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HECHINGER COMPANY REPORTS THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS

 LANDOVER, Md., Nov. 24 ~PRNewswire~ -- Hechinger Company (NASDAQ: HECHA, HECHB) today announced that net earnings for the third quarter ended Oct. 31, 1992, were $6.5 million, 16 cents per share, the same as the third quarter of 1991. Sales for the third quarter increased 16 percent to $464.0 million compared to last year's $400.6 million. Comparable store sales were up 6 percent for the quarter.
 For the first nine months of fiscal 1992, the company reported a net loss of $29.1 million, 70 cents per share, compared to net earnings of $27.6 million, 71 cents per share in fiscal 1991. Before the $57.3 million after-tax strategic reserve, which was reported in the first quarter of this year, earnings would have been $28.2 million, 67 cents per share. Sales rose to $1.45 billion from last year's $1.25 billion. Comparable store sales were up 8 percent for the first nine months of this year.
 Third quarter earnings for the Home Quarters Warehouse division were reduced by $2.8 million for pre-opening expenses associated with new store openings compared to $.8 million in the third quarter of last year.
 John Hechinger Jr., president and chief executive officer of the company, stated: "The continuing effects of a sluggish economy, and the cautious approach consumers are taking, has impacted sales in some of our markets. We continue to be encouraged by the positive customer response to both our Home Quarters Warehouse stores and our Hechinger Home Project Centers. Customer response in new Home Quarters Warehouse markets continues to be very favorable. The repositioning of our Hechinger division to the Home Project Center format remains on target."
 Hechinger continued: "With the opening of four additional Home Quarters Warehouse stores in November of this year, we have achieved our goal of adding 14 units in 1992. This represents a 48 percent growth in the number of Home Quarters Warehouse stores during 1992. We look forward to opening approximately 12 more units next year."
 During the quarter, the Home Quarters Warehouse division opened two stores: one in Louisville, Ky., and one in Cincinnati. In addition, in November the company celebrated the grand opening of four additional Home Quarters Warehouse stores: two in the St. Louis market and one in Cincinnati, bringing the total number of stores in each of those markets to four; and one in Louisville, bringing the total number of stores in that market to two. As previously announced, the company plans to enter the greater Detroit area and the Kansas City market during the second half of 1993. New stores are also planned for Jackson, Miss.; Bangor, Maine; Albany, N.Y.; and Richmond, Va.
 Also, during the third quarter, the Hechinger division completed the conversion of its Bailey's Crossroads, Va., store to the Home Project Center format. The grand re-opening of the Reston and Fairfax Circle, Va., Home Project Centers are scheduled for early December. Two additional Home Project Centers are scheduled for January, which will bring the company total to 16 Home Project Centers by the end of the fiscal year.
 Hechinger Company is a leading specialty retailer, currently operating 124 home centers in 18 states and the District of Columbia. 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 39 Weeks Ended
 10~31~92 11~02~91 10~31~92 11~02~91
 REVENUES
 Net sales $464,041 $400,571 $1,453,590 $1,250,056
 Other (principally
 interest) 3,099 1,765 9,010 4,414
 Total Revenues 467,140 402,336 1,462,600 1,254,470
 COSTS AND EXPENSES
 Cost of sales 362,439 304,896 1,115,685 940,600
 Selling, general
 and administrative
 expenses 91,989 84,621 294,763 263,077
 Interest expense 4,003 3,620 12,013 10,864
 Unusual charges 0 0 83,000 0
 Total Costs
 and Expenses 458,431 393,137 1,505,461 1,214,541
 EARNINGS (LOSS)
 BEFORE INCOME
 TAXES 8,709 9,199 (42,861) 39,929
 INCOME TAXES
 (BENEFIT) 2,177 2,663 (13,809) 12,374
 NET EARNINGS (LOSS) $ 6,532 $ 6,536 $ (29,052) $ 27,555
 PRIMARY AND FULLY
 DILUTED EARNINGS
 (LOSS) PER COMMON
 SHARE $0.16 $0.16 $(0.70) $0.71
 WEIGHTED AVERAGE
 SHARES OUTSTANDING 41,868 41,874 41,694 38,988
 -0- 11~24~92
 ~CONTACT: W. Clark McClelland, senior vice president-finance, Hechinger, 301-925-3105~
 (HECH)


CO: Hechinger ST: Maryland IN: RET SU: ERN

KD -- DC004 -- 0956 11~24~92 10:15 EST
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Date:Nov 24, 1992
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