Volume 35, Number 2, February 2000

FinancialFlash

Apogee Cuts Costs to Improve Profitability,
Reduce Overhead

Citing weak industry conditions and competitive price pressures, Apogee Enter-prises Inc. has announced fixed-cost overhead reductions and other cost cutting measures to improve profitability. The company continues to expect a loss from continuing operations in the fourth quarter ending Feb. 26, 2000. Fiscal 2000 diluted earnings from continued operations are expected to be approximately break-even, compared with earnings of $.071 diluted per share in fiscal 1999. For fiscal 2001, Apogee expects earnings of $0.25 to $0.30 diluted per share.

“Our businesses are not performing as we would like nor as well as our shareholders deserve,” said Russell Huffer, Apogee’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “But we believe the worst is behind us in both glass technologies and auto glass. Industry conditions in auto glass continue to be extremely weak, yet we expect to increase our unit volumes in fiscal 2000.”

The auto glass unit of the glass services segment, including Harmon Inc., has begun cutting costs with a 2 percent reduction in auto glass field workers and a 13 percent reduction in employees at auto glass headquarters. It is expected that the retail auto glass business will close approximately 40 retail facilities by the end of fiscal 2001. In these markets, continuing service will be provided by mobile vans and service facilities shared with other businesses outside of Apogee. According to the company, this type of flexible service structure has been implemented in pilot programs with modest increases in sales.

All of the glass technologies segment is expected to be profitable in fiscal 2001 according to Huffer. He reported that Tru Vue and Wausau, which represent approximately 40 percent of glass technologies’ total sales in fiscal 2000, continue to exceed sales and profit expectations. The segment decrease in operating profitability has been due to weaker performances by Viratec and Viracon. Both units are expected to be profitable during fiscal 2001.

In related news, the company declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $5.25 cents per share, payable February 16, 2000, to shareholders of record on January 31, 2000.

stock watch

For the week of Jan. 28-Feb. 4., ten of the 15 publicly-traded glass companies or companies that own glass concerns, posted decreases. The biggest drops were posted by Flour City (8 percent), closely followed by Compudyne (7 percent). Of the five companies on the upswing, Monsanto was the big winner with a 17 percent increase, followed by the Dwyer Group with a 10 percent increase. Additionally, on the close date, Flour City and ThermoView Industries saw an 8 and 13 percent drop in price respectively.

                                                                     

Company Name Close Feb 4  5-Day Range 
(Jan 28-Feb 4)
52-Wk Range P/E Ratio
 Apogee (APOG)  4-15/16 5-1/8    4-15/16 4.00 - 14.31 6.7
Alcoa (AA)
owns Alumax & Kawneer
70.5 69.5 - 70.5 35.93 - 87.25 25.0
Asahi (ASGLY) 77.000 NA NA NA
Butler Mfg. (BBR)
owns Vistawall
24-5/8 225/8 - 245/8 21.00 - 29.93 6.8
Compudyne (CDCY) 
owns Norment
8 85/8 - 8 6.00 - 9.12 21.1
Donnelly (DON)   13 131/4 - 13 12.12 - 17.50 NA
Dow Chemical (DOW)    112-3/16 114-3/4  112-3/16 88.56 - 141.50 18.9
*Dupont (DD)  581-3/16 591/4 - 5813/16 50.06 - 77.93 8.4
Dwyer Group (DWYR)    owns the Glass Doctor 2-3/4 2.5 - 2.75 1.68 - 3.25 14.5
**Flour City Int’l (FCIN)     4-1/8 4.5 - 41/8 1.31 - 5.00 NE
Lilly Industries (LI)    12-3/4 131/8 - 12-3/4 12.62 - 19.75 8.9
**Monsanto (MTC)   42-1/4 36 - 42-1/4 32.75 - 50.81 NE
***Pilkington plc (PILK) 79.75 pounds NA NA NA
PPG (PPG)   54-1/16 56-11/16 - 54-1/16 47.93 - 70.75 16.7
Solutia (SOI)  13-9/16 131-5/16 - 13-9/16   12.87 - 26.31 7.5
ThermoView Ind. (THV)    3 3-1/8 - 3 2.00 - 5.50 NA
**Vitro (VTO)  
owns VVP America
4-9/16 4-1/4 - 4-9/16 3.62 - 7.50 NE

 *Correction: In the January issue of USGlass, the information listed for Dupont was incorrect.

**Negative Earnings ***As of 2/2/00

 

PPG Announces Fourth-Quarter Earnings

PPG Industries of Pittsburgh, announced 1999 fourth quarter net income of $162 million matching the same quarter last year. For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 1999, PPG’s net income was $568 million on record sales of $7.76 billion. This included $79 million in after-tax acquisition-related costs and restructuring charges associated with cost-reduction initiatives. This compares with 1998 net income of $801 million on sales of $7.51 billion and included the sale of European flat and automotive glass operations and effects of restructuring charges related to disposition of equity interests in Chinese glass operations and cost-reduction initiatives.

“We feel confident that our disciplined efforts to enhance our business portfolio through acquisitions, along with continued operating efficiencies, will enable us to achieve our global strategic vision for faster and more predictable earnings growth,” said Raymond W. LaBoeuf, PPG chairman and chief executive. “The strengthening global economic environment provides further encouragement for PPG’s prospects in 2000.”


USG

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