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LUKENS REPORTS 1992 EARNINGS INCREASE 44 PERCENT, SALES UP 40 PERCENT; WASHINGTON STAINLESS CONTINUES STRONG PERFORMANCE SINCE ACQUISITION

 COATESVILLE, Pa., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Lukens Inc. (NYSE: LUC) today announced that net earnings for 1992 increased 44 percent to $33.1 million, compared to $23.0 million last year.
 1991 results were negatively impacted by a labor strike in the fourth quarter. 1992 earnings benefited from the continued strong performance of the Washington Stainless Group, acquired in April.
 1992 sales increased 40 percent to $880.6 million, from $628.8 million in 1991. Earnings per share for 1992 increased 38 percent to $2.31 per share, from the $1.68 per share for 1991. Fully diluted earnings per share were $2.17 for 1992, compared to $1.60 for 1991. Per share earnings reflect a 3-for-2 stock split in September and the issuance of 1,132,300 new shares of common stock in July.
 Lukens Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, R. William Van Sant, commented, "Two variations between last year and 1992 are important to note. First, our 1992 results include eight months of Washington Stainless Group results, and its earnings have consistently exceeded the interest expense associated with the acquisition. Secondly, 1991 fourth quarter results were negatively impacted by a labor strike at our Lukens Steel Company operations in Coatesville."
 Net earnings for the fourth quarter of 1992 were $8.5 million on sales of $245.3 million, compared to a loss of $8.6 million in 1991 on sales of $132.1 million. The year-end backlog of $136.0 million, including the Washington Stainless Group, compares to $111.2 million at the end of 1991.
 "Looking forward, we continue to investigate opportunities to utilize compatible technologies in all our steel operations. Indications from the new administration lead us to believe that emphasis will be placed on rebuilding the nation's infrastructure, which will benefit the Lukens Steel and Safety Products Groups. Washington Steel will continue to provide positive contributions," said Van Sant.


Lukens Steel Group increases operating earnings

Operating earnings for the year of $41.2 million for the Lukens Steel Group increased 13 percent over 1991 operating earnings of $36.4 million. 1992 sales of $415.1 million were slightly lower than sales of $422.0 million in 1991. The group shipped 170,700 tons of steel in the fourth quarter and 646,100 tons for the full year, compared to 136,900 and 633,100 tons, respectively, in 1991. The backlog for the Lukens Steel Group at year-end 1992 was $68.1 million, compared to $76.6 million at the end of 1991.
 Lukens Steel Group fourth quarter sales of $106.8 million generated operating earnings of $10.6 million, compared to sales of $85.8 million and an operating loss of $8.6 million in 1991, when a strike impacted sales and earnings. 1992 fourth quarter results included a $3.5 million reserve for workers' compensation claims alleging hearing loss and a $2.7 million favorable LIFO inventory accounting adjustment.
 "Despite the lingering recession and historically low selling prices, the Lukens Steel Group maintained good margins, especially when compared to other steel producers," Van Sant said. "If the economy improves, steel prices should increase and improve the outlook for this group. The ruling by the Commerce Department that certain countries have been unfairly dumping steel into the domestic market should provide relief to the entire steel industry, including Lukens."
 Washington Stainless Group exceeds expectations
 The Washington Stainless Group, which consists of Washington Steel Corporation and Washington Specialty Metals Corporation, reported sales of $97.6 million for the fourth quarter and $278.2 million for the eight months since its purchase by Lukens. Operating earnings were $8.9 million for the fourth quarter and $22.7 million for the same eight-month period. Backlog for this group was $46.2 million at year- end 1992.
 "The Washington companies continue to exceed our expectations," Van Sant said. "Pricing in the stainless industry improved during 1992 and should remain firm in 1993."
 Washington Steel is one of the country's leading manufacturers of stainless steel sheet, strip and continuous mill products. Washington Specialty Metals' service centers are the largest volume distributors of flat-rolled stainless steel in North America.
 Industrial products operations steady
 Lukens' industrial products operations include the Corrosion Protection, Safety Products and Diversified Groups.
 In the Corrosion Protection Group, 1992 sales of $94.1 million generated operating earnings of $7.9 million, compared to sales of $116.4 million and operating earnings of $8.5 million in 1991. The lower sales and earnings for 1992 reflect the completion of several major pipe-coating projects and a reduction in new pipeline construction in 1992. For the fourth quarter, the group reported sales of $22 million, compared to $27.5 million in the same period last year. Operating earnings for the fourth quarter of 1992 were $2.2 million, compared to $113,000 in 1991, when costs associated with completion of large projects reduced operating earnings. Backlog at year-end was $16.3 million, compared to $29.3 million at the end of 1991.
 Sales for 1992 in the Safety Products Group were $60.8 million, essentially equal to the $60.3 million achieved in 1991. Operating earnings of $4.8 million in 1992 are significantly improved over 1991 operating earnings of $3 million. For the fourth quarter, the Safety Products Group reported sales of $11.4 million in 1992, compared to $11.6 million in 1991. Operating earnings in the same period were $481,000 in 1992, compared to an operating loss of $828,000 in 1991. The group's year-end backlog was $2.5 million, compared to $3.3 million at the same time last year.
 Lukens Inc. is a Fortune 500 company whose subsidiaries supply carbon, alloy and clad plate steel; stainless sheet, strip and continuous mill products; pipe-coating and cathodic corrosion protection services; reflective and industrial glass beads and highway safety products; industrial screening, heavy materials-handling equipment and transportation services.
 LUKENS INC.
 Fourth Quarter, 1992
 (In thousands, except share data)
 FOURTH QUARTER YEAR-TO-DATE
 13 weeks 52 weeks
 Periods ended 12/26/92 12/28/91 12/26/92 12/28/91
 Net sales $245,349 $132,087 $880,641 $628,774
 Operating
 earnings (loss) 18,208 (13,687) 66,436 36,279
 Earnings (loss)
 before taxes 13,876 (13,465) 53,924 36,852
 Net earnings (loss) 8,506 (8,553) 33,055 22,996
 Percent -- net sales 3.5 (6.5) 3.8 3.7
 Earnings (loss) per
 common share (A):
 Primary $.55 ($.71) $2.31 $1.68
 Fully diluted .52 (.71) 2.17 1.60
 Common shares and
 equivalents
 outstanding(A):
 Primary 14,668 12,608 13,603 12,699
 Fully diluted 16,337 14,388 15,261 14,354
 (A) Restated for 3-for-2 stock split in 1992.
 Segment Financial Data
 (In thousands)
 Fourth Quarter Year-To-Date
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 NET SALES:
 Lukens Steel $106,836 $85,779 $415,119 $421,966
 Washington
 Stainless 97,605 --- 278,244 ---
 Safety Products 11,386 11,551 60,775 60,274
 Corrosion Protection 21,989 27,513 94,110 116,399
 Diversified 7,533 7,244 32,393 30,135
 Total $245,349 $132,087 $880,641 $628,774
 OPERATING EARNINGS (LOSS):
 Lukens Steel $10,573 ($8,597) $41,196 $36,394
 Washington Stainless 8,929 --- 22,749 ---
 Safety Products 481 (828) 4,755 3,014
 Corrosion Protection 2,170 113 7,935 8,459
 Diversified 446 647 2,945 2,856
 Corporate (4,391) (5,022) (13,144) (14,444)
 Total $18,208 ($13,687) $66,436 $36,279
 /delval/
 -0- 1/19/93
 /CONTACT: W. Evelyn Walker of Lukens, 215-383-2504/
 (LUC)


CO: Lukens, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: MNG SU: ERN

MP-MK -- PH011 -- 6313 01/19/93 11:53 EST
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