Lincoln Electric Reports 2001 First-Quarter Financial Results

* EPS of 52 cents slightly exceeds expectations

* Net income of $22 million or 8.7% of net sales



Apr 18, 2001, 01:00 ET from Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc.

    CLEVELAND, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc.
 (Nasdaq: LECO), today reported first-quarter 2001 net income of $22 million,
 or 52 cents per diluted share, slightly exceeding its earlier earnings
 forecast.  The quarter's net income compares with $24.4 million, or 56 cents
 per diluted share for the 2000 first quarter.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000126/LECOLOGO )
     Continued softening of the North American industrial markets resulted in
 first-quarter sales of $252.6 million, a decrease from $281.8 million in the
 year-ago quarter.
     "Our earnings slightly exceeded our earlier forecast," said
 Anthony A. Massaro, Lincoln Electric's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
 "Given the softness in the industrial segments of North American markets and
 the general weakness confronting our customers' businesses, we are pleased
 with the results.  Net income of 8.7% of sales is very respectable
 performance."
     Lincoln's U.S. operations had first-quarter sales of $166.2 million,
 compared with $192.2 million in the comparable 2000 quarter. Export sales were
 $14.9 million, compared with $15.2 million a year earlier, reflecting the
 continuing effect of a strong dollar.
     Non-U.S. sales in the quarter were $86.4 million, compared with
 $89.6 million in the 2000 first quarter. In local currencies, non-U.S. sales
 were up 3.4%, compared with the 2000 first quarter.
     Mr. Massaro said, "As I have mentioned before, we see lower orders through
 the first half of this year, especially here in North America. We are,
 however, continuing our aggressive control over costs as a matter of course.
 We are also benefiting from a lower tax rate in 2001. With active management
 of costs, working capital and productivity improvements, we believe we will be
 able to maintain our profitability and positive cash flow."
     The Company's cash flow from operations in the quarter was $14.3 million.
     A quarterly cash dividend of 15 cents per share was paid on April 14, 2001
 to shareholders of record on March 30, 2001.
     The Company also said that its Annual Meeting of Shareholders is scheduled
 for 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 1, 2001, at Wellington Center, Highland Heights,
 Ohio.
     Lincoln Electric is the world leader in the design, development and
 manufacture of arc welding products, robotic welding systems, and a world
 leader in plasma and oxyfuel cutting equipment.  Headquartered in Cleveland,
 Lincoln has manufacturing operations, joint ventures and alliances in 18
 countries and a worldwide network of distributors and sales offices covering
 more than 160 countries.
     The Company's expectations and beliefs concerning the future contained in
 this news release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the
 Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These statements reflect
 management's current expectations and involve a number of risks and
 uncertainties.  Actual results may differ materially from such statements for
 a variety of factors that could adversely affect the Company's operating
 results.  The factors include, but are not limited to: the effectiveness of
 operating initiatives; currency exchange and interest rates; adverse outcome
 of pending or potential litigation; and the duration of the slowdown in North
 American demand.
 
                        Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc.
                              Financial Highlights
                  (amounts in millions, except per share data)
                                  (Unaudited)
 
                                                 Three Months to March 31,
     Consolidated Income Statement             2001              2000
 
     Net Sales                                $252.6  100.0%    $281.8  100.0%
     Cost of Goods Sold                        169.2   67.0%     185.7   65.9%
     Gross Profit                               83.4   33.0%      96.1   34.1%
     SG&A Expenses                              50.2   19.9%      56.7   20.1%
     Operating Profit                           33.2   13.1%      39.4   14.0%
     Interest Income                             0.2    0.1%       0.1    0.0%
     Other Income (Expense)                     (0.2)  (0.1%)      0.8    0.3%
     Interest Expense                            1.8    0.7%       1.9    0.7%
     Income Before Income Taxes                 31.4   12.4%      38.4   13.6%
     Income Taxes                                9.4    3.7%      14.0    4.9%
     Net Income                                 22.0    8.7%      24.4    8.7%
 
     Diluted Earnings Per Share                 0.52              0.56
 
     Weighted Average Diluted
       Shares Outstanding                       42.5              43.7
 
     Cash Dividends Paid Per Share             $0.15             $0.14
 
                                                        March 31,  December 31,
     Selected Consolidated Balance Sheet Data             2001        2000
 
     Cash and Cash Equivalents                            $9.1       $11.3
     Total Current Assets                                430.8       416.1
     Net Property, Plant and Equipment                   263.8       269.0
     Total Assets                                        795.5       790.3
     Total Current Liabilities                           249.7       248.3
     Short-Term Debt                                      51.8        55.1
     Long-Term Debt                                       36.6        38.6
     Total Shareholders' Equity                          453.0       447.3
 
                                                      Three Months to March 31,
     Selected Consolidated Cash Flow Data                 2001        2000
 
     Cash Flow from Operations                           $14.3       $51.2
     Capital Expenditures (excluding acquisitions)         7.8        11.1
     Acquisitions and Equity Investments                     -        19.1
     Purchase (Issuance) of Common Shares for Treasury    (0.6)       37.7
     Increase (Decrease) in Cash and Cash Equivalents     (2.2)        2.0
     Depreciation and Amortization                         8.9         8.4
     Dividends Paid                                        6.4         6.2
 
 

SOURCE Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc.
    CLEVELAND, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc.
 (Nasdaq: LECO), today reported first-quarter 2001 net income of $22 million,
 or 52 cents per diluted share, slightly exceeding its earlier earnings
 forecast.  The quarter's net income compares with $24.4 million, or 56 cents
 per diluted share for the 2000 first quarter.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000126/LECOLOGO )
     Continued softening of the North American industrial markets resulted in
 first-quarter sales of $252.6 million, a decrease from $281.8 million in the
 year-ago quarter.
     "Our earnings slightly exceeded our earlier forecast," said
 Anthony A. Massaro, Lincoln Electric's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
 "Given the softness in the industrial segments of North American markets and
 the general weakness confronting our customers' businesses, we are pleased
 with the results.  Net income of 8.7% of sales is very respectable
 performance."
     Lincoln's U.S. operations had first-quarter sales of $166.2 million,
 compared with $192.2 million in the comparable 2000 quarter. Export sales were
 $14.9 million, compared with $15.2 million a year earlier, reflecting the
 continuing effect of a strong dollar.
     Non-U.S. sales in the quarter were $86.4 million, compared with
 $89.6 million in the 2000 first quarter. In local currencies, non-U.S. sales
 were up 3.4%, compared with the 2000 first quarter.
     Mr. Massaro said, "As I have mentioned before, we see lower orders through
 the first half of this year, especially here in North America. We are,
 however, continuing our aggressive control over costs as a matter of course.
 We are also benefiting from a lower tax rate in 2001. With active management
 of costs, working capital and productivity improvements, we believe we will be
 able to maintain our profitability and positive cash flow."
     The Company's cash flow from operations in the quarter was $14.3 million.
     A quarterly cash dividend of 15 cents per share was paid on April 14, 2001
 to shareholders of record on March 30, 2001.
     The Company also said that its Annual Meeting of Shareholders is scheduled
 for 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 1, 2001, at Wellington Center, Highland Heights,
 Ohio.
     Lincoln Electric is the world leader in the design, development and
 manufacture of arc welding products, robotic welding systems, and a world
 leader in plasma and oxyfuel cutting equipment.  Headquartered in Cleveland,
 Lincoln has manufacturing operations, joint ventures and alliances in 18
 countries and a worldwide network of distributors and sales offices covering
 more than 160 countries.
     The Company's expectations and beliefs concerning the future contained in
 this news release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the
 Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These statements reflect
 management's current expectations and involve a number of risks and
 uncertainties.  Actual results may differ materially from such statements for
 a variety of factors that could adversely affect the Company's operating
 results.  The factors include, but are not limited to: the effectiveness of
 operating initiatives; currency exchange and interest rates; adverse outcome
 of pending or potential litigation; and the duration of the slowdown in North
 American demand.
 
                        Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc.
                              Financial Highlights
                  (amounts in millions, except per share data)
                                  (Unaudited)
 
                                                 Three Months to March 31,
     Consolidated Income Statement             2001              2000
 
     Net Sales                                $252.6  100.0%    $281.8  100.0%
     Cost of Goods Sold                        169.2   67.0%     185.7   65.9%
     Gross Profit                               83.4   33.0%      96.1   34.1%
     SG&A Expenses                              50.2   19.9%      56.7   20.1%
     Operating Profit                           33.2   13.1%      39.4   14.0%
     Interest Income                             0.2    0.1%       0.1    0.0%
     Other Income (Expense)                     (0.2)  (0.1%)      0.8    0.3%
     Interest Expense                            1.8    0.7%       1.9    0.7%
     Income Before Income Taxes                 31.4   12.4%      38.4   13.6%
     Income Taxes                                9.4    3.7%      14.0    4.9%
     Net Income                                 22.0    8.7%      24.4    8.7%
 
     Diluted Earnings Per Share                 0.52              0.56
 
     Weighted Average Diluted
       Shares Outstanding                       42.5              43.7
 
     Cash Dividends Paid Per Share             $0.15             $0.14
 
                                                        March 31,  December 31,
     Selected Consolidated Balance Sheet Data             2001        2000
 
     Cash and Cash Equivalents                            $9.1       $11.3
     Total Current Assets                                430.8       416.1
     Net Property, Plant and Equipment                   263.8       269.0
     Total Assets                                        795.5       790.3
     Total Current Liabilities                           249.7       248.3
     Short-Term Debt                                      51.8        55.1
     Long-Term Debt                                       36.6        38.6
     Total Shareholders' Equity                          453.0       447.3
 
                                                      Three Months to March 31,
     Selected Consolidated Cash Flow Data                 2001        2000
 
     Cash Flow from Operations                           $14.3       $51.2
     Capital Expenditures (excluding acquisitions)         7.8        11.1
     Acquisitions and Equity Investments                     -        19.1
     Purchase (Issuance) of Common Shares for Treasury    (0.6)       37.7
     Increase (Decrease) in Cash and Cash Equivalents     (2.2)        2.0
     Depreciation and Amortization                         8.9         8.4
     Dividends Paid                                        6.4         6.2
 
 SOURCE  Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc.

RELATED LINKS

http://www.lincolnelectric.com