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LUKENS INC. REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER LOSS, REDUCED RESULTS FOR YEAR

LUKENS INC. REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER LOSS, REDUCED RESULTS FOR YEAR
 COATESVILLE, Pa., Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Lukens Inc. (NYSE: LUC) today reported that a strike at its main steelmaking facility and traditionally soft fourth quarter sales of its industrial products companies resulted in an $8,553,000 loss for the quarter and reduced yearly earnings to $22,996,000.
 The fourth quarter loss includes charges for non-recurring expenses.
 Sales for 1991 were $628,774,000, compared to sales of $683,644,000 for 1990. Net earnings for 1991 of $22,996,000 compare to net earnings of $44,152,000 in 1990. Primary earnings per share for 1991 were $2.52, compared to 1990 earnings of $5.07. Fully diluted earnings per share were $2.40 for 1991, compared to $4.64 for 1990.
 The fourth quarter net loss was $1.07 a share on sales of $132,087,000. In addition to operating losses, non-recurring expenses for certain environmental items, provisions for litigation, and severance costs were reported as expenses for the fourth quarter. Lukens reported net earnings of $9,257,000, or $1.06 per share, on $158,271,000 in sales in the fourth quarter of 1990.
 R.W. Van Sant, chairman and chief executive officer of Lukens said, "Costs associated with operating Lukens Steel, while maintaining customer service during the 105-day strike at our main steelmaking facility, severely impacted fourth quarter results. The loss was further compounded by seasonally soft markets for the industrial products companies, which were further diminished by the federal government's delay in funding a revised highway bill.
 "The year-end backlog of $111.2 million compares to $146.9 million at the end of 1990. The lower backlog primarily reflects the impact of a continuing recession in the steel industry."
 The Steel Group reported 1991 sales of $422.0 million and operating earnings of $36.4 million. By comparison, sales in 1990 were $487.3 million and operating earnings were $71.2 million. The group shipped 136,854 tons of steel in the fourth quarter and 633,106 tons for the full year, compared to 166,454 and 696,749 tons, respectively, in 1990.
 The 1991 fourth quarter sales for the Steel Group were $85.8 million, compared to $112.7 million in 1990. The group sustained an operating loss of $8.6 million in the fourth quarter of 1991, compared to operating earnings of $14.6 million in 1990.
 Van Sant said, "Fourth quarter sales were down 24 percent from 1990, reflecting both a slowdown in the general economy and a loss of orders in the beginning of the strike at our Coatesville operations. However, steel orders began to improve during the last six weeks of the quarter. The backlog for the Steel Group at year-end 1991 was $76.6 million, compared to $106.8 million at the end of 1990.
 "Preliminary estimates indicate that domestic demand for plate was 18 percent lower in 1991, while Steel Group shipments were down 9 percent. Domestic plate steel shipments are estimated to be at 4.2 million tons in 1991, compared to 5.2 million tons in 1990. We expect 1992 to parallel 1991, with shipments between 4.2 and 4.5 million tons. The year ended with carbon plate transaction prices at the lowest level in 5 years."
 The Lukens chief executive said the group's fourth quarter operating results were impacted by the steelworkers' strike which began Oct. 1, 1991 and ended Jan. 13, 1992. "Although we were operating the facility, using salaried and temporary replacement workers, the production levels were not equal to our pre-strike rates. We chose to ship additional, lower-value product mix from our Conshohocken rolling mill during the period. These factors were compounded by costs associated with the start-up of the struck facility, including extensive training and security expenses. Expenditures related to the strike were about $6 million."
 Van Sant said the outlook for the Steel Group in 1992 is positive. "Service Center inventories are currently at historically low levels. Any resurgence in spending will create orders from this sector, which is about one-third of our total market. The six-year reauthorization of the highway bill will also provide an impetus for increased spending for heavy capital equipment and infrastructure-related construction. We have indications that the economy is improving, however, recovery in the key markets that the Steel Group serves is expected to be slow, at least during the first half of the year."
 Sales for the Corrosion Protection Group in 1991 rose 15 percent to $116.4 million from $101.4 million in 1990. Operating earnings were 28 percent higher from $6.6 million in 1990 to $8.5 million in 1991. The group's backlog at year end was $29.3 million, compared to $33.6 million at the end of 1990.
 "The Corrosion Protection Group had record sales and earnings in 1991, related to the completion of four large pipe-coating projects in 1991," Van Sant said. Fourth quarter sales of $27.5 million were 12 percent higher than 1990 fourth quarter sales of $24.6 million. Fourth quarter 1991 provisions for litigation and costs associated with completion of large projects reduced operating earnings to $113,000, compared to operating earnings of $1.1 million in last year's fourth quarter.
 "The low price of natural gas continues to negatively affect maintenance and replacement projects, which are primary markets for the group," Van Sant said. "If the price of natural gas increases, we would expect higher order rates for coatings. However, it will be difficult to duplicate the 1991 performance."
 Safety Products Group sales of $60.3 million were reduced 9 percent from 1990 sales of $66.1 million. Operating earnings for 1991 at $3.0 million were 6 percent less than the $3.2 million earned in 1990. In the fourth quarter, Safety Products Group sales were $11.6 million, compared to $13.5 million in the same 1990 quarter. Operating losses of $828,000 in the 1991 fourth quarter compare to 1990 operating earnings of $88,000. Backlog at year-end 1991 for the Safety Products Group was $3.3 million, compared to $3.7 million at the same time last year.
 Van Sant commented, "The delay in funding for the highway bill deferred purchases by the Safety Products Group's customers. The 1992 outlook for this group is positive. Of the $156 billion authorized by Congress in the highway bill, $119 billion are reserved for highway construction and maintenance projects."
 The Diversified Group 1991 sales were $30.1 million and operating earnings were $2.9 million, compared to 1990 sales of $28.8 million and operating earnings of $1.4 million. The backlog for this group is $1.9 million, compared to $2.8 million at year-end 1990.
 Diversified Group fourth quarter sales of $7.2 million and operating earnings of $647,000 in 1991 compare to sales of $7.4 million and operating earnings of $1.2 million in 1990, which included a non- recurring gain. The Diversified Group includes two materials-handling equipment companies, a real estate venture and two short-line railroads.
 The Lukens chairman and CEO talked about the 1992 outlook, "Performance in the Steel Group is key to the company's results. We envision a continuation of some strike-related costs through the first quarter. The costs of re-orienting our workforce, as well as implementing new work rules in the steel facilities, will have a negative impact on earnings. However, in spite of the effect of the strike and the continuation of the recession, we expect the first quarter to be profitable. We anticipate that the second quarter will be a better indication of the year ahead.
 "The markets we serve," Van Sant said, "are expected to have growth trends in this decade. Lukens is well-positioned to take advantage of opportunities in any of our markets. We intend to take advantage of our exceptionally strong financial position for supporting future growth and building value."
 Lukens Inc. is a Fortune 500 company whose largest operations specialize in steel plate manufacturing. It also has subsidiaries in corrosion protection, safety products and materials-handling equipment businesses.
 LUKENS INC.
 FOURTH QUARTER 1991
 Fourth Qtr. Year-To-Date
 13 Weeks 13 Weeks 52 Weeks 52 Weeks
 12/28/91 12/29/90 12/28/91 12/29/90
 Net Sales $132,087,000 $158,271,000 $628,774,000 $683,644,000
 Operating Earnings
 (Loss) (13,687,000) 14,545,000 36,279,000 70,768,000
 Earnings (Loss)
 Before Taxes (13,465,000) 14,693,000 36,852,000 70,082,000
 Net Earnings
 (Loss) (8,553,000) 9,257,000 22,996,000 44,152,000
 Pct. Net Sales (6.5) 5.8 3.7 6.5
 Earnings (Loss)
 Per Common Share:
 Primary ($1.07) $1.06 $2.52 $5.07
 Fully Diluted (1.07) .97 2.40 4.64
 LUKENS INC.
 Segment Financial Data
 Fourth Quarter Year-To-Date
 1991 1990 1991 1990
 NET SALES:
 Steel $ 85,779,000 $112,691,000 $421,966,000 $487,250,000
 Safety Products 11,551,000 13,533,000 60,274,000 66,125,000
 Corrosion
 Protection 27,513,000 24,647,000 116,399,000 101,433,000
 Diversified 7,244,000 7,400,000 30,135,000 28,836,000
 Total $132,087,000 $158,271,000 $628,774,000 $683,644,000
 OPERATING EARNINGS (LOSS)
 Steel $(8,597,000) $14,565,000 $36,394,000 $71,198,000
 Safety Products (828,000) 88,000 3,014,000 3,213,000
 Corrosion
 Protection 113,000 1,079,000 8,459,000 6,612,000
 Diversified 647,000 1,152,000 2,856,000 1,374,000
 Corporate (5,022,000) (2,339,000) (14,444,000) (11,629,000)
 Total $(13,687,000) $14,545,000 $36,279,000 $70,768,000
 /delval/
 -0- 1/21/92
 /CONTACT: W. Evelyn Walker of Lukens, 215-383-2504/
 (LUC) CO: Lukens, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: MNG SU: ERN


JS -- PH017 -- 1818 01/21/92 12:12 EST
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