FENTON, Mo., Sept. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. (Nasdaq: RAWL) announced today preliminary results for its fiscal year 2002, ending August 31, 2002, and provided initial guidance for its fiscal year 2003, which began September 1, 2003. Because of the seasonal nature of its business, Rawlings' fiscal fourth quarter typically is the Company's lowest performing quarter. For the fourth quarter ended August 31, 2002, the Company expects to report a substantially reduced loss compared to the fourth quarter ended August 31, 2001. This will allow Rawlings to report full fiscal year 2002 earnings between $0.40 and $0.42 per share, as compared to $0.22 for full fiscal year 2001. Net revenues for fiscal year 2002 are projected at $173.7 million, off 0.5% from fiscal year 2001 net revenues of $174.5 million. Rawlings expects also to report year end bank debt of $30.0 million, down $8.9 million from the prior year bank debt of $38.9 million. Looking forward, the Company noted that it is expecting fiscal year 2003 earnings to be substantially higher than the fiscal year 2002 earnings, primarily due to the previously announced cost reduction efforts. Commenting on Rawlings' announcement, Steve O'Hara, Chairman & CEO stated, "We're happy that we continue to make strong progress in our turnaround efforts, especially our continued progress in reducing our debt. In fiscal 2003, we expect further operating improvements as profitable revenue growth in our core baseball and softball markets offset our departure from unprofitable revenue segments. Improved gross margins from $2 million of operating efficiencies and SG&A cost savings of $2 million are expected to have a very positive effect on our 2003 earnings as well as our balance sheet through further debt reduction." Rawlings' final fiscal 2002 results are expected to be reported in late October. A conference call to discuss the results will be scheduled shortly. 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. Over one third of Major League players use a Rawlings bat. Also, Rawlings founded the Rawlings Gold Glove Award(R) in 1957 and continues to reward the nine best fielders in each league annually with this award. 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. MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X65514806
SOURCE Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc.