Rawlings Reports Preliminary Results for Fiscal Year 2002 of $0.40 to $0.42 Versus $0.22 for Fiscal Year 2001

Sep 27, 2002, 01:00 ET from Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc.

    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,
     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.
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SOURCE Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc.