Banta Reports Solid First Quarter Results

Apr 24, 2001, 01:00 ET from Banta Corporation

    MENASHA, Wis., April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ --
     Banta Corporation (NYSE:   BN) today reported an encouraging start to 2001
 as its supply-chain management business produced strong double-digit gains in
 sales and earnings, and its print businesses turned in good performances
 during a period of economic uncertainty and increasing energy costs.
     First quarter sales increased 9 percent to $373 million, compared with
 $342 million during the same period in 2000.  Net earnings reached
 $10.1 million compared with last year's $9.9 million, excluding the previously
 announced one-time charge for the write off of the corporation's investment in
 XYAN.com, an Internet-enabled digital print solutions provider.  Diluted
 earnings per share increased 5 percent to 41 cents compared with 39 cents in
 2000, before the charge.  Including the non-cash charge, net earnings for the
 2001 first quarter were $2.6 million (11 cents per diluted share).
     Chairman Donald D. Belcher says Banta's solid first quarter performance in
 spite of the slowing economy was encouraging.  "Our mix of businesses allowed
 us to continue our growth during this period of economic softness," notes
 Belcher.  "Although our print sector revenues were comparable to the same
 period last year, sales for our supply-chain management sector rose 53 percent
 in the quarter.  This sector of our business provides outsourcing services for
 a variety of industries, in particular computer hardware and software.  Our
 strong performance during a time when many technology companies are reporting
 slower growth testifies to the strength of our customer relationships and the
 value we bring as an outsourcing partner."
     Supply-chain management first quarter operating earnings increased
 five-fold over the same period in 2000.  Last year's first quarter included
 additional start-up costs related to Banta's contract with Compaq Computer.
 "Activity in Europe was stronger than in the U.S.," notes Belcher, "as we
 expanded service to a number of customers and benefited from full ramp-up of
 our contract with Compaq."
     Banta's printing businesses are feeling the effects of the economic
 slowdown and additional energy costs.  "We experienced lower-than-expected
 demand for educational print products, negatively affecting utilization rates
 for our book operations," says Belcher.  "Major state educational adoption
 processes are underway, however our customers' inventories are higher than at
 this time last year, thus we have not yet benefited from the normal uptick in
 demand.  We remain confident that 2001 will be another good year for
 educational print production, although volume will be below last year's record
 levels."
     The corporation's direct marketing operations showed continued
 improvement, benefiting from numerous productivity improvement initiatives and
 increased demand for personalized print materials produced on Banta's in-line
 imaging systems.  Although sales for direct marketing increased only
 marginally from last year's first quarter, the Group achieved strong
 double-digit gains in operating profit.
     "Our special-interest magazine units continued their growth in sales and
 earnings during the quarter," he said.  "However, reductions in advertising
 page counts during the first three months of the year lowered the Publications
 Group's quarterly growth rate to the mid-single digits from its recent history
 of double-digit increases."
     A steep rise in natural gas and electricity costs, and higher employee
 healthcare expenses reduced profitability for all print groups.  Utility costs
 alone increased first quarter expenses by $1.3 million or 3 cents per share.
     The performance of Banta's Healthcare unit improved during the first
 quarter as product sourcing and productivity initiatives instituted in 2000
 benefited results.  The 2001 outlook for Banta Healthcare is much improved
 compared to last year.
     "We are encouraged by our first quarter performance, but remain cautious
 due to the continuing soft economy," explains Belcher.  "Our print operations
 achieved solid results and while we are positioned to capitalize on
 opportunities when the economy strengthens, and particularly when the expected
 increase in demand for educational products occurs, we are carefully managing
 our costs and capital structure.  We remain confident that our supply-chain
 sector will continue its aggressive growth as outsourcing services remain an
 essential and growing part of our customers' manufacturing strategies, and we
 continue to gain a greater share of their business.
     "Our dual business platform of print and supply-chain outsourcing services
 provides us with a predictably strong cash engine coupled with a strong growth
 sector.  The benefits of that combination were apparent during the first
 quarter and will continue to differentiate Banta in the months and years
 ahead."
     Projections for Banta's 2001 second quarter are for revenues and earnings
 to be comparable with the same period last year.  Supply-chain management
 results should be above last year's second quarter, while print revenues and
 earnings are expected to be lower.
     For the full year, in view of the continuing economic sluggishness and the
 sharp rise in energy costs, Banta management has reduced its 2001 earnings per
 share expectation from a range of $2.53 to $2.58, to a range of  $2.40 to
 $2.48, before the one-time charge for XYAN.com.  Despite the adjustment, Banta
 continues to be pleased with the performance and competitive positioning of
 its various businesses, and expects to achieve record 2001 sales and earnings
 per share.
     Banta Corporation is a technology and market leader in printing and
 supply-chain management.  Banta provides a comprehensive combination of
 printing and digital imaging solutions to leading publishers and direct
 marketers, including advanced digital content management and e-business
 services.  Banta's supply-chain management businesses provide a wide range of
 outsourcing capabilities to the world's largest technology companies.
 Services range from component procurement, product assembly and packaging to
 inventory control and global distribution.
     Banta will host a conference call to discuss its first quarter results
 Wednesday, Apr. 25 at 9:30 a.m. CDT.  This call will be simultaneously
 broadcast in the Investor Relations area of Banta's Web site at
 http://www.banta.com .  A replay of the live call will be available for
 10 days.
 
     "Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
      of 1995:
     This news release includes forward-looking statements.  Statements that
 describe future expectations, including revenue and earnings projections,
 plans, results or strategies, are considered forward-looking.  Such statements
 are subject to certain risks and uncertainties which could cause actual
 results to differ materially from those currently anticipated.  Factors that
 could affect actual results include, among others, changes in customers' order
 patterns or demand for the corporation's products and services, changes in raw
 material costs and availability, unanticipated changes in operating expenses,
 unanticipated production difficulties, and general changes in economic
 conditions.  These factors should be considered in evaluating the
 forward-looking statements, and undue reliance should not be placed on such
 statements.  The forward-looking statements included herein are made as of the
 date hereof, and Banta undertakes no obligation to update publicly such
 statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.
     An electronic version of this news release, as well as other information
 about Banta Corporation, is available through the company's Web site at
 http://www.banta.com
 
 
                                 Banta Corporation
                      Condensed Consolidated Income Statement
                      ($000's omitted, except per share data)
 
                                                      3 Months Ended March
                                                     2001              2000
 
     Net Sales                                     $372,777          $341,534
     Cost of Sales                                  305,381           275,027
     Gross Profit                                    67,396            66,507
 
     SG&A Expense                                    46,815            45,870
     Earnings from Operations                        20,581            20,637
 
     Other Income (Expense)
       Interest Expense                              (4,011)           (3,890)
       Write-off of Investment                      (12,500)               --
       Other, net                                       162              (353)
     Earnings before Income Taxes                     4,232            16,394
 
     Provision for Income Taxes                       1,600             6,500
     Net Income                                      $2,632            $9,894
 
     Basic Earnings per Share
       Before investment write-off                    $0.41             $0.39
       After investment write-off                     $0.11             $0.39
 
     Diluted Earnings per Share
       Before investment write-off                    $0.41             $0.39
       After investment write-off                     $0.11             $0.39
 
     Average Shares Outstanding:
     Basic                                           24,589            25,494
     Diluted                                         24,720            25,494
 
     Composite Tax Rate                                37.8%             39.6%
 
                              SEGMENT INFORMATION
 
     Net Sales
 
     Printing and digital imaging                  $256,009          $256,516
     Supply-chain management                         91,795            60,009
     Healthcare                                      24,973            25,009
                                                   $372,777          $341,534
 
     Earnings from Operations
 
     Printing and digital imaging                   $17,424           $20,732
     Supply-chain management                          5,833             1,223
     Healthcare                                       2,537             2,615
 
       Segment earnings from operations              25,794            24,570
       Unallocated corporate expenses                (5,213)           (3,933)
       Interest expense                              (4,011)           (3,890)
       Write-off of investment                      (12,500)               --
       Other expense                                    162              (353)
       Earnings before income taxes                  $4,232           $16,394
 
                      MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X77577253
 
 

SOURCE Banta Corporation
    MENASHA, Wis., April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ --
     Banta Corporation (NYSE:   BN) today reported an encouraging start to 2001
 as its supply-chain management business produced strong double-digit gains in
 sales and earnings, and its print businesses turned in good performances
 during a period of economic uncertainty and increasing energy costs.
     First quarter sales increased 9 percent to $373 million, compared with
 $342 million during the same period in 2000.  Net earnings reached
 $10.1 million compared with last year's $9.9 million, excluding the previously
 announced one-time charge for the write off of the corporation's investment in
 XYAN.com, an Internet-enabled digital print solutions provider.  Diluted
 earnings per share increased 5 percent to 41 cents compared with 39 cents in
 2000, before the charge.  Including the non-cash charge, net earnings for the
 2001 first quarter were $2.6 million (11 cents per diluted share).
     Chairman Donald D. Belcher says Banta's solid first quarter performance in
 spite of the slowing economy was encouraging.  "Our mix of businesses allowed
 us to continue our growth during this period of economic softness," notes
 Belcher.  "Although our print sector revenues were comparable to the same
 period last year, sales for our supply-chain management sector rose 53 percent
 in the quarter.  This sector of our business provides outsourcing services for
 a variety of industries, in particular computer hardware and software.  Our
 strong performance during a time when many technology companies are reporting
 slower growth testifies to the strength of our customer relationships and the
 value we bring as an outsourcing partner."
     Supply-chain management first quarter operating earnings increased
 five-fold over the same period in 2000.  Last year's first quarter included
 additional start-up costs related to Banta's contract with Compaq Computer.
 "Activity in Europe was stronger than in the U.S.," notes Belcher, "as we
 expanded service to a number of customers and benefited from full ramp-up of
 our contract with Compaq."
     Banta's printing businesses are feeling the effects of the economic
 slowdown and additional energy costs.  "We experienced lower-than-expected
 demand for educational print products, negatively affecting utilization rates
 for our book operations," says Belcher.  "Major state educational adoption
 processes are underway, however our customers' inventories are higher than at
 this time last year, thus we have not yet benefited from the normal uptick in
 demand.  We remain confident that 2001 will be another good year for
 educational print production, although volume will be below last year's record
 levels."
     The corporation's direct marketing operations showed continued
 improvement, benefiting from numerous productivity improvement initiatives and
 increased demand for personalized print materials produced on Banta's in-line
 imaging systems.  Although sales for direct marketing increased only
 marginally from last year's first quarter, the Group achieved strong
 double-digit gains in operating profit.
     "Our special-interest magazine units continued their growth in sales and
 earnings during the quarter," he said.  "However, reductions in advertising
 page counts during the first three months of the year lowered the Publications
 Group's quarterly growth rate to the mid-single digits from its recent history
 of double-digit increases."
     A steep rise in natural gas and electricity costs, and higher employee
 healthcare expenses reduced profitability for all print groups.  Utility costs
 alone increased first quarter expenses by $1.3 million or 3 cents per share.
     The performance of Banta's Healthcare unit improved during the first
 quarter as product sourcing and productivity initiatives instituted in 2000
 benefited results.  The 2001 outlook for Banta Healthcare is much improved
 compared to last year.
     "We are encouraged by our first quarter performance, but remain cautious
 due to the continuing soft economy," explains Belcher.  "Our print operations
 achieved solid results and while we are positioned to capitalize on
 opportunities when the economy strengthens, and particularly when the expected
 increase in demand for educational products occurs, we are carefully managing
 our costs and capital structure.  We remain confident that our supply-chain
 sector will continue its aggressive growth as outsourcing services remain an
 essential and growing part of our customers' manufacturing strategies, and we
 continue to gain a greater share of their business.
     "Our dual business platform of print and supply-chain outsourcing services
 provides us with a predictably strong cash engine coupled with a strong growth
 sector.  The benefits of that combination were apparent during the first
 quarter and will continue to differentiate Banta in the months and years
 ahead."
     Projections for Banta's 2001 second quarter are for revenues and earnings
 to be comparable with the same period last year.  Supply-chain management
 results should be above last year's second quarter, while print revenues and
 earnings are expected to be lower.
     For the full year, in view of the continuing economic sluggishness and the
 sharp rise in energy costs, Banta management has reduced its 2001 earnings per
 share expectation from a range of $2.53 to $2.58, to a range of  $2.40 to
 $2.48, before the one-time charge for XYAN.com.  Despite the adjustment, Banta
 continues to be pleased with the performance and competitive positioning of
 its various businesses, and expects to achieve record 2001 sales and earnings
 per share.
     Banta Corporation is a technology and market leader in printing and
 supply-chain management.  Banta provides a comprehensive combination of
 printing and digital imaging solutions to leading publishers and direct
 marketers, including advanced digital content management and e-business
 services.  Banta's supply-chain management businesses provide a wide range of
 outsourcing capabilities to the world's largest technology companies.
 Services range from component procurement, product assembly and packaging to
 inventory control and global distribution.
     Banta will host a conference call to discuss its first quarter results
 Wednesday, Apr. 25 at 9:30 a.m. CDT.  This call will be simultaneously
 broadcast in the Investor Relations area of Banta's Web site at
 http://www.banta.com .  A replay of the live call will be available for
 10 days.
 
     "Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
      of 1995:
     This news release includes forward-looking statements.  Statements that
 describe future expectations, including revenue and earnings projections,
 plans, results or strategies, are considered forward-looking.  Such statements
 are subject to certain risks and uncertainties which could cause actual
 results to differ materially from those currently anticipated.  Factors that
 could affect actual results include, among others, changes in customers' order
 patterns or demand for the corporation's products and services, changes in raw
 material costs and availability, unanticipated changes in operating expenses,
 unanticipated production difficulties, and general changes in economic
 conditions.  These factors should be considered in evaluating the
 forward-looking statements, and undue reliance should not be placed on such
 statements.  The forward-looking statements included herein are made as of the
 date hereof, and Banta undertakes no obligation to update publicly such
 statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.
     An electronic version of this news release, as well as other information
 about Banta Corporation, is available through the company's Web site at
 http://www.banta.com
 
 
                                 Banta Corporation
                      Condensed Consolidated Income Statement
                      ($000's omitted, except per share data)
 
                                                      3 Months Ended March
                                                     2001              2000
 
     Net Sales                                     $372,777          $341,534
     Cost of Sales                                  305,381           275,027
     Gross Profit                                    67,396            66,507
 
     SG&A Expense                                    46,815            45,870
     Earnings from Operations                        20,581            20,637
 
     Other Income (Expense)
       Interest Expense                              (4,011)           (3,890)
       Write-off of Investment                      (12,500)               --
       Other, net                                       162              (353)
     Earnings before Income Taxes                     4,232            16,394
 
     Provision for Income Taxes                       1,600             6,500
     Net Income                                      $2,632            $9,894
 
     Basic Earnings per Share
       Before investment write-off                    $0.41             $0.39
       After investment write-off                     $0.11             $0.39
 
     Diluted Earnings per Share
       Before investment write-off                    $0.41             $0.39
       After investment write-off                     $0.11             $0.39
 
     Average Shares Outstanding:
     Basic                                           24,589            25,494
     Diluted                                         24,720            25,494
 
     Composite Tax Rate                                37.8%             39.6%
 
                              SEGMENT INFORMATION
 
     Net Sales
 
     Printing and digital imaging                  $256,009          $256,516
     Supply-chain management                         91,795            60,009
     Healthcare                                      24,973            25,009
                                                   $372,777          $341,534
 
     Earnings from Operations
 
     Printing and digital imaging                   $17,424           $20,732
     Supply-chain management                          5,833             1,223
     Healthcare                                       2,537             2,615
 
       Segment earnings from operations              25,794            24,570
       Unallocated corporate expenses                (5,213)           (3,933)
       Interest expense                              (4,011)           (3,890)
       Write-off of investment                      (12,500)               --
       Other expense                                    162              (353)
       Earnings before income taxes                  $4,232           $16,394
 
                      MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X77577253
 
 SOURCE  Banta Corporation