Rawlings Reports Fiscal Year 2002 Earnings Per Share of $0.41 Versus $0.22 In Fiscal Year 2001

    FENTON, Mo., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --
 Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. (Nasdaq:   RAWL) announced today final
 fiscal year 2002 earnings of $0.41 per share versus fiscal year 2001 earnings
 of $0.22 per share.
     Total net revenues for fiscal year 2002 were $173.7 million, down 0.5%
 from fiscal year 2001 net revenues of $174.5 million.  Net revenues from
 baseball and softball equipment were $106.1 million, up 2.6% versus fiscal
 year 2001 net revenues from baseball and softball of $103.4 million.  Declines
 in inflatables and apparel offset the growth in the Company's core baseball
 and softball segment.
     Gross Margin was $48.8 million in fiscal year 2002, up 2.6% from fiscal
 year 2001 gross margin of $47.5 million.  Gross Margin percentage was 28.1% in
 fiscal year 2002, up 0.9 points from fiscal year 2001 gross margin percentage
 of 27.2%.  Margin increases in baseballs, gloves, aluminum bats and protective
 gear accounted for this increase despite being offset by margin declines in
 basketballs and footballs.
     Selling, General and Administrative (SG&A) fiscal year 2002 expenses were
 $41.2 million, up 2.2% versus fiscal year 2001 SG&A expenses of $40.3 million.
 As a percentage of sales, fiscal year 2002 SG&A expenses were 23.7% of sales
 up 0.6% versus fiscal year 2001 SG&A expenses of 23.1% of sales.  Increased
 distribution expenses related to the start up of the new distribution facility
 in Washington, Missouri accounted for this increase.
     Interest charges for fiscal year 2002 were $2.5 million, down 45.6% from
 fiscal year 2001 interest charges of $4.5 million.  Lower rates and lower
 average borrowings accounted for this reduction. Total bank debt, net of cash,
 at the end of fiscal year 2002 was $29.4 million, down 23% from $38.0 million
 at the end of fiscal year 2001. Offsetting the interest charges, taxes in
 fiscal year 2002 increased to $1.8 million, up 210% from fiscal year 2001
 taxes of $0.6 million.  Higher income and higher effective rates accounted for
 this tax increase.  During fiscal year 2002 the Company also settled its tax
 sharing agreement with the successor company to its former parent, Figgie
 International for $1.0 million, adding $8.3 million to shareholder equity.
 The Company retains the tax benefit which was created upon formation, as well
 as its $26.3 million in Net Operating Loss carry-forwards (NOLs) such that it
 does not expect to pay significant cash taxes in 2002 or the next few years.
     Net income for fiscal year 2002 was $3.3 million, up 90.5% versus fiscal
 year 2001 net income of $1.8 million.
     The fourth quarter of the fiscal year is typically Rawlings lowest revenue
 and income quarter.  For the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2002, net revenues
 were $26.0 million, down 7.5% from the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2001 net
 revenues of $28.1 million.  Declines in inflatables and apparel accounted for
 this decrease.
     Gross margin for fourth quarter fiscal year 2002 was $6.6 million, up
 38.8% from fourth quarter fiscal year 2001 gross margin of $4.8 million.
 Gross margin percentage for fourth quarter fiscal year 2002 was 25.5%, up 8.5%
 versus fourth quarter fiscal year 2001 of 17.0%.  Improvements in product
 lines, cost reductions, and inventory controls accounted for this improvement.
     SG&A expenses for fourth quarter 2002 were $10.1 million, up 4.1% versus
 fourth quarter 2001 SG&A expenses of $9.7 million.  Additional reserves for
 the Kmart pre-petition receivables were the primary reason for the increase in
 SG&A expense.
     Net loss for fourth quarter fiscal year 2002 was $2.3 million, a $1.7
 million improvement from the fourth quarter net loss of fiscal year 2001 of
 $3.9 million.  Net loss per share in fourth quarter fiscal year 2002 was $0.28
 versus net loss per share of $0.49 in fourth quarter 2001.
     Commenting on the results, Steve O'Hara, Chairman and CEO, stated, "We are
 pleased to report earnings up significantly despite the difficult economic
 environment.  Moreover, we are happy to continue to report that the outlook
 for significant earnings improvement in fiscal year 2003 remains good due to a
 further $4.0 million in expected cost savings.  We continue to expect only
 modest net revenue growth in fiscal year 2003 as solid growth in our baseball
 and softball markets is offset by our decision to exit unprofitable business
 elsewhere."
     Mr. O'Hara continued, "Moreover, we are delighted with our announcement
 yesterday of our partnership with the National Federation of High Schools.  We
 look forward to working with the NFHS over the next four years to expand its
 influence in the retail market."
     The conference call to discuss these results will be held on October 29,
 2002 at 4:00 PM Central Standard Time.  To participate, call (800) 230-1092
 from the United States or (612) 288-0340 internationally and ask for the
 Rawlings Year End Earnings Release conference call.  A replay of this call
 will be available for thirty days following the call and can be accessed via
 (800) 475-6701 from the United States or (320) 365-3844 internationally.
 Enter the access code 658132 for the replay.
     Rawlings is a leading marketer and manufacturer of baseball equipment and
 other sporting goods in the United States.  Rawlings is the official baseball
 of Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball and the NCAA College World
 Series.  Over half of Major League players use a Rawlings' glove, including
 such stars as Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey, Jr., and Pedro
 Martinez.  Rawlings also recently announced a comprehensive partnership with
 the NFHS to become the official sponsor of NFHS baseballs, basketballs,
 footballs, softballs, volleyballs and soccer balls.
     Certain information contained in this press release are forward looking
 statements that involve risks and uncertainties such as the Company's plans to
 achieve targeted sales and gross margin increases, reduce expenses through
 various actions, improve operating income, increase EBITDA and earnings per
 share, and execute new plans successfully.  It is important to note that
 actual results could differ materially from those expressed in such forward-
 looking statements.  Factors that could cause or contribute to such
 differences include, but are not limited to, changes in customer buying
 patterns, a general economic slowdown, lower retail sell rates for the
 Company's products, changes in the Company's financial position, a dramatic
 increase in raw materials prices such as leather and changes in the
 competitive environment.  Other risks and uncertainties are detailed from time
 to time in the Company's SEC filings, including the Company's Report on Form
 10-K filed for the year ended August 31, 2001.
 
 
             Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. and Subsidiaries
 
                       Consolidated Statements of Income
                 (Amounts in thousands, except per share data)
 
 
                                       Quarter Ended          Year Ended
                                        August 31,            August 31,
                                     2002       2001        2002      2001
                                 (Unaudited)  (Unaudited)
 
     Net revenues                  $26,015    $28,117    $173,712   $174,528
     Cost of goods sold             19,371     23,329     124,936    126,996
       Gross profit                  6,644      4,788      48,776     47,532
     Selling, general and
       administrative expenses      10,084      9,690      41,158     40,267
     Unusual expense                     -        622           -        412
       Operating income (loss)      (3,440)    (5,524)      7,618      6,853
     Interest expense                  475        791       2,452      4,510
       Income (loss) before
         income taxes               (3,915)    (6,315)      5,166      2,343
     Provision (benefit) for
       income taxes                 (1,659)    (2,407)      1,819        586
     Net income (loss)             $(2,256)   $(3,908)     $3,347     $1,757
 
     Net income (loss) per
       common share, basic
       and diluted                  $(0.28)    $(0.49)      $0.41      $0.22
 
     Shares used in computing
       per share amounts:
       Basic                         8,135      8,056       8,110      8,025
       Assumed exercise of stock
         options                        41          -          23          1
       Diluted                       8,176      8,056       8,133      8,026
 
 
             Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. and Subsidiaries
 
                          Consolidated Balance Sheets
                   (Amounts in thousands, except share data)
 
                                                        August 31,  August 31,
                                                           2002        2001
 
     Assets
     Current Assets:
       Cash and cash equivalents                           $603        $921
       Accounts receivable, net of allowance of
         $2,861 and $2,871, respectively                 24,107      27,750
       Inventories                                       31,796      33,379
       Deferred income taxes                              4,277       4,277
       Prepaid expenses                                     396         606
         Total current assets                            61,179      66,933
     Property, plant and equipment                        7,742       7,271
     Deferred income taxes                               20,821      22,367
     Long-term receivables                                  417           -
     Other assets                                         1,674       1,970
       Total assets                                     $91,833     $98,541
 
     Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity
     Current liabilities:
       Current portion of long-term debt and
         revolving credit agreement                     $27,037     $34,684
       Accounts payable                                   7,689      10,178
       Accrued liabilities                                9,613       8,740
         Total current liabilities                       44,339      53,602
     Long-term debt, less current maturities              2,941       4,242
     Other long-term liabilities                              -       9,291
       Total liabilities                                 47,280      67,135
     Stockholders' equity:
       Preferred stock, none issued                           -           -
       Common stock, 8,088,656 and 8,011,145
         shares issued and outstanding, respectively         81          80
       Additional paid-in capital                        39,742      31,151
       Stock subscription receivable                          -      (1,421)
       Cumulative other comprehensive loss               (1,617)     (1,492)
       Retained earnings                                  6,347       3,088
         Stockholders' equity                            44,553      31,406
         Total liabilities and stockholders' equity     $91,833     $98,541
 
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SOURCE Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc.

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