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COMMERCIAL METALS CO. $30 MILLION 'F-2' COMMERCIAL PAPER AFFIRMED BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Commercial Metals Co.'s (CMC) $30 million "F-2" commercial paper program is affirmed by Fitch. The program is 100 percent supported by its bank credit facility.
 The rating reflects CMC's conservative financial policy and profile, given the company's cyclical markets and business cycle severity. The rating also accounts for CMC's higher margin manufacturing business growth, which has improved profitability.
 Although CMC's cyclical swings are moderated by diversification, cash flow during fiscal 1991-1992 was negatively impacted by recessionary conditions in the steel industry. Concurrently, CMC used debt to fund its manufacturing business growth, which boosted leverage.
 Unlike many comparable manufacturing companies, CMC has a fully consolidated finance subsidiary that elevates debt leverage. Analytically, Fitch views financing and manufacturing operations separately. At Feb. 28, 1993, total consolidated debt leverage was 37.8 percent, but 29.9 percent if finance operations are accounted for on the equity method.
 Because CMC's capital expenditure program is peaking while results are improving, cash flow appears adequate to meet future needs. For the 12 months ended Feb. 28, 1993, the ratio of gross cash flow from operations to capital expenditures and dividends was 141.2 percent versus 132.7 percent in fiscal 1992 and 78.9 percent in fiscal 1991.
 For the six months ended Feb. 28, 1993, CMC reported sales of $736.1 million, EBIT of $17.7 million, and net income of $7.7 million, increases of 41.2 percent, 77.1 percent, and 136.4 percent, respectively, from the year-earlier period.
 -0- 5/18/93
 /CONTACT: Donald H. Powell of Fitch, 212-908-0570/
 (CMC)


CO: Commercial Metals Co. ST: Texas IN: MNG SU: RTG

TS -- NY119 -- 9945 05/18/93 16:28 EDT
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Date:May 18, 1993
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