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FINGERHUT REPORTS THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS

 FINGERHUT REPORTS THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS
 MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Fingerhut Companies, Inc.


(NYSE: FHT) announced that third quarter 1992 net revenues increased 14.4 percent to $353 million, compared with $309 million for the same period in 1991. Net earnings for the third quarter of 1992 were $5.6 million or $.22 per share on 26.0 million shares, compared with $8.5 million or $.34 per share on 25.1 million shares for the same period in 1991. Net revenues for the first nine months of 1992 increased 9.9 percent to $1.022 billion, compared with $930 million for the same period in 1991. Net earnings for the first nine months of 1992 were $26.4 million or $1.02 per share on 26.0 million shares, compared with $26.6 million or $1.07 per share on 24.9 million shares for the same period in 1991.
 As previously announced, net earnings for the third quarter of 1992 were affected by the slower than anticipated start up of the new Tennessee distribution facility (which results in a shift of revenues and earnings from the third quarter to the fourth quarter) and by lower sales per mailing (which have remained relatively consistent over the last three quarters) from Fingerhut's existing customer list. In addition, Fingerhut Corporation acquired approximately 50 percent more new customers in the third quarter of 1992 compared to the third quarter of 1991.
 "We are continuing to ramp up the Tennessee distribution operation," said Ted Deikel, Fingerhut chairman and CEO. "It is a state-of-the-art facility which will provide significant efficiencies when fully operational."
 Net sales of Fingerhut Corporation for the third quarter of 1992 increased 14.5 percent to $279 million, from $244 million in 1991 primarily due to increased mailings. Net sales from Fingerhut's customer list increased approximately 9 percent, while sales from Fingerhut's new customer acquisition programs increased approximately 38 percent. Net sales form subsidiaries were $45 million, an increase of $9 million over the third quarter of 1991.
 Product cost was 48.8 percent of net sales for the third quarter of 1992, which is consistent with the second quarter of 1992 and compares to 47.6 percent in the third quarter of 1991. Administration and selling expense for the third quarter of 1992 was 39.9 percent of net sales compared with 39.4 percent for the third quarter of 1991. The increase is primarily attributable to lower sales per advertising dollar spent on Fingerhut's customer list, and was partially offset by improved sales per advertising dollar spent on Fingerhut's new customer acquisition programs and lower administrative expenses as a percentage of net sales. The provision for uncollectible accounts in the third quarter of 1992 was 13.7 percent of net sales compared to 14.7 percent last year, primarily due to improvements in the subsidiaries.
 The company also announced that it has declared its quarterly cash dividend in the amount of $0.8 per share payable on Nov. 17, 1992, to the shareholders of record at the close of business on Oct. 27, 1992.
 Fingerhut Companies, Inc., one of the nation's largest catalog marketing companies, sells brand name and private label merchandise primarily through direct mail to an active customer base of 13 million customers. The company employs approximately 8,000 people in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Tennessee. Fingerhut Companies, Inc. common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol FHT.
 FINGERHUT COMPANIES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 (In thousands of dollars, except per share data, unaudited)
 Period ended Thirteen Weeks Thirty-Nine Weeks
 9/25/92 9/27/91 9/25/92 9/27/91
 Revenues $ 353,189 $ 308,680 $ 1,021,734 $ 929,687
 Net income 5,609 8,454 26,434 26,600
 Earnings per share of
 common stock and
 common stock equiv. 0.22 0.34 1.02 1.07
 Weighted avg. shares of
 common stock and common
 stock equiv. (000's) 25,963 25,145 26,030 24,867
 FINGERHUT COMPANIES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Consolidated Statements of Earnings
 (In thousands of dollars, except per share data, unaudited)
 Period ended Thirteen Weeks Thirty-Nine Weeks
 9/25/92 9/27/91 9/25/92 9/27/91
 Revenues:
 Net sales $ 323,845 $ 280,044 $ 936,655 $ 852,509
 Finance income, net 29,344 28,636 85,079 77,178
 Total revenues 353,189 308,680 1,021,734 929,687
 Cost and expenses:
 Product cost 157,957 133,404 449,767 407,315
 Admin. and selling
 expenses 129,250 110,430 368,520 323,388
 Provision for
 uncollectible
 accounts 44,334 41,215 125,846 124,493
 Discount on sale of
 accounts receivable 4,218 4,389 13,483 16,530
 Interest exp., net 8,906 6,227 23,945 17,012
 Total cost and exp. 344,665 295,665 981,561 888,738
 Income before income
 tax provision 8,524 13,015 40,173 40,949
 Provision for income
 taxes 2,915 4,561 13,739 14,349
 Net Income 5,609 8,454 26,434 26,600
 Earnings per share of
 common stock and
 common stock equiv. $ 0.22 $ 0.34 $ 1.02 $ 1.07
 Weighted avg. shares of
 common stock and
 common stock
 equiv. 25,963,028 25,145,322 26,030,379 24,866,886
 FINGERHUT COMPANIES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Consolidated Statements of Financial Position
 (In thousands of dollars)
 Period ended (Unaudited)
 9/25/92 12/27/91
 Current assets:
 Cash and cash equiv. $ 7,336 $ 9,226
 Customer accounts receivable, net 273,806 331,410
 Inventories, net 182,510 120,461
 Promotional material 66,594 43,529
 Deferred and other income taxes 64,463 78,491
 Other 7,880 8,003
 Total current assets 602,589 591,120
 Property, plant and equiv., net 165,468 141,956
 Excess of cost over fair value of
 net assets acquired, net 48,160 48,822
 Customer lists, net 16,590 17,176
 Other assets 5,688 2,925
 Total assets 838,495 801,999
 Current liabilities:
 Accounts payable $ 133,820 $ 127,520
 Accrued payroll and employee
 benefits 21,281 32,610
 Other accrued liabilities 47,992 57,299
 Revolving credit facility 9,000 57,000
 Current portion of long-term debt
 and capitalized lease 318 5,853
 Current income taxes payable 11,280 12,593
 Total current liabilities 223,691 292,875
 Long-term debt and capitalized lease,
 loss current portion 202,252 119,164
 Deferred income taxes 2,305 1,990
 Other non-current liabilities 3,815 3,821
 Stockholders' equity:
 Preferred stock, $.01 par value;
 5,000,000 shares authorized; none
 issued or outstanding
 Common stock, $.01 par value
 50,000,000 shares authorized;
 23,917,700 and 23,832,700 issued
 and outstanding in 1992
 and 1991, respectively 239 238
 Additional paid-in capital 255,844 254,261
 Earnings reinvested 150,349 129,650
 Total stockholders' equity 406,432 384,149
 838,495 801,999
 -0- 10/13/92
 /CONTACT: Theodore Deikel of Fingerhut Companies, Inc. 612-936-5410/
 (FHT) CO: Fingerhut Companies Inc. ST: Minneapolis IN: REA SU: ERN


TM-LD -- NY008 -- 9063 10/13/92 07:01 EDT
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Date:Oct 13, 1992
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