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BOISE CASCADE REPORTS EARNINGS

 BOISE, Idaho, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Boise Cascade Corp. (NYSE: BCC) today reported a reduced loss in the fourth quarter of 1992, relative to the losses in prior quarters of 1992, despite further weakening pulp and paper prices. The company benefited from cost- reduction efforts during the year as well as from strengthening wood products markets. The company also reported a loss for the full year 1992 due to weak prices for the company's key paper grades, as well as the adoption of new accounting requirements related to postretirement benefits other than pensions.
 For the fourth quarter of 1992, the company posted a loss of $29.6 million, or 97 cents per fully diluted share. This compares with a net loss of $15.8 million, or 51 cents per fully diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 1991 and a net loss of $35.7 million, or $1.13 per fully diluted share, in the third quarter of 1992.
 For the full year, Boise Cascade reported a net loss of $227.5 million, or $6.73 per fully diluted share, which includes a noncash charge of $73 million after tax, or $1.94 per share, for the adoption of Financial Accounting Standards Board requirements to accrue the cost of postretirement benefits other than pensions. By comparison, the company reported a net loss of $79.5 million, or $2.46 per fully diluted share, in 1991.
 After excluding the effect of the accounting change and other nonrecurring gains and charges in both 1991 and 1992, the company lost $4.79 per fully diluted share in 1992, compared with a loss in 1991 of $3.84 per fully diluted share.
 Sales in the fourth quarter of 1992 were $905 million, compared with $963 million in the fourth quarter of 1991 and $935 million in the third quarter of 1992.
 Sales in 1992 were $3.7 billion, compared with $4.0 billion in 1991. Sales declined in 1992 because of the divestiture of the company's wholesale office products distribution operations, the sale of certain nonstrategic corrugated container facilities, and falling paper prices.
 PAPER AND PAPER PRODUCTS
 Average prices for most of the company's pulp and paper grades declined from third-quarter levels, and weighted average prices for all grades were about 8 percent below fourth quarter 1991 levels. However, because of reduced manufacturing costs, Boise Cascade's loss in this segment continued to decline in the fourth quarter of 1992, relative to paper-segment losses in prior quarters of 1992. Excluding depreciation, manufacturing costs per ton in this segment in the fourth quarter were nearly 7 percent lower than in the fourth quarter of 1991.
 The weighted average price per ton for all the company's pulp and paper grades fell nearly 10 percent in 1992, after declining 14 percent in 1991 and 6 percent in 1990.
 OFFICE PRODUCTS DISTRIBUTION
 The office products segment continued to feel the effects of a weak U.S. economy, which has had an unusually severe effect on white-collar employment. Sales volume on a comparable-unit basis was up slightly in the fourth quarter and the full year from levels in the comparable periods of 1991. Profitability for the segment was down in both the fourth quarter and the full year, primarily because of the divestiture of the company's wholesale office products distribution operations in January 1992. Segment results were stronger than those of the third quarter of 1992, due primarily to reduced costs.
 BUILDING PRODUCTS
 Operating income in the company's building products segment was sharply higher in 1992 than in 1991, and fourth-quarter results were substantially higher than fourth quarter 1991 and third quarter 1992 levels. The much stronger results were due to shortages of available timber in the Pacific Northwest combined with modestly strengthening demand that led to rising wood products prices. Boise Cascade's average prices for lumber and for plywood were more than 20 percent higher in 1992 than in 1991. The effect of the price increases was partially offset by significantly higher delivered-log costs.
 OUTLOOK
 "Looking ahead, we expect our building products operations to continue to benefit in 1993 from strong market conditions caused by reduced available timber supply and strengthening demand," said John B. Fery, chairman of the board and chief executive officer. "We also expect further strengthening in our office products business, as recovering markets and reduced costs lead to further margin improvement in that business.
 "The performance of our paper business troughed in the first quarter of 1992, and we've experienced quarter-by-quarter improvement since then, despite paper prices which continued to fall. Although market conditions continue to be very difficult, we believe that the overall economy is gradually improving and that the fundamentals are in place for the supply and demand of our key grades of paper to come into better balance in 1993. In addition, the cost structure of our paper business has been significantly reduced, which should improve results on a continuing basis."
 Boise Cascade Corp. is an integrated paper and forest products company headquartered in Boise with operations located in the United States and Canada. The company manufactures and distributes paper and paper products, office products and building products, and owns and manages timberland to support these operations.
 BOISE CASCADE CORP. LOSS SUMMARY
 (unaudited)
 Three months ended Dec. 31: 1992 1991
 Sales $ 904,960,000 $ 963,200,000
 Net loss $ (29,600,000) $ (15,780,000)
 Net loss per common share
 Primary $ (0.97) $ (0.51)
 Fully diluted $ (0.97) $ (0.51)
 Year ended Dec. 31: 1992 1991
 Sales $3,715,590,000 $3,950,490,000
 Loss before cumulative effect
 of accounting change $ (154,030,000) $ (79,450,000)
 Net loss $ (227,480,000) $ (79,450,000)
 Average primary shares 37,942,000 37,946,000
 Net loss per common share
 Primary
 Loss before cumulative
 effect of accounting change $ (4.79) $ (2.46)
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting change, net of tax (1.94) --
 Net loss per common share $ (6.73) $ (2.46)
 Fully diluted
 Loss before cumulative
 effect of accounting change $ (4.79) $ (2.46)
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting change, net of tax (1.94) --
 Net loss per common share $ (6.73) $ (2.46)
 Note (A) During the fourth quarter of 1992, the company adopted, effective as of Jan. 1, 1992, the Financial Accounting Standards Board's new requirements applicable to accounting for postretirement benefits other than pensions. The company's retiree health care costs that had previously been recorded when paid are now accrued.
 The cumulative present value of costs payable in the future that are attributable to employee service prior to January 1, 1992, was $73,450,000, net of tax. The company's 1992 retiree health care costs increased by $3,000,000 before taxes, or 5 cents per fully diluted common share after taxes, as a result of adoption of the new requirements. Net loss reported for each of the first three quarters of 1992 has been restated to include a proportionate share of these costs.
 At the end of the second quarter of 1992, the company completed the sale of 11 corrugated container plants. The pre-tax gain of $25,020,000, or 41 cents per fully diluted common share after taxes, from that sale was largely offset by the write-off of certain pulp and paper mill start-up costs that had been capitalized prior to 1987. The write-off reflects a change in the estimated period benefited by such expenditures.
 Early in the first quarter of 1992, the company completed the sale of essentially all of its wholesale office products distribution operations.
 During the fourth quarter of 1991, the company sold its 50-percent interest in a joint venture which operated corrugated container plants in Austria and Germany. The fourth quarter 1991 gain attributable to the sale was $37,068,000 before taxes, or 61 cents per fully diluted common share after taxes.
 During the third quarter of 1991, the company completed a sale of timber and timberlands in western Oregon. The final sales price was $81,838,000, which included a $10,000,000 sale of timber that was recorded in the second quarter. The third quarter 1991 gain attributable to the sale of timberland was $62,648,000 before taxes, or $1.02 per fully diluted common share after taxes. The gain was partially offset by reserves of $15,170,000 before taxes, or 25 cents per fully diluted share after taxes, related primarily to costs associated with the divestiture of certain assets.
 Note (B) The computation of fully diluted net loss per common share was antidilutive; therefore, the amounts reported for primary and fully diluted loss are the same.
 -0- 1/20/93
 /CONTACT: Vincent Hannity of Boise Cascade, 208-384-6390, or after hours, 208-345-8141/
 (BCC)


CO: Boise Cascade Corp. ST: Idaho IN: PAP SU: ERN

SW -- SE004 -- 6742 01/20/93 09:05 EST
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Date:Jan 20, 1993
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