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PHELPS DODGE EARNS $1.53 PER SHARE IN 1992 FIRST QUARTER

 PHELPS DODGE EARNS $1.53 PER SHARE IN 1992 FIRST QUARTER
 PHOENIX, Ariz., April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Phelps Dodge Corporation


today reported consolidated net income of $53.6 million ($1.53 per common share) for the first quarter of 1992, compared with 1991 first quarter net income of $77.3 million ($2.23 per common share). Per share amounts reflect average shares outstanding for the respective periods.
 Douglas C. Yearley, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, said: "Our first quarter earnings were satisfactory despite continued slow economies in many of our markets. Although demand for copper in the United States is improving, reduced worldwide demand caused the 1992 first quarter average copper price to be almost 11 cents per pound less than the 1991 first quarter price.
 "Phelps Dodge Mining Company continued to provide good results despite lower copper prices and the closure of concentrator operations at our Tyrone, New Mexico, mine. Phelps Dodge Industries saw a slight increase in sales volumes in some of its U.S. markets, and contributed improved earnings. During the quarter, total company net cash provided by operating activities, the principal measure of performance in our businesses, was an acceptable $84 million."
 Sales were $590.5 million in the 1992 first quarter, compared with $601.8 million in the corresponding 1991 period. This decrease resulted principally from lower average realized copper prices.
 During the 1992 first quarter, Phelps Dodge Mining Company recorded earnings from operations of $76.9 million, compared with $113.0 million in the first quarter of 1991. This decrease resulted from lower average realized copper prices and higher unit production costs. Increased unit production costs were caused by high operating costs at the Tyrone, New Mexico, mine, which suspended indefinitely its concentrator operations in February 1992. Lower ore grades at the Morenci, Arizona, mine also contributed to lower production and higher costs in the 1992 first quarter.
 Phelps Dodge Mining Company reported sales of $301.5 million in the first quarter of 1992, compared with sales of $314.0 million in the corresponding 1991 period. The New York Commodity Exchange spot price per pound of copper cathode averaged $0.99 in the 1992 first quarter, compared with $1.10 in the first quarter of 1991.
 Phelps Dodge's share of mine production from its worldwide operations was 123,100 tons of copper for the first quarter of 1992, compared with 130,400 tons in the corresponding 1991 period. Phelps Dodge's copper sales from mine production were 127,700 tons in the 1992 first quarter, compared with 138,500 tons in the 1991 first quarter.
 Phelps Dodge Industries recorded earnings from operations of $20.3 million in the 1992 first quarter, compared with $16.8 million in the 1991 first quarter. The 1992 first quarter earnings and cash flow from the company's international wire and cable operations continued at favorable levels as a result of the continued robust economies in parts of Latin America and Asia. Although earnings also were aided by improved sales volumes of steel wheels and rims for medium and heavy trucks and magnet wire, profit margins in the North American automotive and tire industries continued to be depressed.
 Phelps Dodge Industries reported sales of $289.0 million in the 1992 first quarter, compared with $287.8 million in the corresponding 1991 period.
 At March 31, 1992, the company's total debt was $488.7 million, compared with $479.9 million at year-end 1991. The company's ratio of debt to total capitalization was 20.3 percent at March 31, 1992, compared with 20.2 percent at December 31, 1991. During the 1992 first quarter the company sold $100 million of 10-year notes bearing a coupon of 7.75 percent, maturing on January 1, 2002, and $50 million of 7.96 percent notes due 1998 through 2000. The proceeds from the sale of these notes were used to redeem the company's 8.10 percent sinking fund debentures, to prepay its 9 percent and 8.45 percent notes ($10 million of the 8.45 percent notes remaining at March 31, 1992, have been called for redemption on May 15, 1992), and to reduce the borrowings of Accuride Canada, Inc.
 Capital outlays during the 1992 first quarter were $62.2 million for Phelps Dodge Mining Company and $17.6 million for Phelps Dodge Industries. Capital outlays for the corresponding 1991 period were $57.6 million for Phelps Dodge Mining Company and $20.8 million for Phelps Dodge Industries. The company expects total capital outlays in 1992 to be approximately $375 million.
 Phelps Dodge is the world's second largest producer of copper. The company is also one of the world's largest producers of carbon black, the leading North American fabricator of wheels and rims for medium and heavy trucks, a major manufacturer of magnet wire and specialty conductors, and has operations and investments abroad in mines and wire and cable manufacturing facilities. The company's operations are located throughout the United States and in 22 other countries.
 PHELPS DODGE CORPORATION
 First Quarter
 1992 1991
 Sales and other operating revenues 590.5 601.8
 Operating costs and expenses
 Cost of products sold 428.9 410.5
 Depreciation, depletion and amortization 38.1 35.6
 Selling and general administrative expense 25.0 23.1
 Exploration and research expense 9.8 10.3
 501.8 479.5
 Operating income 88.7 122.3
 Equity earnings 1.1 0.7
 Earnings from operations 89.8 123.0
 Interest expense less amount capitalized (10.5) (8.5)
 Miscellaneous income and expense, net 1.9 5.3
 Income before taxes 81.2 119.8
 Provision for taxes (27.6) (42.5)
 Net income 53.6 77.3
 Earnings per share 1.53 2.23
 Average number of shares outstanding 35.1 34.7
 BUSINESS SEGMENTS
 (Unaudited; in millions)
 Sales and other operating revenues
 Phelps Dodge Mining Company 301.5 314.0
 Phelps Dodge Industries 289.0 287.8
 590.5 601.8
 Earnings from operations
 Phelps Dodge Mining Company 76.9 113.0
 Phelps Dodge Industries 20.3 16.8
 Corporate and other (7.4) (6.8)
 89.8 123.0
 PHELPS DODGE CORPORATION
 CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET
 (In millions)
 March 31, Dec. 31,
 1992 1991
 (unaudited)
 Assets
 Cash and short-term investments, at cost 173.1 182.5
 Receivables, net 341.6 317.7
 Inventories 196.0 208.5
 Supplies 97.7 100.6
 Prepaid expenses 11.5 9.2
 Current assets 819.9 818.5
 Investments and long-term receivables 100.5 95.8
 Property, plant and equipment, net 1,932.7 1,894.5
 Other assets and deferred charges 241.8 242.4
 3,094.9 3,051.2
 Liabilities
 Current liabilities 471.4 476.8
 Long-term debt 394.6 382.0
 Deferred income taxes 165.9 157.5
 Other liabilities and deferred credits 139.3 140.4
 1,171.2 1,156.7
 Minority interest in subsidiaries 36.6 35.2
 Common shareholders' equity 1,887.1 1,859.3
 3,094.9 3,051.2
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS
 (Unaudited; in millions)
 Three months ended
 March 31,
 1992 1991
 Operating activities
 Cash flow from operations 100.3 123.2
 Working capital and other adjustments (16.1) (7.4)
 Net cash provided by
 operating activities 84.2 115.8
 Investing activities
 Capital outlays (79.9) (79.2)
 Investment in subsidiaries (2.2) (3.6)
 Other (0.8) (1.9)
 Net cash used in investing activities (82.9) (84.7)
 Financing activities
 Increase in debt 161.5 17.8
 Payment of debt (153.6) (10.9)
 Common dividends (26.2) (25.9)
 Other 7.6 1.4
 Net cash used in financing activities (10.7) (17.6)
 Increase (decrease)in cash and
 short-term investments (9.4) 13.5
 Cash and short-term investments
 at beginning of period 182.5 161.6
 Cash and short-term investments
 at end of period 173.1 175.1
 -0- 4/21/92
 /CONTACT: Thomas M. Foster of Phelps Dodge Corporation, 602-234-8139/
 (PD) CO: Phelps Dodge Corp. ST: Arizona IN: MNG SU: ERN


JL -- SD004 -- 0395 04/21/92 08:59 EDT
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