Financial Releases

Raven Industries Reports Record 1st-Qtr; Sales Climb 16 Percent; Record Net Income Rose 18 Percent, EPS Up 16 Percent to 44 Cents From 38 Cents

May 14, 1997 at 12:00 AM EDT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., May 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Raven Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: RAVN) announced today that net sales for its first quarter ended April 30, 1997, rose 16 percent to a record $35.7 million from the year- earlier's $30.9 million. The company said "strong deliveries of plastic tanks bolstered top-line results for the quarter." Net earnings for the quarter, also a rcord, totaled $2.13 million, or 44 cents per share, up 16 percent from the 38 cents per share a year ago. Outstanding common shares increased over last year's first quarter by 121,000 shares mainly due to the company's acquisition of Norcore in January 1997.

Operating income increased 16 percent to $3.29 million from $2.83 million in the first quarter of last year while pretax earnings were up 19 percent to $3.33 million.

Plastics Segment Sales for Raven's Plastics Segment grew 28 percent in the first quarter to $17.92 million from $13.98 million a year earlier. Glasstite pickup- truck toppers improved 11 percent while sales of engineered films rose 7 percent. Sales of plastic tanks jumped 71 percent over last year's first quarter, with 61 percent of the increase due to the acquisition of Norcore Plastics. Continued progress in the Glasstite topper line in both sales and operating results point to improved results through the rest of the current year over the year previous.

"New models are having success in the marketplace and operating improvements are beginning to show results," noted David A. Christensen, president and chief executive officer. Engineered Films sales and profits were at a relatively low level during the first quarter, but "improving sales and profitability is expected as we enter the construction season," Christensen noted. Operating income for this segment rose only 1 percent.

Electronics Segment With scheduled deliveries for Raven's contract electronics business down from last year's first quarter, overall segment sales at $12.16 million we up only 1 percent but operating income climbed 13 percent. Flow Control sales fell nearly $1 million short of Raven's planned level as new product introductions did not materialize in additional sales which were expected for the quarter. "However," noted CEO Christensen, "solid results on new products being field-tested have generated additional orders for product to be shipped in our second quarter. We believe that our agricultural electronics line will show solid growth for the year as our new products gain acceptance. We continue to realize improving manufacturing efficiencies in our contract electronics manufacturing." Christensen added that "with a solid backlog, contract manufacturing is also expected to show significant second-quarter improvement over last year's second quarter."

Sewn Products First-quarter sales were up 14 percent to $5.59 million over last year's $4.90 million while operating ncome more than tripled. The higher level of sales and operating efficiencies reached toward the end of last year continued into the first quarter, the company reported, as order volume continued at a strong pace.

"While overall compy results achieved in the quarter were close to targeted levels," Christensen said, "we believe there is considerable room for improvement in both sales and operating margins."

Raven Industries is a diversified manufacturer that supplies plastics, electronics and special-apparel products to various markets.