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 GREENSBORO, N.C., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Cone Mills Corporation (NYSE: COE) today announced third quarter net sales of $192.6 million, up 13.0 percent as compared with third quarter 1992 sales, and net income of $11.8 million, up 32.3 percent from year-ago results. After preferred dividends, the company earned $.40 per share in the most recent quarter as compared with $.28 per share in third quarter 1992. Third quarter 1993 earnings per share included a net charge of $.03 per share related to tax adjustments comprised of a $.07 per share charge for the retroactive impact of the August 1993 increase in federal statutory tax rates, which was partially offset by a $.04 per share adjustment primarily from increased foreign sales corporation tax benefits. Third quarter 1992 earnings per share included a $.07 per share charge for extraordinary expenses related to early extinguishment of debt.
 The company's earnings benefited from lower interest expense and an 11.3 percent increase in income from operations driven primarily by increased sales. Gross profit (net sales less cost of sales and depreciation) as a percentage of net sales was 20.6 percent for third quarter 1993 as compared with 21.1 percent for third quarter 1992. The slight decline resulted chiefly from lower apparel segment margins, primarily the result of mix changes, and higher depreciation costs associated with this year's $39 million capital expenditure budget. Selling and administrative expenses were 9.3 percent of sales as compared with 9.7 percent in the 1992 quarter.
 Export sales for third quarter 1993 were $32.7 million, up 32.8 percent from 1992 levels. The increase resulted primarily from strengthening markets in the Far East and Latin America and from continued growth of Levi Strauss International sales.
 Apparel fabrics segment sales were $146.9 million, up 15.9 percent as compared with year-ago levels. Sales were up by double digit percentages for both denims and specialty sportswear product groups. Apparel segment profit margins were 12.3 percent of sales for the most recent quarter as compared with 14.1 percent for third quarter 1992. The decline in profit margins resulted primarily from mix changes caused by rapid growth of specialty sportswear sales, higher growth rates in basic blue denims as compared with other styles, and by weaker results in printed apparel fabrics and services.
 Home furnishings segment sales and earnings were $45.6 million and $4.1 million respectively, as compared with year-ago sales of $43.8 million and earnings of $3.4 million. Home furnishings fabrics sales for third quarter 1993 were up 4.3 percent as sales improvements at Carlisle Finishing were partially offset by declines at John Wolf Decorative Fabrics. Earnings of all home furnishings product groups improved with the exception of lower earnings in foam products.
 Nine months 1993 sales were $590.2 million, up 11.9 percent from nine months 1992 sales of $527.4 million. Operating income for the 1993 period was $66.6 million, an increase of 13.8 percent from 1992. Net income for the nine months of 1993 was $38.1 million as compared with $31.8 million for nine months 1992, which included a $2.0 million extraordinary expense related to the early retirement of debt.
 The company continues to have a strong financial position with ample liquidity. On Oct. 3, 1993, long-term debt represented 28 percent of combined long-term debt and equity capital, and the company had combined cash and unused borrowing capacity of $63.2 million. Both accounts receivable and inventory turnover improved for third quarter 1993 as compared with year-ago levels.
 According to Pat Danahy, Chief Executive Officer, "The company continues to be cautious about mixed general economic conditions characterized by low consumer confidence, erratic growth rates and continual retail rebalancing of inventories and product offering. However, we are encouraged by a higher apparel fabrics backlog than last year, and our focus on today's customer-driven product, service and quality requirements. In addition, I am optimistic that the company's growing international presence and strong balance sheet provide a distinctive advantage in adapting to the fast changing markets of tomorrow."
 Cone Mills Corporation, headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., is the largest producer of denim fabrics in the world and is the largest domestic exporter of denims and is a major exporter of printed home furnishings fabrics. The company's manufacturing plants are located in North Carolina, South Carolina and Mississippi.
 (amounts in thousands, except per share data)
 Thirteen Thirteen Thirty-nine Thirty-Nine
 Weeks Ended Weeks Ended Weeks Ended Weeks Ended
 10-03-93 09-27-92 10-03-93 09-27-92
 Net Sales $192,644 $170,536 $590,194 $527,353
 Cost of Sales 147,700 129,949 452,533 405,125
 Selling and
 Administrative 17,954 16,527 55,155 49,862
 Depreciation 5,321 4,584 15,879 13,799
 170,975 151,060 523,567 468,786
 Income from Operations 21,669 19,476 66,627 58,567
 Interest Expense - net 1,579 1,942 4,812 6,463
 Income from Operations
 before Income Taxes 20,090 17,534 61,815 52,104
 Income Taxes 8,281 6,597 23,719 18,284
 Net Income before
 Extraordinary Item $11,809 $10,937 $38,096 $33,820
 Extraordinary Item-
 Expenses related to
 early extinguishment
 of debt - (Net of
 income tax benefit
 of $1,212) - (2,009) - (2,009)
 Net Income $11,809 $8,928 $38,096 $31,811
 Income Available to
 Common Shareholders:
 Income before
 Extraordinary Item $11,137 $9,818 $35,973 $30,053
 Net Income $11,137 $7,809 $35,973 $28,044
 Earnings Per Common
 Share - Fully Diluted:
 Income before
 Extraordinary Item $.40 $.35 $1.29 $1.33
 Net Income $.40 $.28 $1.29 $1.24
 Average Shares
 Outstanding 27,889 27,471 27,924 22,654
 (amounts in thousands)
 ASSETS 10-03-93 09-27-92
 Current Assets:
 Cash $3,226 $2,558
 Accounts receivable - net 47,302 55,905
 Inventories 144,614 130,771
 Other current assets 3,762 2,980
 Total Current Assets 198,904 192,214
 Investments Unconsolidated Affiliates 25,201 -
 Other Assets 2,599 9,489
 Property, Plant and Equipment - net 196,486 179,497
 $423,190 $381,200
 Current Liabilities:
 Notes payable $5,296 $7,088
 Current maturities of long-term debt 1,201 894
 Accounts payable and accrued expenses 74,852 67,955
 Income taxes payable 2,384 9,260
 Deferred income taxes 26,298 24,103
 Total Current Liabilities 110,031 109,300
 Long-Term Debt 77,176 80,841
 Deferred Items 37,474 41,028
 Stockholders' Equity 198,509 150,031
 $423,190 $381,200
 -0- 10/26/93
 /CONTACT: John L. Bakane, Vice President & CFO, or David E. Bray, Treasurer, of Cone Mills, 919-379-6220/

CO: Cone Mills Corporation ST: North Carolina IN: TEX SU: ERN

SB-DF -- CH001 -- 6691 10/26/93 08:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 26, 1993

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