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CIRCON ANNOUNCES SECOND QUARTER 1992 NET INCOME UP 236 PERCENT

   CIRCON ANNOUNCES SECOND QUARTER 1992 NET INCOME UP 236 PERCENT
    SANTA BARBARA, Calif., July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Richard A. Auhll, president and chairman, today announced first half 1992 results show that Circon (NASDAQ-NMS: CCON) continues its record-setting pace.  In both the first half and second quarter, sales increased 30 percent, operating income nearly doubled, EPS more than doubled, and net income tripled over the comparable periods last year.
    In each of the past four quarters, net income tripled over the same quarter a year earlier.  Circon has had 14 consecutive quarters of net income improvement greater than 49 percent, on a year-to-year basis.
    Income Gains
    Net income for the second quarter grew 236 percent to $1.6 million.  First half net income increased 221 percent from $1.0 million to $3.2 million.  These gains were achieved even though net taxes more than tripled.
    Earnings per share for the second quarter increased 146 percent to $0.20, and first half EPS grew 131 percent to $0.39.
    The EPS gains have been achieved even with a 39 percent increase in shares outstanding as a result of 1991 stock offerings which eliminated $16.0 million in debt and added $25.0 million in cash to Circon's balance sheet.
    Gross profit set new Circon records by growing 34 percent and 35 percent over the comparable second quarter and first half periods.
    Second quarter gross profit showed continued improvement in manufacturing efficiency by reaching 55.1 percent of sales compared to 53.5 percent for the 1991 period.  The 54.5 percent gross profit achieved for the first half compares most favorably to the 52.5 percent of last year.
    Operating income for the first six months grew 84 percent from $2.2 million to $4.2 million.  Second quarter 1992 operating income was up 85 percent to $1.9 million.
    Sales Gains
    Total sales for the first half 1992 rose 30 percent to $41.9 million, a new Circon record.  This is higher than sales for the full year of 1988.
    Total sales for the second quarter 1992 reached $21.3 million, up 30 percent over second quarter 1991.  Sales of Circon's laparoscopy and gynecology products continue to be major areas of expansion.
    Circon's basic areas of expertise in endoscope and video systems are key elements in the instrumentation for the emerging minimally invasive surgical fields.
    Economic pressures and patient demand are causing surgeons to seek minimally invasive methods to replace traditional open surgery. Recently, some have suggested more surgeon training in these new techniques.  Circon is currently sponsoring dozens of courses for surgeons.  All authorities agree on the fundamental benefits of reduced patient trauma and lower cost with minimally invasive surgery.
    Expense Control
    First half total operating expenses were held to a 27 percent increase compared to a 30 percent increase in sales.  Second quarter operating expenses were up 29 percent over last year.
    While operating expenses increased, as a percentage of sales they dropped from 46 percent of sales in the first half of 1991 to 45 percent of sales in 1992.
    R&D expenditures were up 19 percent during the second quarter as development efforts on new video cameras and flexible cystoscopes accelerated.  R&D expenditures totaled nearly 9 percent of sales.
    Selling, general and administrative expenses grew 29 percent in the second quarter and 32 percent in the first half, primarily because of higher selling commissions, a 40 percent increase of the U.S. sales force and other marketing expenses.
    Conclusion
    Circon's 1992 first half results coupled with the improving trend over the past five years clearly indicate the benefits of being a focused minimally invasive surgery company.
    Recently there have been articles regarding Circon's success in Forbes magazine and Investor's Business Daily.  Also, Auhll said he was honored to accept on behalf of Circon the "1992 Master Entrepreneur of the Year Award" for the Greater Los Angeles Area from the Institute of American Entrepreneurs sponsored by Merrill Lynch, Ernst & Young and Inc. magazine.
    Circon develops, manufactures and markets endoscope systems and ultraminiature color video systems for medical and industrial applications and is the largest U.S. producer of medical endoscopes and video systems.
                            CIRCON CORP.
                    Comparative Summary of Income
           (Unaudited, in thousands except per share data)
                    Second Quarter       Six Months
                    1992     1991      1992       1991       Change
    Sales         $21,358  $16,435   $41,898    $32,204     + 30 pct.
    Gross profit   11,758    8,785    22,844     16,922     + 35 pct.
    Operating
     income         1,939    1,046     4,153      2,251     + 84 pct.
    Income before
     taxes          2,167      646     4,572      1,422    + 222 pct.
    Net taxes         539      161     1,326        410    + 223 pct.
    Net income     $1,628     $485    $3,246     $1,012    + 221 pct.
    Shares
     outstanding    8,246    6,048     8,269      5,944     + 39 pct.
    Net earnings
     per share      $0.20    $0.08     $0.39      $0.17    + 131 pct.
                            CIRCON CORP.
                       Condensed Balance Sheet
                      (Unaudited, in thousands)
                                    June 30,           June 30,
                                      1992               1991
    Total current assets            $58,417            $27,771
    All other assets, net            20,475             17,229
    Total Assets                    $78,892            $45,000
    Total current liabilities       $10,317             $8,755
    Long-term debt                        0              1,671
    All other liabilities, net            1                 12
    Shareholders Equity              68,574             34,562
    Total liabilities and
     shareholders equity            $78,892            $45,000
    -0-                          7/16/92
    /CONTACT:  R. Bruce Thompson, executive VP and CFO, of Circon, 805-967-0404/
    (CCON) CO:  Circon Corp. ST:  California IN:  MTC SU:  ERN KJ-EH -- LA025 -- 9919 07/16/92 15:56 EDT
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jul 16, 1992
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