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FLEMING SAYS 1992 EARNINGS TO BE LOWER THAN EXPECTED; OUTSTANDING NOTES TO BE REDEEMED

 FLEMING SAYS 1992 EARNINGS TO BE LOWER THAN EXPECTED;
 OUTSTANDING NOTES TO BE REDEEMED
 OKLAHOMA CITY, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Fleming Companies (NYSE: FLM) said today that its 1992 earnings will be below previous expectations. Separately, the company announced plans to call for early redemption of all of its $172.5 million of outstanding 6-1/2 percent convertible notes.
 The company now expects fully diluted earnings per share in 1992 to be approximately $3.10 compared to $3.15 in 1991. These amounts are before the effects of certain 1991 earnings to be incurred in the fourth quarter related to early redemption of debt.
 Dean Werries, chairman and chief executive officer, said he is disappointed that continued sluggish economic conditions and, to a lesser extent, the effects of Hurricane Andrew, will prevent achievement of previous operating expectations. Although the rate of product deflation experienced earlier in the year has begun to moderate, the continued lack of inflation has decreased the company's profitable forward-buying inventory opportunities. However, these conditions are temporary in nature, Werries said, and the company should return to acceptable level of profit growth in 1993.
 Under terms of the redemption, the company will pay to holders of the notes face value, plus a premium of 3.25 percent and accrued interest, on the redemption date of Oct. 23, 1992. This premium, and other related costs of extinguishment on the convertible issue and certain other debt, will result in an extraordinary charge to fully diluted earnings per share of approximately 15 cents in the fourth quarter of 1992. However, it will benefit fully diluted earnings per share by approximately 20 cents in 1993.
 R. Randolph Devening, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said the economics of refinancing these debt instruments are compelling, given today's interest rate environment. And by calling the notes now, Fleming will eliminate the possible issuance of 3.6 million common shares upon conversion.
 Fleming is a nationwide wholesale food company, serving more than 4,800 stores in 36 states.
 -0- 9/23/92
 /CONTACT: Ron Frost, director of corporate communications, 405-841-8125/
 (FLM) CO: Fleming Companies, Inc. ST: Oklahoma IN: FOD SU: ERP


AH-TS -- NY011 -- 2499 09/23/92 09:08 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 23, 1992
Words:366
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