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OIL-DRI REPORTS RECORD SALES AND EARNINGS FOR SECOND QUARTER AND HALF

 CHICAGO, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- OIL-DRI CORPORATION OF AMERICA (NYSE-ODC) reported record sales and earnings for the quarter and six months ended Jan. 31, 1994. Sales for the quarter were $37,450,000, up 7 percent from the $35,101,000 reported in the same quarter a year ago. Net income was $3,251,000 or $0.46 per share, an increase of 9 percent over the $2,984,000 or $0.42 earned in the comparable period last year.
 Sales for the six months were $71,004,000, an increase of 4 percent over the $68,527,000 reported in the first half a year ago. Net income for the period was $5,825,000 or $0.83 per share, up 8 percent over the $5,386,000 or $0.76 earned in the same period last year.
 Prior year's comparative earnings for the second quarter and first half have been restated to include a $0.01 and a $0.02 per share gain, respectively, related to the adoption of SFAS No. 109, ``Accounting for Income Taxes.'' Before restatement, prior year earnings were $0.41 for the second quarter and $0.74 for the six months ended Jan. 31, 1993.
 ``Sales and earnings increased over the first three months of this year, and last year's record second quarter, despite bad weather which increased the complication and expense of production and transportation,'' stated Richard M. Jaffee, president and chief executive officer.
 ``During the quarter, The Consumer Group introduced `New and Improved' CAT'S PRIDE(R) cat litter in both scoopable and granular products. Sales of Oil-Dri's domestic brands and private labels, excluding products manufactured for The Clorox Company, were up 17 percent over the prior year, led by scoopable products which were up 43 percent. Oil-Dri's unique product formula and innovative packaging continue to separate CAT'S PRIDE(R) and LASTING PRIDE(TM) from the competition. Trade promotions were good and shipments to all classes of trade were strong, particularly to wholesale clubs.
 ``The Agrisorbents(TM) Product Group increased quarterly sales 21 percent over the prior year. To meet increasing customer demand and ensure product availability, a significant plant expansion of our Ripley, Miss., facility is planned. Scheduled to begin in April, construction will increase plant capacity by 40 percent. The multi- million dollar project is an example of our long-term commitment to the agricultural carrier business. Startup for the facility is scheduled for Aug. 1, 1994, to accommodate shipments for the '94-'95 formulating season.
 ``The Pure-Flo Product Group continued to expand export and domestic sales of fluid filtration products. Quarterly sales increased 7 percent and six month sales were up 24 percent over the same periods a year ago. Growth of this business has necessitated the expansion of our production facility in Ochlocknee, Ga. Initial plans will double plant capacity and improve production efficiencies and product quality. The new facility should be ready by Oct. 1, 1994.
 ``Looking forward, demand for cat litter and floor absorbents should be strong as consumers use them for de-icing, traction and water absorption. Unfortunately, the same weather conditions which will increase demand have created a number of operating problems. In February, the Southeast sufferd from the worst ice storm seen in 50 years, leaving thousands temporarily without power, including our Blue Mountain and Ripley, Miss., plants. On a positive note, third quarter promotions for CAT'S PRIDE(R) and LASTING PRIDE(TM) cat litters should generate significant sales increases. AGSORB(R) carrier and PURE-FLO(R) bleaching clay shipments are also expected to be strong. We are hopeful that weather-related setbacks in production will be made up rapidly, and that increased shipments will offset the added expense of manufacturing and transportation incurred during the winter months.''
 Oil-Dri Corporation of America is the leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing sorbent products and related services for consumer, industrial, environmental, agricultural and specialty markets.
 OIL-DRI CORPORATION OF AMERICA
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF INCOME
 (unaudited)
 Second Quarter Ended Jan. 31
 % of % of
 1994 Sales 1993 Sales
 Net Sales $37,450,018 100.0% $35,100,879 100.0%
 Cost of Sales 26,800,920 71.6% 25,169,532 71.7%
 Gross Profit 10,649,098 28.4% 9,931,347 28.3%
 Operating Expenses 6,016,610 16.1% 5,687,167 16.2%
 Operating Income 4,632,488 12.3% 4,244,180 12.1%
 Interest Expense 414,474 1.0% 470,624 1.3%
 Other Income (Expense) 93,159 0.2% 83,735 0.2%
 Income Before Income Taxes 4,311,173 11.5% 3,857,291 11.0%
 Income Taxes 1,060,625 2.8% 872,925 2.5%
 Net Income $ 3,250,548 8.7% $ 2,984,366 8.5%
 Average Shares Outstanding 7,011,565 7,035,265
 Net Income Per Share $ 0.46 $ 0.42(a)
 Six Months Ended Jan. 31
 % of % of
 1994 Sales 1993 Sales
 Net Sales $71,004,088 100.0% $68,526,574 100.0%
 Cost of Sales 50,625,836 71.3% 49,092,109 71.6%
 Gross Profit 20,378,252 28.7% 19,434,465 28.4%
 Operating Expenses 12,000,729 16.9% 11,744,101 17.1%
 Operating Income 8,377,523 11.8% 7,690,364 11.3%
 Interest Expense 803,799 1.2% 912,322 1.3%
 Other Income (Expense) 178,488 0.3% 147,829 0.2%
 Income Before Income Taxes 7,752,212 10.9% 6,925,871 10.2%
 Income Taxes 1,926,925 2.7% 1,540,350 2.2%
 Net Income $ 5,825,287 8.2% $ 5,385,521 8.0%
 Average Shares Outstanding 7,019,400 7,025,506
 Net Income Per Share $ 0.83 $ 0.76(a)
 (a) Prior year's quarterly and year to date results restated (increasing earnings per share by $0.01 and $0.02 respectively) due to the company's adoption of FAS 109, ``Accounting for Income Taxes.''
 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET
 (unaudited)
 As of Jan. 31
 1994 1993
 Current Assets $ 42,864,814 $ 40,155,879
 Property, Plant & Equipment 54,952,791 50,735,933
 Other Assets 7,678,230 7,272,435
 Total Assets $105,495,835 $ 98,164,247
 Current Liabilities $ 15,108,059 $ 14,303,027
 Long-Term Liabilities 18,188,540 18,263,582
 Deferred Investment Credits &
 Income Taxes 1,209,476 1,510,489
 Stockholders' Equity 70,989,760 64,087,149
 Total Liabilities & Stockholders'
 Equity $105,495,835 $ 98,164,247
 Book Value Per Share Outstanding $ 10.14 $ 9.15
 Additions to Property, Plant &
 Equipment - During Quarter $ 2,069,389 $ 1,633,294
 - Year to Date $ 4,597,983 $ 3,339,941
 Depreciation/Amortization
 Charges - During Quarter $ 1,575,404 $ 1,476,045
 - Year to Date $ 3,133,788 $ 2,908,105
 -0- 2/22/94
 /CONTACT: Kelly McGrail, 312/321-1515, Oil-Dri/
 (ODC)


CO: Oil-Dri Corporation of America ST: Illinois IN: SU: ERN

DH -- NY073 -- 4790 02/22/94 12:44 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 22, 1994
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