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IMC FERTILIZER REPORTS FIRST QUARTER LOSS AND COMPLETION OF SENIOR NOTES, STOCK OFFERINGS

 NORTHBROOK, Ill., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- IMC Fertilizer Group, Inc. (NYSE: IFL), today reported a net loss of $46.3 million, or $2.10 per share, for the first quarter ended Sept. 30, 1993.
 The loss includes an extraordinary charge of $23.8 million, or $1.08 per share, related to the early extinguishment of $220 million of IMC Fertilizer, Inc., debt held by The Prudential Insurance Company of America. IMC Fertilizer, Inc., is IFL's principal operating subsidiary. The loss also includes a charge of $4.1 million, or 19 cents per share, for the adjustment to the company's net deferred tax liability for the effect of the changes in the U.S. corporate tax rates.
 The net loss compares with a net loss of $28.5 million, or $1.29 per share, for the same period last year. The net loss for the year-ago quarter included a one-time charge of $47.1 million, or $2.13 per share, related to the company's adoption of Statement of Accounting Standards No. 106 as of July 1, 1992, to reflect a change in accounting for postretirement benefits.
 Sales for the first quarter were $266.4 million, compared with $220.9 million for the comparable period last year. IMC-Agrico Company, a joint venture partnership between the company and New Orleans-based Freeport-McMoRan Resource Partners, Limited Partnership, began operations July 1, 1993, and is being consolidated by the company for financial reporting purposes. Sales for the year-ago quarter would have been $360.6 million if the joint venture had been in effect July 1, 1992.
 "Our first quarter results reflect continued weakness in price and volume, both of which remained below year-earlier levels throughout the period," said Wendell F. Bueche, president and chief executive officer. "We are cautiously optimistic about the remainder of this fiscal year, particularly the second half, as the initial signs of recovery gain momentum.
 "Prices are showing signs of improving after falling to 20-year lows during fiscal 1993; and China, our largest customer, recently increased its imported fertilizer purchases to more traditional levels -- a highly significant event," said Bueche. "We also are anticipating improved domestic demand for our products. Nonetheless, despite these promising developments, IMC Fertilizer will not be profitable for fiscal 1994 unless there is significant price improvement."
 Regarding the recently completed sale of 3,450,000 shares of common stock and $160 million principal amount of 9.25 percent senior notes due 2000, the company's president and chief executive officer stated that the financing package "allows us to retire our highest cost debt while strengthening our balance sheet."
 Substantially all of the net proceeds from the offerings were used to purchase from Prudential $220 million principal amount of 11.25 percent notes of IMC Fertilizer, Inc., for approximately $250 million.
 IMC Fertilizer is one of the world's leading producers of phosphate rock and potash, two basic crop nutrients. It also is the world's largest manufacturer of concentrated phosphates, and a producer of sulphur, oil and natural gas.
 IMC FERTILIZER GROUP, INC.
 Consolidated Statement of Operations
 ($ in millions except per share amounts)
 Quarter ended Sept. 30, 1993 1992
 Net sales $266.4 $220.9
 Cost of goods sold 259.0 170.4
 Gross margins 7.4 50.5
 Selling, administrative and
 general expenses 13.9 16.6
 Other operating (income)
 and expense, net(A) (6.8) (13.1)
 Operating earnings .3 47.0
 Interest earned and other
 non-operating (income) and
 expense, net 3.3 3.5
 Interest charges 22.5 10.7
 Earnings (loss) before minority
 interest and items noted below (25.5) 32.8
 Minority interest(B) (1.2) --
 Earnings (loss) before items
 noted below (24.3) 32.8
 Provision (credit) for
 income taxes(C) (1.8) 14.2
 Earnings (loss) before
 extraordinary item and
 cumulative effect of
 accounting change (22.5) 18.6
 Extraordinary loss - debt
 retirement(E) (23.8) --
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting change(F) -- (47.1)
 Net loss $(46.3) $(28.5)
 Earnings (loss) per share(D):
 Earnings (loss) before
 extraordinary item and
 cumulative effect of
 accounting change $(1.02) $0.84
 Extraordinary loss -
 debt retirement(E) (1.08) --
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting change(F) -- (2.13)
 Net loss $(2.10) $(1.29)
 (A) -- 1992 included a gain of $8.1 million from the resolution of a contract dispute with a major uranium oxide customer.
 (B) -- On July 1, 1993, the company and Freeport-McMoRan Resource Partners, Limited Partnership (FRP) entered into a joint venture partnership in which both companies contributed their respective phosphate fertilizer businesses to create IMC-Agrico. The activities of IMC-Agrico, which is operated by the company, include the mining and sale of phosphate rock, and the production, distribution and sale of phosphate chemicals, uranium oxide and related products. For financial reporting purposes, IMC-Agrico's results of operations were consolidated with those of the company, and FRP's 43.5 percent interest in the joint venture partnership was included in the company's statement of operations as minority interest. Minority interest reflected on the Consolidated Statement of Operations is not necessarily indicative of the results reported by the minority interest owners.
 (C) -- 1993 included a charge of $4.1 million for an adjustment to the company's net deferred tax liability for the effect of changes in U.S. corporate tax rates.
 (D) -- Earnings per share were based on the weighted average number of shares and equivalent shares outstanding. Shares used in the calculations totaled 22.1 million shares for the quarters ended Sept. 30, 1993 and 1992.
 (E) -- Consisted of redemption premium incurred by the company in connection with the purchase of $220 million principal amount of the company's 11.25 percent notes and the write-off of deferred finance costs associated with such notes, net of income taxes.
 (F) -- Reflected the cumulative effect of an accounting change for periods prior to July 1, 1992, resulting from the adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 106, "Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions."
 -0- 10/18/93
 /CONTACT: Thomas C. Pasztor, 708-205-4801, or (financial) John E. Galvin, 708-205-4814, both of IMC Fertilizer, Inc./
 (IFL)


CO: IMC Fertilizer Group, Inc. ST: Illinois IN: CHM SU: ERN

GK-TW -- NY025 -- 3264 10/18/93 10:06 EDT
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Date:Oct 18, 1993
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