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HECHINGER COMPANY ANNOUNCES 1991 SALES AND EARNINGS

 HECHINGER COMPANY ANNOUNCES 1991 SALES AND EARNINGS
 LANDOVER, Md., March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Hechinger Company


(NASDAQ: HECHA and HECHB) today announced that net earnings for the year ended February 1, 1992, were $26.1 million (66 cents per share, which includes the effect of the additional 5.75 million shares outstanding from the June 1991 Stock Offering) compared to $23.3 million (65 cents per share) last year. The earnings for the year and the fourth quarter were adversely impacted by unusual charges of $8.0 million (13 cents per share) which are discussed below. Sales for the year increased 15 percent to $1.6 billion from $1.4 billion last year. Comparable stores sales were up 2 percent for the year.
 For the fourth quarter ended February 1, 1992, the company reported a net loss of $1.5 million (4 cents per share) compared to a net loss of $.8 million (2 cents per share) last year. Sales for the fourth quarter were $357.7 million compared to $308.9 million last year, an increase of 16 percent. Comparable store sales were up 5 percent during the fourth quarter.
 Charges associated with the closing of seven Hechinger stores in early January 1992, one-time charges associated with the sale of the company's accounts receivables to an affiliate of General Electric Capital Corporation, and an accounting charge associated with Home Quarters adoption of the LIFO inventory method resulted in a pre-tax charge of $8.0 million in both the fourth quarter and the year. Pre- opening expenses incurred in conjunction with the nine new stores and six stores reopened as Home Project Centers, amounted to $9.5 million during the year just ended compared to $6.6 million in the prior year.
 John Hechinger, Jr., president and chief executive officer of the company, said: "We are pleased with the fourth quarter and the year- end results which were both negatively impacted by unusual charges and the continuing difficult selling environment brought about by lackluster consumer confidence. Before the unusual charges, net earnings were $31.4 million (79 cents per share) for the year compared to $23.3 million (65 cents per share) last year, an increase of 35 percent. Fourth quarter 1991 earnings, before unusual charges, were $3.8 million (9 cents per share) compared to a loss of $.8 million (2 cents per share) last year."
 Favorable fourth quarter adjustments relating to the LIFO inventory method and inventory acquisition costs were $2.2 million in the fourth quarter ended February 1, 1992, compared to $.0 in last year's fourth quarter.
 Hechinger added: "We are on target with our two-fold strategy. The first part of our two-fold strategy is the rapid expansion of our Home Quarters division. Fourteen Home Quarters Warehouse stores are planned for 1992. Our first store for 1992 opened in February in Raleigh, N.C.
 "Also, last week marked our entry into the Midwest with the opening of our first store in the Memphis, Tenn., market in Hickory Ridge. Scheduled for opening later this month will be our sixth store in the Greater Boston area in Manchester, N.H. The second part of our two-fold strategy, the repositioning of our Hechinger division, also remains on course. Our ninth Home Project Center, located in Leesburg, Va., opened today, soon to be followed by the grand reopening of our newly remodeled Home Project Center in Annapolis, Md."
 Hechinger Company is a leading specialty retailer, currently operating 115 do-it-yourself home centers. The company serves the growing home improvement industry through its three divisions: Hechinger, Home Quarters Warehouse and Triangle Building Centers.
 HECHINGER COMPANY
 Consolidated Statements of Earnings
 (in thousands except per share data)
 13 Weeks Ended 52 Weeks Ended
 Feb. 1, Feb. 2, Feb. 1, Feb. 2,
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Revenues
 Net Sales $357,671 $308,876 $1,607,727 $1,392,198
 Other (principally
 interest) 3,299 953 7,713 4,922
 Total Revenues 360,970 309,829 1,615,440 1,397,120
 Costs and Expenses
 Cost of Sales 260,936 229,502 1,201,536 1,037,834
 Selling, general and
 administrative
 expenses 92,012 79,140 355,089 314,187
 Interest expense 3,730 3,273 14,594 12,247
 Unusual charges 8,033 -- 8,033 --
 Total Costs and
 Expenses 364,711 311,915 1,579,252 1,364,268
 Earnings Before
 Income Taxes (3,741) (2,086) 36,188 32,852
 Income Taxes (2,241) (1,237) 10,133 9,593
 Net Earnings $ (1,500) $ (849) $ 26,055 $ 23,259
 Net Earnings Per
 Common Share $ (0.04) $ (0.02) $ 0.66 $ 0.65
 -0- 3/9/92
 /CONTACT: Lennie Zallar, vice president and treasurer, Hechinger Company, 301-925-3170/
 (HECH) CO: Hechinger Company ST: Maryland IN: RET SU: ERN


MH -- DC024 -- 6496 03/09/92 15:03 EST
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Date:Mar 9, 1992
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