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LUKENS REPORTS FIRST QUARTER LOSS

COATESVILLE, Pa., April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Lukens Inc. (NYSE: LUC) reported a net loss of $2.5 million for the first quarter, compared to net earnings of $6.2 million last year (before the cumulative effect of accounting changes).
 "The worst winter weather in Pennsylvania's history disrupted production, drove up operating expenses and reduced operating earnings by about $6 million during the quarter," said R. W. Van Sant, Lukens chairman and chief executive officer. "We also faced rising scrap prices, which peaked in March, and the beginning of start-up costs associated with our aggressive capital programs."
 The company reported first quarter sales of $220.9 million, down slightly from $221.1 million a year ago.
 On a per share basis, the first quarter's net loss was $0.21, versus net earnings of $0.39 (before the cumulative effect of accounting changes) during the same period in 1993.
 Van Sant said the company completed the sales of its Materials Handling and Safety Products Groups as part of its strategy to divest its non-steel businesses. "We finished the quarter with lower debt and a stronger balance sheet," he said.
 IMPROVEMENT EXPECTED IN SECOND QUARTER
 The Lukens chairman said performance already has begun to improve in the second quarter. "Our productivity is rebounding, scrap costs are easing, our carbon/alloy price increases are holding, and orders and backlogs are rising. We anticipate solid gains in our performance during the second quarter," he said. "However, we do not believe results will achieve the levels of last year's second period."
 "1994 will be a transition year as we build North America's only low-cost, flexible production system that can manufacture both carbon/alloy and stainless sheet and plate steel products," said Van Sant. "Lukens will continue to be challenged by high scrap costs, nickel prices and import levels, as well as start-up costs during this peak year of our capital spending plan."
 WEATHER DISRUPTS LUKENS STEEL PERFORMANCE
 Lukens Steel Group reported a first quarter operating loss of $1.3 million, compared to 1993 earnings of $8.5 million. The drop in performance reflected disruptions and higher costs from severe winter weather conditions combined with increased raw material costs. The group recorded sales of $107.5 million, down from $110.4 million in the 1993 period. Shipment levels were 172,100 tons versus 180,100 tons during last year's quarter. The order backlog at the end of the period was $82.1 million, up 40 percent from the beginning of the year.
 WASHINGTON STAINLESS RESULTS DECLINE
 During the quarter, the Washington Stainless Group faced rising imports, lower selling prices, higher nickel costs and start-up costs associated with new capital projects. First quarter operating earnings of $5.3 million were down from $9.4 million a year ago. Sales were $113.4 million, up 2 percent from $110.7 million in 1993. Mill group shipments for the quarter, including shipments to Washington's service center operations, were 48,700 tons, compared to 49,000 tons a year earlier. Washington's service center operations had record shipments and improved operating margins during the quarter. Order backlog at the end of the period was $64.8 million, up 51 percent from the beginning of the year.
 Lukens Inc. is a Fortune 500 company whose subsidiaries supply carbon, alloy and clad plate steels; stainless steel sheet, strip and plate products; and industrial products and services.
 LUKENS INC.
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
 FIRST QUARTER
 Thirteen Weeks Ended
 March 26, 1994 March 27, 1993
 Net Sales $220,914,000 $221,116,000
 Operating Costs and Expenses:
 Cost of products sold 207,750,000 194,041,000
 Selling and administrative expenses 13,179,000 12,789,000
 Total operating costs and expenses 220,929,000 206,830,000
 Operating Earnings (Loss) (15,000) 14,286,000
 Interest income 17,000 9,000
 Interest expense (4,097,000) (4,257,000)
 Earnings (Loss) Before Income Taxes (4,095,000) 10,038,000
 Income tax expense (benefit) (1,597,000) 3,876,000
 Earnings (Loss) From Continuing
 Operations - Before Cumulative Effect
 of Accounting Changes (2,498,000) 6,162,000
 Discontinued Operations Earnings
 from operations, net of tax --- 16,000
 Earnings (Loss) Before Cumulative
 Effect of Accounting Changes (2,498,000) 6,178,000
 Cumulative Effect of Accounting
 Changes, Net of Tax:
 Postretirement benefits - SFAS No. 106 --- (67,222,000)
 Income taxes - SFAS No. 109 --- 1,321,000
 Net Earnings (Loss) (2,498,000) (59,723,000)
 Earnings (Loss) Per Common Share:
 Before Cumulative Effect of Accounting Changes:
 Primary $(.21) $.39
 Fully Diluted (.21) .37
 After Cumulative Effect of Accounting Changes:
 Primary (.21) (4.07)
 Fully Diluted (.21) (4.07)
 Common Shares & Equivalents Outstanding:
 Primary 14,537,000 14,785,000
 Fully Diluted 16,368,000 16,416,000
 LUKENS INC.
 BUSINESS GROUP RESULTS
 First Quarter
 1994 1993
 NET SALES:
 Lukens Steel $ 107,529,000 110,419,000
 Washington Stainless 113,385,000 110,697,000
 Total $ 220,914,000 221,116,000
 OPERATING EARNINGS (LOSS):
 Lukens Steel $ (1,339,000) 8,508,000
 Washington Stainless 5,290,000 9,391,000
 Corporate (3,966,000) (3,613,000)
 Total $ (15,000) 14,286,000
 LUKENS INC.
 OTHER INFORMATION
 First Quarter
 1994 1993
 Depreciation and Amortization $ 11,735,000 11,319,000
 Backlog:
 Lukens Steel Group $ 82,051,000 75,446,000
 Washington Stainless Group $ 64,773,000 51,325,000
 Shipped Tons:
 Lukens Steel Group 172,100 180,100
 Washington Stainless Group 57,800 61,500
 /delval/
 -0- 4/18/94
 /CONTACT: Rick Whitmyre of Lukens, 610-383-3393/
 (LUC)


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

MP -- PH008 -- 8753 04/18/94 11:08 EDT
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Date:Apr 18, 1994
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