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Owens Corning Quarterly Loss: $117M

January 29, 1998

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) _ Owens Corning on Thursday said it had a net loss of $117 million in the fourth quarter because of costs associated with a company-wide restructuring program.

The company, one of the world’s largest suppliers of building and industrial materials, said its loss came to $2.20 a diluted share. That compared with a profit of $70 million, or $1.26 a share, in the fourth quarter of 1996.

The loss includes special after tax charges totalling $119 million for restructuring and other actions. Excluding the special charges, Owens Corning posted a net profit of $2 million, or 5 cents a diluted share.

That was below the 8 cents a share expected by analysts surveyed by First Call Corp. But Owens Corning was up 43.75 cents a share at $28.50 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Revenue for the quarter rose 24 percent to $1.24 billion from $1 billion.

Owens Corning announced earlier this month that it would cut 2,200 of the company’s 24,000 jobs _ or 9 percent of its work force _ to reduce costs in the face of dropping insulation prices.

Company officials said the restructuring will allow the building materials maker to remain healthy and provide money needed to invest in the business.

``Our restructuring programs are expected to decrease operating costs by about $100 million in 1998, and by an additional $75 million when fully implemented in 1999, resulting in ongoing savings of $175 million per year,″ Owens Corning Chairman Glen Hiner said in a statement Thursday.

For all of 1997, Toledo-based Owens Corning earned $47 million, or 88 cents a diluted share, compared with a net loss of $284 million, or a loss of $5.54 a share, in 1996. The loss in 1996 included a $541 million after-tax asbestos charge and other special items.

Sales for the year rose 14 percent to $4.37 billion, from $3.83 billion.

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