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 GREENWICH, Conn., April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- UST Inc. (NYSE: UST) today announced that first quarter 1994 primary earnings per share increased 11 percent to 42 cents per share, compared with 38 cents per share for the corresponding period in 1993.
 Net earnings for the first three months of 1994 were $88.8 million, a 6 percent increase over $83.7 million for the similar period in 1993.
 Net sales for the three-month period ended March 31, 1994 increased by 6 percent to $280.4 million, compared with $265 million for the similar period in 1993.
 The Tobacco segment posted sales gains for the first quarter while sales for the Wine segment were stable and Other segment sales were lower. Moist smokeless tobacco sales were primarily responsible for the increase in the Tobacco segment. Domestic unit volume for moist smokeless tobacco for the first quarter increased 5.9 percent to 149.5 million cans, compared with the first quarter of 1993. The Company believes that the unit volume comparison was favorably affected by a change in the Company's shipping procedures in January 1993 which had an adverse effect on unit volume in the first quarter of 1993.
 The comparison of earnings per share for the first quarter of 1994 to the similar period in 1993, was adversely affected by 4 cents per share due to several events which occurred during 1993.
 On March 31, 1993, the Company completed the sale of its distribution rights for Zig-Zag cigarette papers and related products. This transaction resulted in an after-tax gain of $22 million, amounting to 10 cents per share. This gain was offset by the adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No. 106 and SFAS No. 109, which reduced first quarter 1993 primary earnings per share by 9 cents.
 In addition, operating results for the first quarter of 1994 do not include Zig-Zag and related products as compared to the similar period in 1993. Also, the first quarter of 1994 includes the effect of the 1993 "Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act," which increased the effective corporate federal income tax rate, whereas in 1993, this effect was not recorded until the third quarter. Together, these two events adversely affected the comparison of primary earnings per share by 3 cents for the first quarter of 1994 as compared to the similar 1993 period.
 UST, through its subsidiaries, is a leading producer and marketer of moist smokeless tobacco products including Copenhagen, Skoal, Skoal Long Cut and Skoal Bandits. Other consumer products marketed by UST subsidiaries include premium wines sold nationally through the Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Crest, Conn Creek and Villa Mt. Eden wineries as well as sparkling wine produced under the Domaine Ste. Michelle label.
 Copenhagen, Skoal, Skoal Long Cut, Skoal Bandits, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Crest, Conn Creek, Domaine Ste. Michelle and Villa Mt. Eden are registered trademarks of UST subsidiaries.
 Consolidated Sales and Earnings
 (in thousands, except per share amounts)
 First Quarter
 1994 1993 %Change
 Net sales $280,379 $265,019 + 6
 Costs and expenses
 Cost of products sold 54,401 63,153 -14
 Selling, advertising and
 administrative 79,347 71,923 +10
 Total costs and expenses 133,748 135,076 - 1
 Operating income 146,631 129,943 +13
 Other income
 Interest income, net 13 155 -92
 Gain recorded on the disposal
 of product line (A) --- 35,029 ---
 Earnings before income taxes
 and cumulative effect of
 accounting changes 146,644 165,127 -11
 Income taxes 57,886 61,572 - 6
 Earnings before cumulative
 effect of accounting changes 88,758 103,555 -14
 Cumulative effect of accounting
 changes: (B)
 Postretirement benefits other
 than pensions (net of income
 tax benefits of $18,115) --- (32,690) ---
 Income taxes --- 12,844 ---
 Net earnings $ 88,758 $ 83,709 + 6
 Earnings per share:
 Primary earnings before
 cumulative effect of
 accounting changes $.42 $.47 -11
 Cumulative effect of accounting
 changes(B) --- (.09) ---
 Net earnings per share:
 Primary $.42 $.38 +11
 Fully diluted $.42 $.38 +11
 Cash dividends per common share $.28 $.24 +17
 Average number of common and
 common equivalent shares
 outstanding during the
 three-month period:
 Primary 210,360 218,067
 Fully diluted 210,360 218,067
 (A) Gain recorded on the sale of a tobacco-related business resulting in an after-tax gain of $22 million or 10 cents per share.
 (B) Reflects the adoption of SFAS No. 106 "Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions" and SFAS No. 109 "Accounting for Income Taxes."
 -0- 4/18/94
 /CONTACT: Alan H. Kaiser, 203-622-3549, or David A. Schutzman, 203-622-3479, both of UST/

CO: UST Inc. ST: Connecticut IN: TOB SU: ERN

LG-MP -- NY038 -- 8745 04/18/94 11:01 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 18, 1994

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