The Eastern Company Reports Solid Results for 2000 Year-End and Fourth Quarter

1/23/2001 10:51:00 AM

NAUGATUCK, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 23, 2001--The Eastern Company (AMEX:EML) a leading manufacturer of vehicular and industrial hardware, locks, metal castings, coin collection and smart card products, today announced the results of its fourth-quarter and full year 2000 operations. Sales for the full year 2000 were a record $88.2 million, which is an increase of 18 percent when compared to sales of $74.7 million in 1999. Sales for the fourth quarter of 2000 were $23 million, compared to $17 million in 1999, an increase of 35%.

For the full year 2000 net income will increase to $7.1 million or $1.95 per basic share, compared to net income of $6.5 million or $1.80 per basic share, in 1999. Fourth-quarter net income will be $1.8 million, or $.51 per basic share which is comparable to the $1.8 million or $.50 per basic share reported in the fourth quarter of 1999.

Leonard F. Leganza, President and CEO stated, "The Industrial Hardware segment, including the two acquisitions announced earlier in the year and the Security Products segment which is now comprised of Greenwald Industries and our Custom Locks operation, continued their strong performance throughout the year. The integration of those acquisitions has gone along smoothly and I am optimistic about their future. In addition to our on-going internal initiatives we are continuing to search for other opportunities that will enhance and build on the many niche markets which we serve." Leganza continued, "While sales for the fourth quarter and full year 2000 showed impressive gains over the prior year periods, our income results in the fourth quarter were effected by lower profit margins experienced in the metal casting segment of the company as a result of stronger foreign competition in the contract casting business."

The Eastern Company manufactures and markets a broad range of locks, latches, fasteners, coin collection and smart card products and other security hardware that meets the diverse security and safety needs of industrial and commercial customers. Headquartered in Naugatuck, CT, the Company has eight manufacturing locations in the U.S.A., Canada, Mexico and the Pacific Rim.

Forward-Looking Statements: 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 the many economic uncertainties that affect the Company's business environment. Further information about the potential factors which could affect the Company's financial result 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.

Statement of Consolidated Income (unaudited)

                     THREE Months Ended      TWELVE Months Ended

                     13 wks      13 wks        52 wks      52 wks
                    Dec. 30,     Jan. 1,      Dec. 30,     Jan. 1, 
                       2000        2000          2000        2000

Net Sales       $22,958,047 $17,023,423   $88,192,294 $74,678,420

Net Income
 After Tax        1,840,004   1,825,476     7,055,489   6,537,932

Net Income Per Share:
 Basic                $0.51       $0.50         $1.95       $1.80
 Diluted              $0.50       $0.49         $1.93       $1.75 

Weighted average
 shares outstandings:
 Basic            3,618,007   3,628,336     3,621,449   3,626,001
 Diluted          3,662,476   3,716,511     3,660,923   3,738,899

CONTACT: The Eastern Company
Leonard F. Leganza
John L. Sullivan III
(203) 729-2255