NL Industries, Inc. Reports First Quarter Results

Apr 23, 2001, 01:00 ET from NL Industries, Inc.

    HOUSTON, April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- NL Industries,
 Inc. (NYSE:   NL) today reported net income for the first quarter of 2001 of
 $.69 per diluted share, including $.14 per diluted share of after-tax
 insurance settlement gains related to environmental remediation.  Net income
 in the first quarter of 2000 was $.46 per diluted share.
     Operating income of Kronos' titanium dioxide pigments ("TiO2") business in
 the first quarter of 2001 increased 12% to $51.9 million compared to
 $46.2 million in the first quarter of 2000.  The improved operating income is
 primarily due to higher average selling prices in billing currencies and
 higher production volume, partially offset by lower sales volume.
     Kronos' average selling price in billing currencies (which excludes the
 effects of foreign currency translation) during the first quarter of 2001 was
 5% higher than the first quarter of 2000 and 1% lower than the fourth quarter
 of 2000.  Compared to the fourth quarter of 2000, prices were lower in all
 major markets.  The average selling price in billing currencies in March was
 1% lower than the average selling price during the first quarter.  Kronos'
 first-quarter 2001 average selling price expressed in U.S. dollars computed
 using actual foreign currency exchange rates prevailing during the respective
 periods was 1% higher than the first quarter of 2000 and 2% higher than the
 fourth quarter of 2000.
     Dr. Lawrence A. Wigdor, Kronos' President and Chief Executive Officer,
 stated, "Market conditions in the TiO2 industry have generally stalled our
 efforts to increase prices.  Worldwide economic conditions will determine
 whether any price increases will be realized during the remainder of the
 year."
     Kronos' first-quarter 2001 sales volume decreased 7% from the record first
 quarter of 2000 and increased 11% from the fourth quarter of 2000.  Sales
 volume in the first quarter of 2001 was 7% and 11% lower in Europe and North
 America, respectively, compared to the first quarter of 2000 while export
 volume increased by 7%.  Compared to the fourth quarter of 2000, sales volume
 increased by more than 10% in each of Kronos' major markets.  Finished goods
 inventory levels at the end of March increased slightly from December 2000
 levels and represent about two months of sales.
     First-quarter 2001 production volume was 2% higher than the comparable
 2000 period with operating rates near full capacity in both periods.
 Production at the Company's Leverkusen facility was adversely affected late in
 the first quarter by the previously reported fire.  Production rates at the
 Company's Leverkusen chloride-process plant returned to full capacity on
 April 8th, and the Company's Leverkusen sulfate-process plant is expected to
 be over 50% operational in August 2001 and fully operational in October 2001.
     The Company believes that the damages to property and the business
 interruption losses caused by the fire are covered by insurance.  No insurance
 proceeds have been recognized during the first quarter of 2001 for the
 business interruption portion of the loss because the amount of such proceeds
 is presently not determinable.  No provision for impairment of the damaged
 fixed assets has been recognized because the Company believes the insurance
 proceeds will exceed their carrying value.
     As previously reported, an agreement was reached in January 2001 with the
 remaining members of NL's remaining principal former insurance carrier group
 to settle certain insurance coverage claims.  The Company recognized a
 $10.3 million net pretax gain in the first quarter of 2001.  A majority of the
 proceeds from the settlement were transferred by the remaining members of the
 insurance carrier group in April to a special-purpose trust established to pay
 future remediation and other environmental expenditures of the Company.
     J. Landis Martin, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "NL
 posted another strong quarter and concluded its negotiations with its primary
 former insurance carrier group.  However, we expect earnings per share in the
 second quarter to be lower than the first quarter of 2001, excluding the
 first-quarter settlement gain.  Our second-quarter outlook recognizes that
 industry fundamentals have weakened due to slowing worldwide economies."
     The Company's net debt at March 31, 2001 was $77 million (total debt of
 $263 million less cash of $186 million).
     A conference call regarding NL's earnings announcement is scheduled for
 April 23, 2001 at 11:00 a.m. (EDT).  Mr. Martin will host the call.
 Participants can access the call by dialing 800-450-0819 (domestic) and
 612-332-1020 (international).  The passcode is NL Earnings.  A taped replay of
 the call will be available after 2:30 p.m. (EDT) the day of the call through
 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on April 30, 2001 by calling 800-475-6701 (domestic) and
 320-365-3844 (international), and using access code 582103.  The call will
 also be broadcast live on the Internet at StreetEvents.com and an online
 replay will be available approximately one hour after the call.
     NL Industries, Inc. is a major international producer of titanium dioxide
 pigments.
 
     The statements in this release (and statements made in the conference call
 referred to above) relating to matters that are not historical facts are
 forward-looking statements that represent management's beliefs and assumptions
 based on currently available information.  Forward-looking statements can be
 identified by the use of words such as "believes," "intends," "may," "will,"
 "should," "anticipates," "expects," or comparable terminology or by
 discussions of strategy or trends.  Although the Company believes that the
 expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it
 cannot give any assurances that these expectations will prove to be correct.
 Such statements by their nature involve risks and uncertainties, including,
 but not limited to, the cyclicality of the titanium dioxide industry, global
 economic and political conditions, global productive capacity, customer
 inventory levels, changes in product pricing, changes in product costing,
 changes in foreign currency exchange rates, competitive technology positions,
 operating interruptions (including, but not limited to, labor disputes, leaks,
 fires, explosions, unscheduled downtime and transportation interruptions),
 recoveries from insurance claims and the timing thereof, the ultimate
 resolution of pending or possible future lead pigment litigation and
 legislative developments related to the lead paint litigation, the outcome of
 other litigation, and other risks and uncertainties detailed in the Company's
 Securities and Exchange Commission filings.  Should one or more of these risks
 materialize (or the consequences of such a development worsen), or should the
 underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially
 from those forecasted or expected.  The Company assumes no duty to update any
 forward-looking statements.
 
 
                              NL INDUSTRIES, INC.
                  CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
              (In millions, except per share and metric ton data)
                                  (Unaudited)
 
                                                           Quarters ended
                                                              March 31,
                                                          2001       2000
 
     Revenues and other income:
       Net sales                                          $226.1     $231.0
       Other income, excluding corporate                     1.2        1.7
                                                           227.3      232.7
 
     Cost of sales                                         149.9      159.3
     Selling, general and administrative,
      excluding corporate                                   25.5       27.2
       Operating income                                     51.9       46.2
 
     Corporate income (expense):
       Securities earnings                                   2.6        1.7
       Litigation settlement gains, net and other income    11.6        1.1
       Expenses                                             (6.8)      (6.1)
       Interest expense                                     (7.0)      (7.9)
 
        Income before income taxes and minority interest   52.3       35.0
 
     Income tax expense                                     17.1       11.2
 
         Income before minority interest                    35.2       23.8
 
     Minority interest                                        .6         .1
 
         Net income                                       $ 34.6     $ 23.7
 
     Earnings per share - net income:
       Basic                                              $  .69     $  .47
       Diluted                                            $  .69     $  .46
 
     Weighted average shares used in the calculation
      of earnings per share:
       Basic shares                                         50.1       50.9
       Dilutive impact of stock options                       .2         .3
       Diluted shares                                       50.3       51.2
 
     Metric tons in thousands:
       Sales volumes                                         103        111
       Production volume                                     108        106
 
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SOURCE NL Industries, Inc.
    HOUSTON, April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- NL Industries,
 Inc. (NYSE:   NL) today reported net income for the first quarter of 2001 of
 $.69 per diluted share, including $.14 per diluted share of after-tax
 insurance settlement gains related to environmental remediation.  Net income
 in the first quarter of 2000 was $.46 per diluted share.
     Operating income of Kronos' titanium dioxide pigments ("TiO2") business in
 the first quarter of 2001 increased 12% to $51.9 million compared to
 $46.2 million in the first quarter of 2000.  The improved operating income is
 primarily due to higher average selling prices in billing currencies and
 higher production volume, partially offset by lower sales volume.
     Kronos' average selling price in billing currencies (which excludes the
 effects of foreign currency translation) during the first quarter of 2001 was
 5% higher than the first quarter of 2000 and 1% lower than the fourth quarter
 of 2000.  Compared to the fourth quarter of 2000, prices were lower in all
 major markets.  The average selling price in billing currencies in March was
 1% lower than the average selling price during the first quarter.  Kronos'
 first-quarter 2001 average selling price expressed in U.S. dollars computed
 using actual foreign currency exchange rates prevailing during the respective
 periods was 1% higher than the first quarter of 2000 and 2% higher than the
 fourth quarter of 2000.
     Dr. Lawrence A. Wigdor, Kronos' President and Chief Executive Officer,
 stated, "Market conditions in the TiO2 industry have generally stalled our
 efforts to increase prices.  Worldwide economic conditions will determine
 whether any price increases will be realized during the remainder of the
 year."
     Kronos' first-quarter 2001 sales volume decreased 7% from the record first
 quarter of 2000 and increased 11% from the fourth quarter of 2000.  Sales
 volume in the first quarter of 2001 was 7% and 11% lower in Europe and North
 America, respectively, compared to the first quarter of 2000 while export
 volume increased by 7%.  Compared to the fourth quarter of 2000, sales volume
 increased by more than 10% in each of Kronos' major markets.  Finished goods
 inventory levels at the end of March increased slightly from December 2000
 levels and represent about two months of sales.
     First-quarter 2001 production volume was 2% higher than the comparable
 2000 period with operating rates near full capacity in both periods.
 Production at the Company's Leverkusen facility was adversely affected late in
 the first quarter by the previously reported fire.  Production rates at the
 Company's Leverkusen chloride-process plant returned to full capacity on
 April 8th, and the Company's Leverkusen sulfate-process plant is expected to
 be over 50% operational in August 2001 and fully operational in October 2001.
     The Company believes that the damages to property and the business
 interruption losses caused by the fire are covered by insurance.  No insurance
 proceeds have been recognized during the first quarter of 2001 for the
 business interruption portion of the loss because the amount of such proceeds
 is presently not determinable.  No provision for impairment of the damaged
 fixed assets has been recognized because the Company believes the insurance
 proceeds will exceed their carrying value.
     As previously reported, an agreement was reached in January 2001 with the
 remaining members of NL's remaining principal former insurance carrier group
 to settle certain insurance coverage claims.  The Company recognized a
 $10.3 million net pretax gain in the first quarter of 2001.  A majority of the
 proceeds from the settlement were transferred by the remaining members of the
 insurance carrier group in April to a special-purpose trust established to pay
 future remediation and other environmental expenditures of the Company.
     J. Landis Martin, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "NL
 posted another strong quarter and concluded its negotiations with its primary
 former insurance carrier group.  However, we expect earnings per share in the
 second quarter to be lower than the first quarter of 2001, excluding the
 first-quarter settlement gain.  Our second-quarter outlook recognizes that
 industry fundamentals have weakened due to slowing worldwide economies."
     The Company's net debt at March 31, 2001 was $77 million (total debt of
 $263 million less cash of $186 million).
     A conference call regarding NL's earnings announcement is scheduled for
 April 23, 2001 at 11:00 a.m. (EDT).  Mr. Martin will host the call.
 Participants can access the call by dialing 800-450-0819 (domestic) and
 612-332-1020 (international).  The passcode is NL Earnings.  A taped replay of
 the call will be available after 2:30 p.m. (EDT) the day of the call through
 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on April 30, 2001 by calling 800-475-6701 (domestic) and
 320-365-3844 (international), and using access code 582103.  The call will
 also be broadcast live on the Internet at StreetEvents.com and an online
 replay will be available approximately one hour after the call.
     NL Industries, Inc. is a major international producer of titanium dioxide
 pigments.
 
     The statements in this release (and statements made in the conference call
 referred to above) relating to matters that are not historical facts are
 forward-looking statements that represent management's beliefs and assumptions
 based on currently available information.  Forward-looking statements can be
 identified by the use of words such as "believes," "intends," "may," "will,"
 "should," "anticipates," "expects," or comparable terminology or by
 discussions of strategy or trends.  Although the Company believes that the
 expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it
 cannot give any assurances that these expectations will prove to be correct.
 Such statements by their nature involve risks and uncertainties, including,
 but not limited to, the cyclicality of the titanium dioxide industry, global
 economic and political conditions, global productive capacity, customer
 inventory levels, changes in product pricing, changes in product costing,
 changes in foreign currency exchange rates, competitive technology positions,
 operating interruptions (including, but not limited to, labor disputes, leaks,
 fires, explosions, unscheduled downtime and transportation interruptions),
 recoveries from insurance claims and the timing thereof, the ultimate
 resolution of pending or possible future lead pigment litigation and
 legislative developments related to the lead paint litigation, the outcome of
 other litigation, and other risks and uncertainties detailed in the Company's
 Securities and Exchange Commission filings.  Should one or more of these risks
 materialize (or the consequences of such a development worsen), or should the
 underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially
 from those forecasted or expected.  The Company assumes no duty to update any
 forward-looking statements.
 
 
                              NL INDUSTRIES, INC.
                  CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
              (In millions, except per share and metric ton data)
                                  (Unaudited)
 
                                                           Quarters ended
                                                              March 31,
                                                          2001       2000
 
     Revenues and other income:
       Net sales                                          $226.1     $231.0
       Other income, excluding corporate                     1.2        1.7
                                                           227.3      232.7
 
     Cost of sales                                         149.9      159.3
     Selling, general and administrative,
      excluding corporate                                   25.5       27.2
       Operating income                                     51.9       46.2
 
     Corporate income (expense):
       Securities earnings                                   2.6        1.7
       Litigation settlement gains, net and other income    11.6        1.1
       Expenses                                             (6.8)      (6.1)
       Interest expense                                     (7.0)      (7.9)
 
        Income before income taxes and minority interest   52.3       35.0
 
     Income tax expense                                     17.1       11.2
 
         Income before minority interest                    35.2       23.8
 
     Minority interest                                        .6         .1
 
         Net income                                       $ 34.6     $ 23.7
 
     Earnings per share - net income:
       Basic                                              $  .69     $  .47
       Diluted                                            $  .69     $  .46
 
     Weighted average shares used in the calculation
      of earnings per share:
       Basic shares                                         50.1       50.9
       Dilutive impact of stock options                       .2         .3
       Diluted shares                                       50.3       51.2
 
     Metric tons in thousands:
       Sales volumes                                         103        111
       Production volume                                     108        106
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X81779121
 
 SOURCE  NL Industries, Inc.