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BELL INDUSTRIES REPORTS RESULTS

 BELL INDUSTRIES REPORTS RESULTS
 LOS ANGELES, April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Bell Industries Inc.


(NYSE: BI) today reported improved operating results for the third quarter ended March 31, 1992, before a pre-tax charge of $4.4 million related to the replacement of its mainframe computer and certain peripheral equipment.
 Income before taxes and before the special charge rose to $825,000 from $418,000 in the corresponding quarter last year. Sales advanced 8 percent to $101,577,000 from $94,229,000. After reflecting the replacement provision, the company incurred a net loss of $2,298,000, or $.39 a share, compared with net income of $378,000, or $.06 a share in the prior-year period.
 For the nine months ended March 31, Bell had a net loss of $1,064,000, or $.18 a share, compared with net income of $3,328,000, or $.56 a share in the prior-year period. Sales increased 3 percent to $303,585,000 from $293,793,000.
 With regard to third quarter operating results, President and Chief Executive Officer Theodore Williams said the improvement was paced by the Electronics Groups. Electronics Distribution (EDG), Bell's largest business group, registered a 40 percent increase in operating income to $3,411,000 on a 20 percent growth in sales to $63,410,000. EDG continued to grow as a result of its success with its customer specific Just-In-Time sales efforts; highly proactive telemarketing program; profitable turnaround of Almo Electronics, which was purchased one year ago; and gain in semiconductor product market share.
 The Electronics Manufacturing Group, rebounding from last year's weak results, improved its operating income by 60 percent to $892,000. The decline in sales from $7,921,000 to $6,986,000 was primarily attributable to the discontinuance of the Electronic Systems Division in the fourth quarter of last year.
 The Building Products Group continues to be a restraint on corporate earnings. Reflecting the prolonged weakness in the California construction market, the group sustained an operating loss of $802,000 while sales declined 27 percent to $11,978,000. Williams said personnel and other expenses are being reduced further to minimize or eliminate the operating loss by bringing overhead in line with the lower sales level. Reduction in the number of full stocking HVAC locations is being implemented and delivery fleet management has now reduced the number of shipping locations from nine to three.
 Results of the other operating groups were mixed. Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories increased operating income 22 percent on 15 percent higher sales, while Graphic Arts recorded a 21 percent decline in operating income on 11 percent higher sales, due primarily to a change in product mix.
 Commenting on the rationale for acquiring the new computer at this time, Williams stated: "Recently it had become apparent that the company would soon outgrow the Unisys 1190 mainframe purchased in 1986 as anticipated volume requirements would exceed the system's capacity.
 "Consequently, we decided to replace the present mainframe with the high performance, enhanced capacity Unisys 2200/600ES and peripheral equipment, which will meet anticipated growth requirements," Williams stated. The new computer, presently being installed, is scheduled to become operational in May and, according to Williams, will have significantly lower maintenance and utility costs than the previous system. As a result of the acquisition of the new mainframe, Bell wrote down the 1190 equipment to its net realizable value, which resulted in the special charge.
 Bell continues to maintain a strong financial condition. At March 31, 1992, cash amounted to $10.2 million; working capital totaled $119.7 million; the current ratio was 3.8:1; and the ratio of long-term debt to total capitalization was 37 percent.
 Notwithstanding Bell's overall strong financial condition, the special charge incurred this quarter, coupled with lower than anticipated earnings over the last 18 months, resulted in Bell and the holders of its outstanding senior notes agreeing to amend certain financial covenants of the notes. In connection with the amendments, the noteholders will receive a security interest in the company's receivables and certain inventories.
 Bell Industries distributes and manufactures products for the electronics, computer, building and other industrial markets.
 BELL INDUSTRIES INC.
 Consolidated Statement of Income
 (In thousands, except per share data)
 (unaudited)
 Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
 March 31, March 31,
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Net sales $101,577 $94,229 $303,585 $293,793
 Costs and expenses:
 Cost of products
 sold 76,382 71,153 229,438 221,640
 Selling, general
 and administrative
 expenses 23,016 21,242 67,082 63,503
 Provision for computer
 writedown 4,400 --- 4,400 ---
 Interest expense 1,354 1,416 4,111 3,102
 Total 105,152 93,811 305,031 288,245
 Income (loss) before
 taxes on income (3,575) 418 (1,446) 5,548
 Income tax provisions
 (benefit) (1,277) 40 (382) 2,220
 Net income (loss) ($2,298) $378 ($1,064) $3,328
 Net income (loss)
 per common and
 common equivalent
 share ($.39) $.06 ($.18) $.56
 Average number of
 common and common
 equivalent shares
 outstanding 5,929 5,914 5,924 5,903
 Net sales by business segment for the three and nine months ended March 31, 1992 and 1991 were as follows (thousands of dollars):
 Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
 March 31, March 31,
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Electronics
 Distribution $63,410 $52,895 $183,653 $157,573
 Manufacturing 6,986 7,921 18,910 25,718
 Building products 11,978 16,322 45,155 59,562
 Graphic arts 13,370 12,012 38,322 34,846
 Motor vehicle parts
 and accessories 5,833 5,079 17,545 16,094
 Total $101,577 $94,229 $303,585 $293,793
 Operating income (loss) by business segment for the three and nine months ended March 31, 1992 and 1991 were as follows (thousands of dollars):
 Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
 March 31, March 31,
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Electronics
 Distribution $3,411 $2,443 $9,807 $7,934
 Manufacturing 892 556 1,274 2,613
 Building products (802) 183 (334) 2,173
 Graphic arts 311 392 1,263 1,244
 Motor vehicle parts
 and accessories 327 267 1,242 972
 Operating income 4,139 3,841 13,252 14,936
 Provision for:
 Computer writedown (4,400) --- (4,400) ---
 Corporate costs (1,960) (2,007) (6,187) (6,286)
 Interest expense (1,354) (1,416) (4,111) (3,102)
 Income tax (provision)
 benefit 1,277 (40) 382 (2,220)
 Net income (loss) ($2,298) $378 ($1,064) $3,328
 -0- 4/24/92
 /CONTACT: Bruce M. Jaffe, executive VP, or Tracy A. Edwards, VP and CFO, of Bell Industries, 310-826-6778; or Melvyn S. Rifkind of Melvyn S. Rifkind, 818-783-8323, for Bell Industries/
 (BI) CO: Bell Industries Inc. ST: California IN: CPR SU: ERN


DM-JL -- LA020 -- 2529 04/24/92 14:04 EDT
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Date:Apr 24, 1992
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