the nation's second-largest retail chain of automotive glass stores, has embarked on an aggressive cost-cutting program, and many of its lesser-performing stores have been eliminated. Year to date, five new stores have been opened and 22 closed for a total of 240 retail outlets nationwide.
 "The division operated fewer stores in the fiscal 1993 quarter compared with a year ago, yet still managed to post a sales increase," Goldfus said. "The auto glass industry remains difficult, largely because of continuing price competition for large-volume business, but it appears we may have hit bottom."
 Viratec Thin Films, Apogee's optical-grade glass coating joint venture, produced its first quarterly operating profit. In addition, both sales volume and production yields continue to show steady improvement. Viratec, which has developed proprietary coating technologies, is showing strong growth in shipments of coated glass for anti-glare computer screens.
 Goldfus also noted that Apogee had repurchased 397,000 shares of its common stock during the quarter, completing a previously authorized 500,000 share buyback. As a result, shareholders' equity stood at $111.9 million, or $8.49 per share, down 2 percent from $114.1 million, or $8.46 per share, a year earlier. In July 1992, the board of directors authorized the buyback of an additional 500,000 shares. Long- term debt of $24.4 million, was down 16 percent from a year earlier, representing just 17 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.
 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.
 APOGEE ENTERPRISES, INC., AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Consolidated Condensed Statement of Income
 (Unaudited)
 13 Weeks Ended Percent
 8/29/92 8/31/91 Decrease
 Net sales $145,802,000 $158,798,000 (8)
 Earnings before income taxes 3,050,000 6,870,000 (56)
 Income taxes 1,101,000 2,937,000 (63)
 Net earnings $1,949,000 $3,933,000 (50)
 Earnings per share
 Average common & common
 equivalent shares 13,292,000 13,514,000
 Earnings per common & common
 equivalent share $.15 $.29 (48)
 Cash dividends per common share $.065 $.065
 26 Weeks Ended Percent
 8/29/92 8/31/91 Decrease
 Net sales $276,680,000 $292,553,000 (5)
 Earnings before income taxes 3,600,000 11,494,000 (69)
 Income taxes 1,332,000 4,856,000 (73)
 Net earnings $2,268,000 $6,638,000 (66)
 Earnings per share
 Average common & common
 equivalent shares 13,402,000 13,527,000
 Earnings per common & common
 equivalent share $.17 $.49 (65)
 Cash dividends per common share $.130 $.130
 -0- 9/23/92
 /CONTACT: Donald W. Goldfus, chairman and CEO, or William G. Gardner, treasurer, both of Apogee, 612-835-1874; or Michael Rosenbaum or Janet Denefe of The Financial Relations Board, 312-266-7800, for Apogee/
 (APOG) CO: Apogee Enterprises, Inc. ST: Minnesota IN: CST SU: ERN


DS -- MN002 -- 2544 09/23/92 10:24 EDT
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