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 DEKALB, Ill., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- For the three months ended Nov. 30, 1993, DEKALB Genetics Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: SEEDB) reported net earnings of $900,000, or 18 cents per share, compared with $800,000, or 15 cents per share, in the same period of fiscal 1993. The company recorded consolidated revenues of $40.8 million for the quarter, down nearly 15 percent from $47.9 million in the prior year.
 DEKALB reported lower operating results for the first fiscal quarter due primarily to a decline in planted corn acreage in Argentina. Net earnings, however, increased over the prior year as a result of the company's decision to suspend the defined benefit portion of its retirement plan. This resulted in an after-tax benefit of $600,000 in the first quarter, equal to 12 cents per share. However, DEKALB also recorded an after-tax charge of $300,000, equal to 6 cents per share because it adopted the new standard for accounting for income taxes, effective Sept. 1, 1993. Excluding these non-recurring items, the company's net earnings were down by $200,000, or 4 cents per share, compared with 1993.
 "First-quarter operating results largely reflect our seed business in Argentina, where hybrid corn acreage has fallen significantly this year," said Bruce P. Bickner, chairman and chief executive officer. "On the plus side, however, our swine operation reported significantly higher sales and earnings in the first quarter. The company experienced both higher volumes and prices for breeding stock, as well as market hogs."
 The company's largest business -- North American seed -- does not report any material sales and earnings until the second quarter. Thus, the first quarter is not indicative of either North American seed results or the company's total results for the full year. -- Seed Operations
 First quarter segment earnings for the seed business, which primarily include international operations in the Southern Hemisphere, fell 20 percent in the first quarter to $2.8 million from $3.5 million. Revenues declined 27 percent to $23.2 million from $31.8 million.
 "Unfavorable weather in Argentina delayed corn plantings this year, and continuing rains prevented some of that acreage from being planted at all," Bickner said. "Even without poor weather, hybrid corn acreage was expected to be somewhat lower this year, after increasing dramatically over the past three years. As a result, DEKALB corn volume through the first quarter was 32 percent below last year's record levels. We will recover some of that sales volume in the second quarter, but the lower planted acreage and our ongoing fixed costs will cause Argentina's full-year profit contribution to decline significantly this year. The good news is that we have added new hybrids to an already outstanding product line, and we expect to maintain our leading hybrid corn market share."
 Partially offsetting the lower revenues from Argentina are higher early shipments of soybeans and fall alfalfa sales in North America, Bickner noted.
 "It is too early to comment on our seed corn sales in North America, but we are encouraged by the higher pace of dealer activity, cash collections, and a larger average order size," Bickner said. "We have a very good message to tell our customers because DEKALB corn hybrids improved their competitive advantage in 1993, according to our own data and that generated by independent field trials."
 DEKALB's 1993 hybrid corn yield advantage in the U.S. was 5.5 percent of the average U.S. commercial corn yield of 100 bushels per acre, as recently estimated by the USDA. In 1992, DEKALB's corn yield advantage was 4.7 percent of the average U.S. yield of 131 bushels per acre. These comparisons are of DEKALB's most important hybrids in all maturity zones and reflect tens of thousands of head-to-head comparisons in DEKALB trial plots around the country. -- Swine Operations
 Segment earnings from swine operations more than doubled in the first quarter to $1.8 million from $700,000 in the prior year. Revenues increased 24 percent to $13.0 million from $10.5 million.
 "We are benefiting from higher market hog prices, but more important is that we continue to increase breeding stock volume," Bickner said. "In the first quarter alone, breeding stock volume rose 13 percent, and over the past five years, volume has doubled. We have been steadily expanding production to meet growing customer demand, but this expansion requires a long lead time. We are just now realizing sales from a farm that was completed in 1992."
 DEKALB Swine has increased the number of its production farms to 13, up from seven in 1986, but two of these facilities are still under construction and won't be fully on stream until 1995 or 1996. In the meantime, start-up costs continue to put pressure on earnings.
 Based in DeKalb, DEKALB Genetics Corporation is engaged in the research, production and marketing of agricultural seed, hybrid swine and egg-laying breeding stock. DEKALB Genetics Corporation Class B Common Stock is traded on the NASDAQ National Market System, under the symbol SEEDB.
 DEKALB Genetics Corporation
 (In Millions, Except Per Share Amounts)
 Three Months Ended
 11/30/93 11/30/92
 Consolidated Revenues $ 40.8 $ 47.9
 Earnings Before Income Taxes and
 Accounting Change 1.9 1.2
 Cumulative Effect of Accounting Change (0.3) ----
 Net Earnings $ 0.9 $ 0.8
 Per Share Amounts:
 Net Earnings Before Accounting Change $ .23 $ .15
 Accounting Change (.05) ----
 Net Earnings $ .18 $ .15
 Dividends Declared Per Share .20 .20
 -0- 01/14/94
 /CONTACT: Thomas R. Rauman, chief financial officer of DEKALB Genetics, 815-758-9223/

CO: DEKALB Genetics Corporation ST: Illinois IN: AGR SU: ERN

CP-DB -- MN004 -- 2041 01/14/94 08:30 EST
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Date:Jan 14, 1994

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