Eastern Company Reports Solid First Quarter Earnings

4/10/2000 11:21:00 AM

NAUGATUCK, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 10, 2000--The Eastern Company (AMEX:EML) today reported increased first quarter sales and earnings compared to the same period in 1999.

Commenting on Eastern's first quarter, Leonard F. Leganza, President and CEO, said, "Earnings for this first quarter increased to $1.5 million (or $.42 per basic share) which represents a 3% increase over the earnings reported in the previous year's first quarter. Sales of $20.2 million for this same period increased 4% compared to the same period in 1999.

Mr. Leganza continued, "Of particular significance in this first quarter has been the strong business activity at our Industrial Hardware Group including a high level of incoming orders. The new product line for operating the doors on school and commuter buses that we acquired in February of this year has been integrated into our Eberhard facilities in Cleveland and is meeting our early expectations. In addition, we have also acquired two product lines from Hansen International Inc. These proprietary locks are used to secure the lids of tool boxes that are installed in the beds of pickup trucks and other service vehicles. This acquisition represents a natural adjunct to Eberhard's core line of vehicular hardware. It will soon be moved into our Canadian manufacturing facilities in Tillsonburg, Ontario."

Mr. Leganza concluded, "The year 2000 should provide some interesting and challenging opportunities for the Eastern Company. We anticipate continued activity in making acquisitions which will strengthen our present positions in the niche markets that we serve, particularly in the Industrial Hardware market. As a result, we are looking forward to 2000 as being another good year for Eastern in both sales and earnings."

The Eastern Company manufactures and markets a broad range of locks, latches, fasteners and other security hardware that meets the diverse security and safety needs of industrial and commercial customers. Headquartered in Naugatuck, CT, the Eastern Company has seven manufacturing locations in the U.S.A., Canada, Mexico, China and Taiwan.

Forward-Looking Statement: 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 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.

Statement of Consolidated Income (unaudited)

                                   THREE Months Ended

                               13 wks             13 wks
                            April 1, 2000      April 3, 1999

Net Sales                   $20,214,419         $19,383,654

Net Income After Tax          1,508,462           1,462,747

Net Income Per Share:
    Basic                         $0.42               $0.40
    Diluted                       $0.41               $0.39

Weighted average
 shares outstandings:
    Basic                     3,634,356           3,622,085
    Diluted                   3,717,448           3,750,106

CONTACT: The Eastern Company
John Dibble, 203/729-2255, Ext. 102