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APPLIED POWER REPORTS 2ND QUARTER EARNINGS 20 CENTS VERSUS FIVE CENTS EXPENSES AND DEBT REDUCED; SALES DIP; MEXICAN AND GERMAN JOINT VENTURES

APPLIED POWER REPORTS 2ND QUARTER EARNINGS 20 CENTS VERSUS FIVE CENTS EXPENSES AND DEBT REDUCED; SALES DIP; MEXICAN AND GERMAN JOINT VENTURES
 MILWAUKEE, March 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Applied Power, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: APWRA) showed considerable profit improvement for the second quarter and first half of fiscal 1992 over the same periods last year. Substantial reductions in personnel and debt, along with consolidations of facilities and restructuring of subsidiary businesses, were credited for the gains.
 "Our revenue is derived almost equally from domestic and international sources, and recessions have adversely affected economies around the world," Richard G. Sim, chairman, said. "Our managers have effected significant efficiencies during the past year while simultaneously focusing on developing new markets and adding to their product portfolios. As global economies recover, these productivity enhancements will leverage our profitability."
 Sim pointed out that the number of employees worldwide has been pared by 247 persons in the last 12 months to approximately 3,100, and is down over 13 percent from Applied's June 1990 employment peak. Similarly, he noted that the company has reduced its debt by 33 percent since the beginning of 1990. "Economic recovery will not restore personnel to earlier levels," he said.
 For the three months ended Feb. 29, net earnings reached $2,555,000, or $0.20 per share, compared with $635,000, or $0.05 per share, reported for the second quarter of fiscal 1991. Sales were three percent lower at $105.1 million versus $108.4 million a year ago.
 The first six months of fiscal 1992 saw earnings 61 percent higher at $5,166,000, equal to $0.40 per share, compared with $3,205,000, or $0.25 per share, for the first two quarters of the prior year. Sales for the first half were $213.9 million, down from $222.3 million for the like period last year. Sim commented that orders have been running 3 percent to 4 percent lower in the current fiscal year.
 Operating profit for the second quarter was up 13 percent over last year, while interest expense dropped by about 15 percent. As a result of these improvements, Applied Power achieved a 91 percent jump in pretax profits. A substantially lower tax rate contributed to the increase in net earnings.
 Sim explained that, because of relatively high and non- deductible amortization charges, the company's tax rate increases significantly when earnings are reduced, as evidenced by last year's second quarter.
 Second quarter operating results at the APITECH division showed improvement, while results from the company's Barry Controls business were disappointing and reflected the particular impact of the unstable environment in the aerospace and defense industries coupled with the U.S. industrial recession. Wright Line continued its trend of year- over-year earnings growth, with an especially strong performance in the United States.
 The company's financial condition continued to strengthen over the last six months. Shareholders' equity has increased 5.6 percent with book value approaching $10 per share. Funded debt increased $2.6 million in the first half of fiscal 1992 to $138 million. However, if the $9 million borrowed during the second quarter to acquire the remaining interests in Mexican and German joint ventures is excluded, then debt would have been only $129 million, down from $135 million at the end of 1991.
 The outlook, as viewed by the chief executive officer, is that the 1991-1992 cost reductions will benefit results on an ongoing basis, especially as the economic environment improves. Order levels are expected to rise, and debt levels should continue to decline. APITECH is expected to continue its progress towards profitability, and Barry Controls is anticipated to enjoy a stronger second half.
 Applied Power is a world leader in industrial motion and position control applications and a pioneer in the marriage of hydraulic and vibration technologies with electronics. The company currently is comprised of six business segments: APITECH (digitally controlled systems to provide "smart" hydraulic motion), Barry Controls (vibration and shock isolation), Enerpac (hydraulic high force tools and production automation components), GB Electrical (products for electrical contractors and consumers), Power-Packer (truck cab and convertible top actuation systems), and Wright Line (media filing and storage systems). Non-U.S. activities account for 45 percent of overall revenues.
 APPLIED POWER, INC. COMPARATIVE EARNINGS STATEMENT (UNAUDITED)
 (Dollars in thousands, Three Months Ended Six Months Ended
 except per share amounts) Feb. 29, Feb.28, Feb. 29, Feb.28,
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Net Sales $105,116 $108,405 $213,909 $222,312
 Cost of Sales 65,755 67,447 132,379 136,853
 Gross Profit 39,361 40,958 81,530 85,459
 Operating Expenses 29,665 32,342 60,687 64,669
 Operating Earnings 9,696 8,616 20,843 20,790
 Other Expenses 5,508 6,426 11,253 13,751
 Earnings Before Income Taxes 4,188 2,190 9,590 7,039
 Income Taxes 1,633 1,555 4,424 3,834
 Net Earnings $ 2,555 $ 635 $ 5,166 $ 3,205
 -- Per Common Share $ .20 $ .05 $ .40 $ .25
 Average Shares Outstanding
 (in thousands) 13,084 13,039 13,070 13,064
 Condensed Balance Sheets At Feb. 29, Aug. 31, Feb. 28,
 (Dollars in thousands) 1992 1991 1991
 Current Assets $148,709 $143,809 $163,216
 Other Assets 184,210 182,413 198,938
 Total Assets 332,919 326,222 362,154
 Current Liabilities 83,110 85,738 87,845
 Long-Term Debt 118,470 114,387 145,864
 Shareholders' Equity 123,295 116,804 119,054
 -0- 3/30/92
 /CONTACT: Robert Foote, CFO of Applied Power, 414-781-6600, or Nick Biro, 708-498-2284, for Applied Power/
 (APWRA) CO: Applied Power Inc. ST: Wisconsin IN: SU: ERN


TQ -- NY040 -- 2849 03/30/92 11:33 EST
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