NEW YORK-- June 23, 1998-- At a meeting with institutional investors, Leonard F. Leganza, president and chief executive officer of The Eastern Company
(AMEX: EML), announced that he expects Eastern to report the highest
quarterly financial results in the company's 140-year-old history.
Eastern, a leading manufacturer of locks, latches, and industrial
hardware, anticipates that it will report second-quarter net income of
approximately $1.3 million, or between $0.50 and $0.55 per basic
share, which compares to 1997's second-quarter net income of $833,000
or $0.30 per basic share. Eastern's expected second-quarter earnings
will mark the sixth consecutive quarter that the Company has reported
higher earnings. Sales for the second quarter of 1998 are expected to
be in the range of $18 million to $20 million, compared with $16.9
million in 1997.
Leganza stated, ``We continue to see growth in each of the
market areas that we serve. Incoming orders have been strong and our
sales backlog continues to grow. The financial goals and business
plans that were put in place in mid-1997 are providing us with the
framework necessary for producing strong results. In addition to our
solid financial performance, we also raised our annual dividend to
shareholders during the quarter -- the second increase in our dividend
in the past six months.''
During the meeting, Leganza commented, ``Eastern's product
diversity is a true asset. For example, our Eberhard division
continues to enjoy success with its latching devices used for
compartments on upscale sport pick-up trucks while it also expands its
position as the nation's top producer of heavy locking bars for truck
trailers. Our Frazer & Jones division is continuing to win new
contract casting business and a major domestic motorcycle manufacturer
is planning to use our locks for its soon-to-be-introduced models. The
combination of these and other initiatives now underway should
contribute to our performance in 1998 and beyond.''
Leganza also discussed his outlook for 1998, stating,
``Previously, Eastern had announced that it anticipated 20 to 30
percent earnings growth in 1998 on sales growth in the range of 10 to
20 percent. Given our expected second-quarter results and our growth
initiatives, we continue to believe that these projections are sound.
In addition, we remain committed to exploring strategic alliances that
will allows us to expand our current market positions or enable us to
enter new, but related markets.''
Eastern expects to release its second-quarter results during the
week of July 13, 1998.
The Eastern Company manufactures and markets a broad range of
locks, latches, fasteners and industrial hardware that meets the
diverse security needs of industrial and commercial customers.
Headquartered in Naugatuck, Conn., the company has seven operating
locations in the U.S.A., Canada, Mexico and the Pacific Rim. It has
paid consecutive quarterly dividends since 1940.
Information in this news release contains statements which
reflect the company's current expectations regarding its future
operating performance and achievements. Actual results may differ due
to many economic uncertainties that affect the company's business
environment. Further information about the potential factors which
could affect the company's financial results are included in the
company's reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange
Commission. The company is not obligated to update or revise the
aforementioned statements for those new developments.
The Eastern Company
John Dibble, 203/729-2255, Ext. 241
Amy Gordon, 203/729-2255, Ext. 232