Ralston Purina Announces Second Quarter Earnings

Apr 23, 2001, 01:00 ET from Ralston Purina Company

    ST. LOUIS, April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Ralston
 Purina Company (NYSE:   RAL) today announced second quarter earnings before
 unusual items of $77,900,000 compared to pro forma earnings from continuing
 operations before unusual items of $79,900,000 in the prior year.  Pro forma
 comparisons are necessary because Ralston spun off its Battery Products
 business on April 1, 2000.  Earnings decreased primarily on lower equity
 earnings from the Company's investment in Interstate Bakeries Corporation
 (IBC), partially offset by lower interest expense.  Earnings per share before
 unusual items were $.27 on a basic and diluted basis, compared to pro forma
 earnings per share from continuing operations before unusual items of $.28 on
 a basic and diluted basis a year ago.  Second quarter sales were $706,100,000,
 compared to $690,800,000 in the prior year second quarter.
     For the current six months, sales and earnings before unusual items were
 $1,437,400,000 and $159,000,000, respectively, compared to sales and pro forma
 earnings from continuing operations before unusual items of $1,419,100,000 and
 $168,900,000 in the prior year six-month period.  The earnings decrease for
 the six months resulted primarily from lower equity earnings from the
 Company's investment in IBC and lower operating earnings, partially offset by
 lower interest expense.  Basic and diluted earnings per share before unusual
 items were $.55 and $.54, respectively, for the current six months, compared
 to pro forma earnings per share from continuing operations before unusual
 items of $.58 on a basic and diluted basis a year ago.
 
     Segment Results
     Sales for North American Pet Foods increased 1 percent in the quarter and
 were flat in the six months as higher pricing and a favorable product mix were
 partially offset in the quarter and offset in the six months by lower volumes
 and an unfavorable size mix.
     Profitability for this segment was flat in the quarter and declined
 3 percent in the six months.  In the quarter, the sales increase combined with
 lower advertising and promotion expenses was offset by higher ingredient
 costs.  The six-month decline resulted from unfavorable ingredient costs,
 partially offset by decreased advertising and promotion expenses.
     International Pet Foods' sales increased 2 percent in the quarter and
 4 percent in the six months.  These increases resulted primarily from volume
 growth in the Americas and Asia, partially offset by decreased sales in
 Northern Europe due to lower volumes and unfavorable foreign exchange.
     Profitability for this segment decreased 14 percent in the quarter and
 16 percent in the six months primarily due to decreased volumes in Northern
 Europe, expenses associated with expansion in the Asian market and unfavorable
 foreign exchange.
     Sales for Golden Products increased 10 percent in the quarter and
 12 percent in the six months due to volume increases in scooping litter and
 new product introductions in the third quarter of the prior year.
     Profitability for Golden Products was flat in the quarter and increased
 3 percent in the six months as the sales increase was offset in the quarter
 and partially offset in the six months by increased product costs and
 increased advertising and promotion expenses.
 
     Net Earnings
     Net earnings for the second quarter of $54,400,000, or $.19 per basic and
 diluted share, include two unusual items that decreased net earnings by
 $23.5 million, or $.08 per basic and diluted share, as follows:  a net
 after-tax loss on investments of $4.3 million, or $.01 per basic and diluted
 share; and after-tax merger-related costs associated with the pending merger
 between the Company and Nestle S.A., primarily adjustments to employee-related
 liabilities denominated in share equivalents or tied to stock performance and
 transaction costs, of $19.2 million, or $.07 per basic and diluted share.
     Prior year second quarter net earnings of $143,000,000, or $.49 per basic
 and diluted share, include several unusual items that increased net earnings
 by $76.6 million, and a net loss from the discontinued Battery Products
 operations of $8.1 million.  Unusual items in the quarter include the
 following:  an after-tax gain on investments of $7.1 million, or $.02 per
 basic and diluted share; an unrealized after-tax gain of $38.4 million, or
 $.13 per basic and diluted share, representing a market value adjustment of
 the Company's stock appreciation income linked securities (SAILS); and capital
 loss tax benefits totaling $31.1 million, or $.11 per basic and diluted share.
     Net earnings for the current six months were $135,800,000, or $.47 and
 $.46 per basic and diluted share, respectively.  These results include a net
 after-tax loss on investments of $4.0 million and the merger-related costs
 discussed above for the current quarter.
     Net earnings for the prior year six months were $385,800,000, or $1.33 and
 $1.32 per basic and diluted share, respectively.   In addition to the gain on
 investments and capital loss tax benefits noted above as impacting net
 earnings in the prior year second quarter, the prior year six-month earnings
 include an unrealized after-tax gain representing a market value adjustment of
 the Company's SAILS of $86.8 million and net earnings from the discontinued
 Battery Products operations of $99.6 million.
 
     Editor's Note:
     On January 16, 2001, the Company and Nestle S.A. announced that they have
 entered into a definitive merger agreement.  For more information, please
 refer to Ralston's definitive proxy statement filed April 17, 2001.
 
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SOURCE Ralston Purina Company
    ST. LOUIS, April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Ralston
 Purina Company (NYSE:   RAL) today announced second quarter earnings before
 unusual items of $77,900,000 compared to pro forma earnings from continuing
 operations before unusual items of $79,900,000 in the prior year.  Pro forma
 comparisons are necessary because Ralston spun off its Battery Products
 business on April 1, 2000.  Earnings decreased primarily on lower equity
 earnings from the Company's investment in Interstate Bakeries Corporation
 (IBC), partially offset by lower interest expense.  Earnings per share before
 unusual items were $.27 on a basic and diluted basis, compared to pro forma
 earnings per share from continuing operations before unusual items of $.28 on
 a basic and diluted basis a year ago.  Second quarter sales were $706,100,000,
 compared to $690,800,000 in the prior year second quarter.
     For the current six months, sales and earnings before unusual items were
 $1,437,400,000 and $159,000,000, respectively, compared to sales and pro forma
 earnings from continuing operations before unusual items of $1,419,100,000 and
 $168,900,000 in the prior year six-month period.  The earnings decrease for
 the six months resulted primarily from lower equity earnings from the
 Company's investment in IBC and lower operating earnings, partially offset by
 lower interest expense.  Basic and diluted earnings per share before unusual
 items were $.55 and $.54, respectively, for the current six months, compared
 to pro forma earnings per share from continuing operations before unusual
 items of $.58 on a basic and diluted basis a year ago.
 
     Segment Results
     Sales for North American Pet Foods increased 1 percent in the quarter and
 were flat in the six months as higher pricing and a favorable product mix were
 partially offset in the quarter and offset in the six months by lower volumes
 and an unfavorable size mix.
     Profitability for this segment was flat in the quarter and declined
 3 percent in the six months.  In the quarter, the sales increase combined with
 lower advertising and promotion expenses was offset by higher ingredient
 costs.  The six-month decline resulted from unfavorable ingredient costs,
 partially offset by decreased advertising and promotion expenses.
     International Pet Foods' sales increased 2 percent in the quarter and
 4 percent in the six months.  These increases resulted primarily from volume
 growth in the Americas and Asia, partially offset by decreased sales in
 Northern Europe due to lower volumes and unfavorable foreign exchange.
     Profitability for this segment decreased 14 percent in the quarter and
 16 percent in the six months primarily due to decreased volumes in Northern
 Europe, expenses associated with expansion in the Asian market and unfavorable
 foreign exchange.
     Sales for Golden Products increased 10 percent in the quarter and
 12 percent in the six months due to volume increases in scooping litter and
 new product introductions in the third quarter of the prior year.
     Profitability for Golden Products was flat in the quarter and increased
 3 percent in the six months as the sales increase was offset in the quarter
 and partially offset in the six months by increased product costs and
 increased advertising and promotion expenses.
 
     Net Earnings
     Net earnings for the second quarter of $54,400,000, or $.19 per basic and
 diluted share, include two unusual items that decreased net earnings by
 $23.5 million, or $.08 per basic and diluted share, as follows:  a net
 after-tax loss on investments of $4.3 million, or $.01 per basic and diluted
 share; and after-tax merger-related costs associated with the pending merger
 between the Company and Nestle S.A., primarily adjustments to employee-related
 liabilities denominated in share equivalents or tied to stock performance and
 transaction costs, of $19.2 million, or $.07 per basic and diluted share.
     Prior year second quarter net earnings of $143,000,000, or $.49 per basic
 and diluted share, include several unusual items that increased net earnings
 by $76.6 million, and a net loss from the discontinued Battery Products
 operations of $8.1 million.  Unusual items in the quarter include the
 following:  an after-tax gain on investments of $7.1 million, or $.02 per
 basic and diluted share; an unrealized after-tax gain of $38.4 million, or
 $.13 per basic and diluted share, representing a market value adjustment of
 the Company's stock appreciation income linked securities (SAILS); and capital
 loss tax benefits totaling $31.1 million, or $.11 per basic and diluted share.
     Net earnings for the current six months were $135,800,000, or $.47 and
 $.46 per basic and diluted share, respectively.  These results include a net
 after-tax loss on investments of $4.0 million and the merger-related costs
 discussed above for the current quarter.
     Net earnings for the prior year six months were $385,800,000, or $1.33 and
 $1.32 per basic and diluted share, respectively.   In addition to the gain on
 investments and capital loss tax benefits noted above as impacting net
 earnings in the prior year second quarter, the prior year six-month earnings
 include an unrealized after-tax gain representing a market value adjustment of
 the Company's SAILS of $86.8 million and net earnings from the discontinued
 Battery Products operations of $99.6 million.
 
     Editor's Note:
     On January 16, 2001, the Company and Nestle S.A. announced that they have
 entered into a definitive merger agreement.  For more information, please
 refer to Ralston's definitive proxy statement filed April 17, 2001.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X65945832
 
 SOURCE  Ralston Purina Company