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SALES UP 15 PERCENT, EARNINGS LAGGING IN C.H. HEIST CORP. THIRD QUARTER

 CLEARWATER, Fla., Nov. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- C.H. Heist Corporation's (AMEX: HST) results through the first nine months of 1993 show earnings not yet catching up with steady increases in sales. Sales for the third quarter, ended Sept. 26, 1993, were $22,324,000, an increase of 15.0 percent over the previous year's third quarter sales of $19,410,000. Consolidated net income amounted to $.04 per share this year as opposed to the previous year's earnings of $.14 per share.
 Nine month figures show an increase in sales of 10.7 percent over last year's first three quarters, from $53,409,000 to $59,107,000 this year. Per share earnings for the nine-month period were $.13 per share this year vs. the previous year's three-quarter earnings of $.32.
 C.H. Heist, president and chairman, cited the firm's industrial sales, both in Canada and the U.S., as the prime reason earnings have not risen commensurate with sales. He said, "The petroleum industry, a principal facet of Heist industrial business, has simply been too busy to slow down for major maintenance jobs. The low price of crude oil has kept refineries running at full tilt. We expect that this situation will change in 1994, when delayed maintenance projects will have to be undertaken."
 Aside from industrial maintenance, Heist was gratified by progress from three other sectors of the corporation's operation. Ablest, Heist's temporary help affiliate, has increased sales by 29.6 percent for the three quarters, and has increased net earnings by 53.2 percent over the previous year.
 In the third quarter, Pipe and Boiler Insulation had a 6.5 percent increase in sales, up from $849,000 last year to $904,000 this year. Heist pointed out that a net loss of $9,600 was a marked improvement over last year's third quarter loss of $76,000. "It's important to note that both periods included an acquisition write-off of $45,000."
 In mid-summer, the firm purchased the assets of Ohmstede Mechanical Services Inc., a turnaround and field service repair company serving the petroleum and chemical industries. Sales for OMSI's first quarter with Heist amounted to $2,084,000. The quarter showed an operating loss of $141,000; however, included in the figure was a Mexican bad debt write- off of $139,000. Heist remarked, "Aside from the disappointing Mexican situation, which is now totally behind us, OMSI's performance was very creditable for their first three months as a member of the Heist family of companies. We believe that OMSI will become a significant contributor to both sales and profits."
 Capital expenditures increased for the three quarters, from $1,942,000 last year to $6,615,000 for the current period. Long term debt also increased, from $2,112,000 last year to $3,969,000 this year. The major part of increases in both expenditures and debt were caused by the $4.8 million acquisition costs of OMSI. The current ratio remains strong, at 3.1-to-1, with working capital of approximately $12 million.
 -0- 11/2/93
 /CONTACT: Richard J. O'Neil of C.H. Heist, 813-461-5656/
 (HST)


CO: C.H. Heist Corporation ST: Florida IN: SU: ERN

AW-RK -- FL010 -- 9804 11/02/93 16:26 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 2, 1993
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