The Andersons, Inc. Reports 1st-Quarter Improvement Net Income vs. Year-Earlier Loss EPS $0.01 vs. $0.10 Loss in 1st Quarter '98

PRNewswire
MAUMEE, Ohio
Sep 15, 2000

The Andersons, Inc. today announced net income of $44,000, or $0.01 per share, for the first quarter of 1999, an improvement from the loss of $824,000, or $0.10 per share, in the comparable period last year. Because of the seasonal nature of several of its businesses, the first and third calendar quarters are typically soft periods for the company, and it often incurs losses during these months. The company's earnings per share on twelve-month trailing income stood at $1.33. A year ago it was $0.91.

Total revenues of $200.8 million for the period were down 9.6 percent from the $222.2 million realized in the first quarter of 1998, primarily due to lower average grain prices.

Agriculture

The company's Agriculture Group operates grain elevators and wholesale fertilizer distribution facilities in four eastern corn belt states. Collectively, these facilities handle about 150 million bushels of grain and one million tons of dry and liquid agricultural fertilizer products annually. In addition, the group operates farm centers in the region and last week announced the acquisition of an additional outlet in southern Michigan.

The group's operating performance in the first quarter this year improved from the 1998 period because of increased earnings on the company's grain storage space and wholesale fertilizer volume growth. Despite weakness in parts of the U.S. agricultural industry, the grain elevator segment is presently quite strong due to the need to store sizable carryover grain stocks. The farm center division generally earns most of its income in the second quarter each year. This business incurred a somewhat larger first- quarter loss in 1999 because of several additional outlets in operation this year.

Manufacturing

The Manufacturing Group repairs, sells and leases various types of railcars and operates a custom steel fabrication business. This business has achieved dramatic revenue and income growth in the past few years and now controls a fleet of more than 3,800 railcars, up from 3,100 a year earlier. While lease rates are soft in several industries at the present, the group's 1999 first-quarter operating income was higher than the year-earlier period due to increased sales of railcars.

Processing

The Processing Group produces granular lawn fertilizer products for major retailers throughout the country as well as professional lawn-care and golf course markets. It also produces ice melt products, corncob-based chemical and feed ingredient carriers and animal bedding and litter products.

Although the group's cob and pet segments achieved revenue and operating income growth in the first quarter of 1999 versus the comparable period in 1998, the lawn segment experienced a decline in operating income. While lawn- products volume and revenue both increased from 1998 first-quarter levels, operating income was somewhat lower due to changes in the mix of products sold and increased distribution costs. To accommodate growing production demand, The Andersons recently announced the addition of manufacturing capacity in eastern Pennsylvania and is currently evaluating other possible production opportunities.

Retail

This group operates six large retail stores in Ohio. The company characterizes its retail concept as "The Complete Home Store-more for your home than any other store." A traditional home center with plumbing, electrical and building supplies, etc., it also features indoor and outdoor garden centers, extensive lines of housewares and domestics, pet supplies, automotive supplies, sporting goods and a unique specialty food offering.

In the first three months of 1999, the Retail Group achieved a same-store sales increase of about 10 percent, strong margins and a corresponding bottom- line improvement. Contributing to this year-to-year improvement was the strong demand for cold weather products, such as heaters, work wear and snow blowers, early in the quarter.

Company

According to President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Anderson, "I'm pleased with our overall performance for the first three months of 1999 and the continuation of the earnings growth we achieved in 1998. Looking forward, the spring season is traditionally a very strong period for The Andersons, and we expect this year's to be the same."

The Andersons, Inc. paid a cash dividend of $0.05 per share in the first and second quarters of 1999 and last week announced a similar $0.05 dividend to be paid in July. In 1998, the quarterly dividend was $0.04. The company continues to repurchase shares on the open market from time to time.

The Andersons, Inc. is a respected leader and dominant regional player in grain merchandising. This strong position in its basic business has allowed the company to diversify into other agribusiness operations, several processing and manufacturing businesses, and general merchandise retailing. The company has been in operation since 1947.

This release contains forward-looking statements, including statements with respect to anticipated revenue growth, adequacy of cash flows and profitability. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, including, without limitation, economic, weather and regulatory conditions, competition, and the risk factors set forth from time to time in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For further information regarding The Andersons free of charge via fax dial 1-800-PRO-INFO and enter company code "ANDE."

                           The Andersons, Inc.
                  Consolidated Statements of Operations
                               (Unaudited)

                                                    Three Months
                                                   Ended March 31
  (in thousands, except for per share amounts)     1999      1998

  Sales and merchandising revenues              $199,965   $221,221
  Other income                                       790        968

    Total                                        200,755    222,189

  Cost of sales and merchandising revenues       161,889    188,329

  Gross profit                                    38,866     33,860

  Operating, administrative and general expenses  36,734     32,729
  Interest expense                                 2,066      2,458

    Total                                         38,800     35,187

  Income (loss) before income taxes                   66     (1,327)
  Income tax expense (credit)                         22       (503)
  Net income (loss)                                  $44      $(824)

  Per common share:
    Basic and earnings (loss)                      $0.01     $(0.10)

     Diluted earnings (loss)                       $0.01     $(0.10)

     Dividends paid                                $0.05      $0.04

  Weighted average shares outstanding - basic      8,157      7,986

  Weighted average shares outstanding - diluted    8,302      7,989

                           The Andersons, Inc.
                       Consolidated Balance Sheets
                               (Unaudited)

                                                  March 31    December 31
  (in thousands)                                    1999         1998


  Assets
  Current assets:
    Cash and cash equivalents                       $7,718         $3,253
    Accounts receivable:
    Trade accounts and notes receivable (net)       80,114         62,647
    Margin deposits                                  6,246            248

      Total                                         86,360         62,895
    Inventories                                    192,738        184,990
    Deferred income taxes                            5,787          4,634
    Prepaid expenses                                 4,792          5,502

  Total current assets                             297,395        261,274

  Other assets:
    Notes receivable (net) and other assets          7,371          8,435
    Investments in and advances to affiliates        1,052          1,057

      Total                                          8,423          9,492
  Property, plant and equipment (net)               89,845         90,057

    Total                                         $395,663       $360,823

  Liabilities and owners' equity
  Current liabilities:
    Notes payable                                  $84,000         $7,700
    Accounts payable for grain                      36,968         88,978
    Other accounts payable                          89,066         75,301
    Accrued expenses                                14,766         17,079
    Current maturities of long-term debt             5,992          6,318

  Total current liabilities                        230,792        195,376

  Pension and postretirement benefits                3,026          3,113
  Long-term debt                                    71,757         71,565
  Deferred income taxes                              7,070          7,330
  Minority interest                                    694            705
  Owners' equity                                    82,324         82,734

    Total                                         $395,663       $360,823

SOURCE: The Andersons, Inc.

Contact: Gary Smith of The Andersons, Inc., 419-891-6417; or Marilyn
Windsor, 312-640-6692; or Lisa Fortuna, 312-640-6779, both of The Financial
Relations Board


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