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 BROOMFIELD, Colo., Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Bestop Inc. (NASDAQ: BTOP) today reported revenues grew 12 percent to $10,375,000 for the recent third quarter from $9,227,000 for the comparative quarter last year.
 Excluding a one-time after tax charge of $185,000 for settlement costs of terminating a European distributor, the company reported that net income grew 41 percent to $1,046,000 or 30 cents per share for the third quarter ended Sept. 25, 1993, compared to $742,000 or 25 cents per share for the comparable period in 1992. Net income per share figures were calculated on 3,443,041 weighted average shares for the recent third quarter, which is 16 percent more shares than the 2,979,281 shares used for last year's figures. This was due to an initial public offering of 925,000 shares of the company's common stock in mid-August of last year.
 Last year's third quarter net income also benefited from a lower tax rate due to the use of a tax loss carryforward which resulted in a 22.1 percent effective tax rate compared to 39.2 percent for the 1993 third quarter. On a proforma, fully taxed basis using the nine month effective rate of 38.8 percent for both years, net income of $861,000 (after the one-time after-tax charge of $185,000) for the recent quarter would have represented a 48 percent increase from $583,000 for the comparable quarter last year, while earnings per share of 25 cents (after the one-time after-tax charge of 5 cents per share) for the recent quarter, represent a 25 percent increase over the 20 cent per share figure for the comparable quarter in 1992.
 For the nine-month period ended Sept. 25, 1993, revenues totaled $30,960,000 compared to $27,351,000 for the like period in 1992. Net income for the first nine months of 1993 was $2,310,000 or 67 cents per share compared to $2,207,000 or 83 cents per share for the comparable 1992 period. Eliminating the positive impact of the tax loss carryforward on 1992 net income, and using the 1993 tax rate of 38.8 percent, net income and earnings per share for the first half of 1992 would have been $1,823,000 and 68 cents per share, respectively.
 The company reported that third quarter sales growth of 12 percent was driven by strong North American OEM business gains resulting from increased new car sales in the small sport utility vehicle segment. "This vehicle category continues to gain popularity with consumers with year-to-year sales growth more than double that of the remaining auto industry," said Richard E. Sabourin, president and chief executive officer.
 Strong growth in North America was offset somewhat by essentially flat international sales resulting from economic conditions in Europe and the start-up of a new sales and distribution arrangement for aftermarket goods. "New vehicle sales in Europe continue to run 20 percent below comparable 1992 levels and we don't foresee any meaningful rebound at this time. Although the small sport utility vehicle segment has fared better than the overall market, we anticipate economic conditions will continue to temper growth in our base European OEM business. With respect to our aftermarket business, we view the investments to terminate our master distributor and establish our own sales and distribution capabilities in Europe as essential to attaining our strategic objective of establishing a clear leadership position in the European market," added Sabourin.
 The company also reported that new OEM programs for the Jeep Wrangler and Opel Frontera are expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 1993, while the Kia Sportage launch has been delayed until first or second quarter of 1994. In addition, the company stated that the new soft top program with CAMI Automotive for the Geo Tracker/Suzuki Sidekick vehicle was on schedule for a 1995 model year launch in July of 1994.
 Bestop is the leading designer and manufacturer in North America of automotive soft tops and accessories for small sport utility vehicles. The company's automotive customers include: Chrysler, General Motors, CAMI (a General Motors/Suzuki joint venture), American Suzuki, Suzuki Canada, Suzuki Motors (Japan), Daihatsu (Japan), Santana (a 66 percent equity owned Suzuki venture in Spain), IBC Vehicles (a General Motors/Isuzu joint venture), and Kia Motors (Korea).
 Third Quarter Ended Nine Months Ended
 Sept. 25, Sept. 26, Sept. 25, Sept. 26,
 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Revenues $10,375,000 $9,227,000 $30,960,000 $27,351,000
 Income from
 operations $1,438,000(a) $1,139,000 $3,883,000(a) $3,647,000
 Earnings $861,000(b) $742,000 $2,310,000(b) $2,207,000
 Earnings: pro
 forma fully taxed
 percent) $861,000 $583,000 $2,310,000 $1,823,000
 Earnings per
 common share $.25 $.25 $.67 $.83
 Earnings per
 common share
 Pro forma,
 fully taxed
 (38.8 percent) $.25 $.20 $.67 $.68
 Weighted average
 common and common
 equivalent shares
 outstanding 3,443,041 2,979,281 3,442,581 2,670,947
 (a) Includes a one-time pre-tax charge of $304,000 for costs of
 terminating a European distributor.
 (b) Includes a one-time after-tax charge of $185,000, or 5 cents a
 share, for costs of terminating a European distributor.
 -0- 10/11/93
 /CONTACT: Richard E. Sabourin or Ronald C. Fox of Bestop, 303-465-1755; or Wayne Brown of Carl Thompson Associates, 303-494-5472/

CO: Bestop Inc. ST: Colorado IN: AUT SU: ERN

MC -- DV003 -- 0788 10/11/93 16:35 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 11, 1993

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