Oglebay Norton Reports Strong Third Quarter Operating Results 10/24:
Oglebay Norton Company reported that earnings from continuing operations in
the third quarter of 1997 improved to $6.5 million, or $2.72 per share,
compared with $4.8 million, or $1.95 per share, in the third quarter of
1996. Sales increased from $49.7 million to $53.4 million, and income from
operations improved to $10.3 million, compared with $5.9 million in the same
quarter a year ago.
For the first nine months of 1997, earnings from continuing operations
reached $12.4 million, or $5.19 per share, compared with $6.9 million, or
$2.82 per share, for the first nine months of 1996. Sales increased from
$113.3 million to $124.4 million, and income from operations increased to
$18.8 million, compared to $7.5 million in the same period a year ago.
The Company's discontinued iron ore operations, which were sold in late
1996, contributed income of $1.3 million ($.54 per share) and $3.4 million
($1.39 per share) in the third quarter and first nine months of 1996,
Revenues and operating profit for the Company's Marine Transportation
substantially in the third quarter of 1997, compared with the third quarter
of 1996. Customer demand continued to be strong for the shipment of iron
ore, coal and stone on the Great lakes. Aided by favorable weather
conditions and high water levels, enabling vessels to carry increased
tonnage, the fleet operated very efficiently. The Cleveland Bulk Terminal,
which the Company began operating in the second quarter, continued to
contribute modestly to Marine Transportation's strong performance.
The Company's Industrial Sands unit shipped 481,000 tons in the third
quarter, bettering the second quarter's record shipments by 7,000 tons.
Operating results mirrored the robust shipments, with net sales and
operating profit improving by 17% and 6%, respectively, over the third
quarter in 1996. Much of this improvement is attributable to the acquisition
earlier this year of specialty screening operations in Bakersfield,
California, which serve the oil and gas well service markets, and Kurtz
Sports Turf operations in Ohio, which blends sands for golf courses and
other recreation facilities.
The Engineered Materials business unit operated at about break even in
the third quarter of 1997, on a 3% increase in net sales, compared with the
third quarter in 1996. An improvement in operating profit on metallurgical
products was not sufficient to offset a substantial decline in hot top
product volume and profit. A decision regarding consolidation of our hot top
operations into one facility will be made by the end of the year. Selling,
general and administrative expenses continue to decline, amounting to a
reduction of 6% in the quarter, compared with the third quarter of 1996.
R. Thomas Green, Jr., Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer,
stated: ``We expect 1997 to be a record-breaking year in several respects.
Our stock price hit an all-time high of $61 per share in early October. Our
Marine Transportation business unit is on course to haul a record 23 million
tons, as long as weather conditions remain favorable. Our Industrial Sands
business unit is on track for record revenues and operating profits, fueled
in large part by the strong oil and gas well service markets; all
indications point to continued strength in these markets for at least
several months. These robust performances have offset lower-than-expected
results from our Engineered Materials business unit, and we anticipate a
record year as measured by income from operations. We have exceeded our
expectations through the first nine months, and fully expect to sustain that
level of performance through the remainder of the year.''
earlier, the Board of Directors of Oglebay Norton Company on August 27, 1997
increased the quarterly dividend from $.35 to $.40 per share, and declared a
2-for-1 stock split payable via a 100% stock dividend to be distributed on
October 3, 1997 to stockholders of record as of October 10, 1997.
Oglebay Norton is a Cleveland-based company engaged in Great Lakes marine
transportation, the mining and marketing of industrial sands, and the
manufacturing and marketing of metallurgical products and related materials
used in steelmaking.
Reported by: James Neumiller