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 WILMINGTON, Del., Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Hercules Incorporated (NYSE: HPC) today reported 1993 third-quarter income of $1.21 per share, a 19 percent increase over the $1.02 in 1992.
 This is equivalent to net income of $51.5 million, compared with the 1992 third-quarter net income of $45.9 million. The 1992 results include a net, nonrecurring pretax gain of $5.5 million, or $.10 per share.
 For the first nine months of 1993, net income before the effect of accounting changes in the first quarter was $150.1 million, or $3.48 per share, compared with $126.1 million, or $2.74 per share, for the 1992 nine-month period. With the accounting changes, for the nine months of 1993, the company reported a loss of $88.1 million, or $2.04 per share. This reflects the non-cash, after-tax effects of the first-quarter 1993 adoption of the Financial Accounting Standards Board Statements No. 106, 112 and 109, relating to retiree health care and life insurance benefits, disability benefits, and workers' compensation for former and inactive employees, and income tax.
 Sales for the third quarter 1993 were $676 million, compared with $711 million in the third quarter a year ago. Sales of $2.1 billion for the first nine months of 1993 compare with $2.2 billion in the corresponding period of 1992. Contraction in the defense business, weaker European currencies, and recessionary pressures in Europe contributed to lower sales for both the quarter and nine months.
 In announcing the earnings, Hercules Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer Thomas L. Gossage said, "We continue to focus on improving return on shareholder equity and maintaining positive cash flow. The third-quarter results again demonstrate our commitment to profit margin improvement. In a difficult economic environment, gross profit margins were up again while indirect expense (selling, general and administrative expense and research and development) continued to decline.
 "Although Chemical specialties continues to feel the effects of a weak European economy, most of our businesses made progress in improving their profitability. In particular, Materials' profits doubled, in part because of actions implemented in the third quarter relating to a previously announced restructuring; and in Aerospace, profit from operations increased, primarily due to improved performance on the Titan IV solid rocket motor upgrade (SRMU) program."
 Gossage continued, "During the quarter, the Titan IV SRMU program successfully completed its final qualification static test firing, and delivery of flight-ready rocket motors will begin in early 1994." He also said the company and Martin Marietta Corp. have reached agreement to terminate their respective lawsuits relating to the Titan IV SRMU program. As part of that agreement, Hercules will be reimbursed by the Air Force through Martin Marietta for its initial program investment and development costs, and the agreement also calls for the resolution of open contractual items. The reimbursements should be received in the fourth quarter of 1993.
 At its regular meeting on Oct. 27, the Hercules board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $.56, bringing the total dividend declared for the year to $2.24.
 Hercules Incorporated is a diversified, worldwide producer of chemicals and related products and solid fuel systems. The company has approximately 80 major production facilities located throughout the world, including 30 major plants in the United States.
 -0- 10/27/93
 /CONTACT: Robert B. Hessler of Hercules, 302-594-6920/

CO: Hercules Incorporated ST: Delaware IN: ARO SU: ERN

MP-JM -- PH032 -- 7366 10/27/93 13:39 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 27, 1993

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