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BELL INDUSTRIES REPORTS SHARP IMPROVEMENT IN FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS

 LOS ANGELES, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Bell Industries Inc. (NYSE: BI) today reported that after-tax income from continuing operations for the first fiscal quarter ended Sept. 30, 1993, increased 63 percent to $2.1 million, or $.33 a share, from $1.3 million, or $.20 a share, for the corresponding prior year period. Sales advanced to $106.7 million, up 15 percent compared with $92.5 million for last year's first quarter.
 Net income for the current reporting period was $2.1 million, or $.33 a share. For the comparable prior year quarter, net income of $357,000, or $.06 a share, included the effect of an accounting change and a small loss on discontinued operations.
 Theodore Williams, president and chief executive officer, attributed the first quarter's strong growth in sales and profits primarily to an outstanding performance by Bell's Electronics Group, notably the electronics distribution division. Sales of the Electronics Group rose 17 percent to $83.9 million, while operating income increased 24 percent to $5.9 million. The Electronics Group accounted for 79 percent of total corporate sales and 88 percent of operating income for the first quarter.
 Williams said the performance of the electronics distribution division was highlighted by record sales for four major product lines and the first significant sales for a new supplier, IBM Microelectronics.
 While Bell's Graphic Arts Group sales were up modestly for the quarter to $14.8 million, operating income declined to $261,000 due to margin pressures resulting from weak business conditions in California and a change in the product mix. The Recreational Products Group achieved positive results, increasing sales 21 percent to $8.1 million and operating income 15 percent to $580,000.
 Bell's corporate expenses for the quarter decreased $241,000 or 11 percent as a result of cost reduction programs. The decrease of $223,000 or 16 percent in interest expense was attributed to reduced long-term debt balances.
 Bell continues to strengthen its financial condition. At Sept. 30, 1993, working capital totaled $105.3 million; the current ratio was 3.6:1; and long-term debt was 34 percent of total capitalization. During the quarter, the company repaid $4 million on its Senior Notes, reducing the amount outstanding to $44 million. Shareholders' equity at the end of the quarter was $88.4 million, or $14.42 per share.
 Bell Industries distributes and manufactures products for the electronics, computer, graphics, and other industrial markets.
 BELL INDUSTRIES INC.
 Consolidated Operating Results
 (In thousands, except per share data)
 Three Months Ended
 Sept. 30,
 1993 1992
 (Unaudited)
 Net sales $106,718 $92,479
 Costs and expenses -
 Cost of products sold 82,560 69,507
 Selling, general and
 administrative expenses 19,368 19,374
 Interest expense 1,198 1,421
 Total 103,126 90,302
 Income from continuing operations
 before income taxes 3,592 2,177
 Income tax provision 1,527 914
 Income from continuing operations 2,065 1,263
 Loss from discontinued operations,
 net of taxes --- (76)
 Cumulative effect of accounting change,
 net of taxes --- (830)
 Net income $2,065 $357
 Per share data
 Income from continuing operations $0.33 $0.20
 Loss from discontinued operations,
 net of taxes --- (0.01)
 Cumulative effect of accounting change,
 net of taxes --- (0.13)
 Net income $0.33 $0.06
 Weighted average common shares (000s) 6,227 6,173
 Net sales and operating income by
 business segment:
 Net sales
 Electronics $83,855 $71,496
 Graphic Arts 14,799 14,294
 Recreational Products 8,064 6,689
 Total $106,718 $92,479
 Operating income
 Electronics $5,922 $4,773
 Graphic Arts 261 536
 Recreational Products 580 503
 Operating income 6,763 5,812
 Corporate expenses (1,973) (2,214)
 Interest expense (1,198) (1,421)
 Income tax provision (1,527) (914)
 Income from continuing operations $2,065 $1,263
 -0- 10/26/93
 /CONTACT: Bruce M. Jaffe, executive VP, or Tracy A. Edwards, VP and CFO, of Bell Industries, 310-826-2355; or Melvyn S. Rifkind, 818-783-8323/
 (BI)


CO: Bell Industries Inc. ST: California IN: CPR SU: ERN

MF-LS -- LA007 -- 6732 10/26/93 08:56 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 26, 1993
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