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Apogee reports earnings turnaround

US specialty glass producer Apogee Enterprises Inc., reported earnings from continuing operations in its 3 March 2001 fourth quarter of US$ 4.18 million versus a loss of US$ 2.04 million the previous …

US specialty glass producer Apogee Enterprises Inc., reported earnings from continuing operations in its 3 March 2001 fourth quarter of US$ 4.18 million versus a loss of US$ 2.04 million the previous year. Sales were lower at US$ 194.3 million compared to US$ 212.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2000. Earnings per share from continuing operations in the fourth quarter were US cents 0.15 versus a loss of US cents 0.07 in the same quarter a year ago. For the year ended 3 March 2001, Apogee reported net earnings from continuing operations of US$ 13.4 million versus US$ 3.07 million the previous year. Sales for fiscal 2001 were US$ 865.2 million versus US$ 840.5 million the year before. Earnings per share from continuing operations for fiscal 2001 were US cents 48 versus US cents11 in the corresponding period a year earlier. Apogee said it remains comfortable with its estimate of fiscal 2002 earnings from continuing operations, which is being revised upward reaching US cents 64 to 74 a share from US cents 60 to 70 a share. The latest estimate predicts continuing operations earnings growth of 15% to 20%. Apogee said it boosted its estimate to reflect a reduction in the anticipated effective tax rate to 31%, due to changes in applicable tax statutes. Despite the slowing economy, the company said it continues to see growth opportunities, particularly in the custom portion of the construction market, and in the art and picture framing industry. In addition, the company entered fiscal 2002 with about six months backlog in its largest segment: architectural products and services. Apogee expects fiscal 2002 revenue to grow in the single digits after being adjusted for forming its PPG Auto Glass joint venture, to then be offset by continued funding of the TerraSun joint venture. The company anticipates a slight improvement in gross margin percentage during fiscal 2002, as operating efficiencies are partially offset by labor, material and energy cost increases, and also expects US$ 25 million to 30 million in capital spending in fiscal 2002.

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