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RYDER REPORTS STRONG INCREASE IN FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS BEFORE ACCOUNTING CHANGE

 MIAMI, April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Continued strong performance in its Vehicle Leasing & Services Division propelled Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE: R) to a 39 percent increase in first quarter earnings before accounting change, it was announced here today by Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer M. Anthony Burns.
 "The first quarter is typically Ryder's weakest, and, as happened this year, it is often impacted by bad weather," Burns said. "However, the trends which characterized the performance of our Vehicle Leasing & Services Division last year -- modest increases in revenue combined with ongoing cost containment -- continued into the first quarter of 1993 and resulted in improved earnings performance."
 In the quarter, earnings before accounting change were $24.2 million, or $0.28 per share, compared with $17.4 million, or $0.20 per share in the first quarter of 1992. Revenue in the quarter was $1.28 billion, compared with revenue of $1.24 billion in the same quarter last year.
 Ryder adopted Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 106, "Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions," effective Jan. 1, 1993, resulting in a first quarter after tax charge of $25.4 million, or $0.33 per share. As a result of the charge, the company reported a first quarter net loss of $1.2 million, or $0.05 per share.
 OPERATIONS
 "The biggest earnings improvement in the quarter came from the Vehicle Leasing & Services Division, which reported record first quarter revenue and pretax earnings," Burns said. The division's Ryder Commercial Leasing & Services business unit recorded improved results from full service truck leasing, and its commercial truck rental business experienced a strong rebound -- the product line's best first quarter performance since 1988.
 Ryder Consumer Truck Rental also experienced improvements in the seasonally weak first quarter. Performance, however, was affected somewhat by severe storms which struck the East Coast near the end of the quarter.
 Revenue of Ryder Dedicated Logistics was up 20 percent in the quarter, and earnings rose as well. The results of the company's bus operations were also better.
 In addition, the earnings of the Vehicle Leasing & Services Division benefited from higher gains on the sale of revenue earning equipment.
 Automotive Carrier Division earnings were lower in the quarter, Burns said. They were affected by several factors: lower production at some of the manufacturing plants served by the division's carriers, shorter average length of haul as a result of a shift in manufacturers' distribution mix, and the division's inability to recover certain cost increases from its customers. If demand for cars and trucks grows as the year progresses, both volume and distribution patterns are likely to become more favorable.
 In the Aviation Services segment, Burns reported, both revenue and pretax earnings were lower in the quarter. Ryder Airline Services showed improvement as a result of growth in both the number of airline turbine engines serviced and the backlog of engines awaiting service. However, Ryder Aviall, which serves principally general and business aviation customers and regional airlines, continued to experience very weak demand for both turbine engine repair and aviation parts and supplies.
 OUTLOOK
 Commenting on the outlook for 1993, Burns said, "If the economy continues to strengthen, we expect that Ryder's performance also will continue to strengthen. We are already seeing the benefits of our expanded marketing and sales programs in full service truck leasing and dedicated logistics, and utilization of our rental trucks has improved, which is typical of an economic upturn.
 "There are several other things which we also view as positive for Ryder's future. First, we continue to have strong cash flows, and debt levels are modest for our business. Second, during the second quarter we will redeem our Fixed Rate Auction Preferred Stock, which has an annual dividend rate of 10.5 percent. We expect this redemption to result in significant savings for the company during the remainder of the year. Finally, recent developments at some of our large airline customers have strengthened their financial condition, which bodes well for our relationships with them.
 "With these positive factors in our favor, we look forward to continued improvement."
 RYDER SYSTEM, INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES
 REVENUE AND NET EARNINGS (LOSS)
 Three months ended March 31, 1993 and 1992
 (in thousands, except per share amounts)
 1993 1992
 Revenue and net sales $ 1,276,623 1,238,491
 Earnings before cumulative effect
 of accounting change $ 24,236 17,409
 Cumulative effect of accounting change (A) (25,433) ---
 Net earnings (loss) $ (1,197) 17,409
 Earnings (loss) applicable to common shares $ (3,786) 14,799
 Average common and common equivalent shares 77,059 74,414
 Earnings (loss) per common share:
 Earnings before cumulative effect
 of accounting change $ 0.28 0.20
 Cumulative effect of accounting change (A) (0.33) ---
 Earnings (loss) per common share (0.05) 0.20
 REVENUE AND EARNINGS BEFORE TAXES
 LINES OF BUSINESS
 Three months ended March 31, 1993 and 1992
 (Thousands of dollars)
 1993 1992
 Revenue and net sales:
 Vehicle Leasing & Services $ 844,252 795,980
 Automotive Carriers 159,616 158,928
 Aviation Services 276,966 287,600
 Intersegment (4,211) (4,017)
 $ 1,276,623 1,238,491
 Earnings before income taxes:
 Vehicle Leasing & Services $ 34,201 16,004
 Automotive Carriers 4,099 7,461
 Aviation Services 4,892 6,612
 Other (1,953) (87)
 $ 41,239 29,990
 (A) -- Effective Jan. 1, 1993, the company adopted Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 106, "Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions," resulting in an after tax charge of $25.4 million ($0.33 per common share). The cumulative effect reflects the charge to establish a liability for the present value of expected future benefits attributed to employees' service rendered prior to the adoption date.
 -0- 4/22/93
 /NOTE TO EDITOR: Ryder System, Inc. is the parent of a group of companies which provide high-quality highway transportation services and aviation services. Revenue for the 12 months ended March 31, 1993 was $5.2 billion, and assets at March 31, 1993 were $5.2 billion.
 Ryder System stock is a component of the Dow Jones Transportation Average and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. Fortune magazine ranks Ryder among the 25 largest diversified services companies in the United States.
 CONTACT: Art Stone of Ryder System, 305-593-3180/
 (R)


CO: Ryder System, Inc. ST: Florida IN: TRN SU: ERN

AW-SS -- FL001 -- 9221 04/22/93 09:12 EDT
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Date:Apr 22, 1993
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