Experts: Company’s Restructuring Will Mean Narrower Focus, Higher Profits
NEWARK, (AP) _ A restructuring plan in the works at Allied-Signal Inc. will eventually trim the company to ″meet its strategic plan″ and improve its balance sheets, financial analysts said Tuesday.
″They are rationalizing a mammoth company that has $15 billion in sales into a more reasonable and more profitable entity,″ said Larry Lytton, vice president of research at Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc.
″They want to combine businesses that have common backgrounds and divest itself of companies that don’t fit in,″ he added.
Allied officials refused to comment on reports that they would announce a corporate restructuring on Wednesday. However, the Morris Township-based company scheduled a Wednesday morning news conference in New York to announce ″significant news.″
Company officials have said they would release in the fourth quarter a major plan to restructure the widely diverse organization.
″We’ve said previously that we were going to be carrying out a significant streamlining of our business that would include sales, divestiture and major cost reductions,″ Allied spokesman Michael Ascolese said Tuesday.
Ascolese said recommendations for changes ″are under review now,″ and would only add that the announcement would be made ″soon.″
The company is a result of a $13.5 billion merger of Allied Corp. of Morris Township and The Signal Cos. Inc. of La Jolla, Calif. Shareholders of the two companies approved the merger in September.
Allied brought to the deal its interests in synthetic fibers and industrial chemicals, as well as its holdings in oil, gas and aerospace.
Signal and its subsidiaries made jet engines for commercial and military aircraft, and had interests in electronics and recording technology.
Allied-Signal said it wants to narrow its focus, and will limit itself to aerospace, automotive products, chemicals and electronics.
Kathy Stults, vice president-research at Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. said that just before the merger, Allied and Signal had been in the process of shaking off its losing operations and narrowing down its interests.
″Both were very diverse companies,″ she said.
″You take two diverse companies and merge them and you get one more diverse company,″ said Lytton. ″The returns have been subpar.″
Lytton said he expects the company will write off a number of assets or discontinue some companies.
″They will be businesses that don’t meet its strategic plan,″ said Brian Corvese, a chemical analyst at Drexel.
Ms. Stults guessed the company would sell the Fisher Scientific Co., which supplies hospitals with laboratory equipment and chemicals, and its interests in its soda ash operations.
She said the company will use the cash from its sales to improve its competitive position.
Allied-Signal has already agreed to sell Bunker Ramo Information Systems to Automatic Data Processing Inc. of Roseland.
The contract for the sale was signed Friday, said ADP spokesman Art Weinbach. He said the closing should be completed within 60 days.
Bunker Ramo of Trumbull, Conn., makes and services electronic transaction systems, the computer terminals used in stock brokerages, banks and other financial service institutions.