Eastern Company Reports Record Earnings For 1999

1/26/2000 3:06:00 PM

NAUGATUCK, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 26, 2000--The Eastern Company (AMEX:EML) today reported record sales and earnings performance for the full year 1999.

Net income for the year 1999 increased 20 percent to $6.5 million (or $1.80 per basic share), compared to net income of $5.4 million (or $1.49 per basic share) for 1998. Sales for 1999 increased 6 percent to $74.7 million, compared to $70.7 million in the previous year.

Fourth quarter net earnings for 1999 increased 27 percent to a record $1.8 million (or $.50 per basic share) on sales of $17.0 million. This compares to net earnings of $1.4 million (or $.40 per basic share) on sales of $17.0 million in the fourth quarter of 1998.

Leonard F. Leganza, Eastern's President and CEO, stated, "1999 was another outstanding year for our Company. It culminated with the reporting of our twelfth consecutive quarter of record earnings. An important highlight to note was our 23 percent Return on Investment."

Mr. Leganza continued, "Year 2000 should produce some interesting challenges and opportunities. In addition to our recently announced acquisition of a manufacturer of school bus door latches and controls, we have several other new product initiatives that are coming on stream. Two examples are a new latch design for digital wireless phone equipment and also a latch system used to secure the cover on the rear bed of the new generation of vehicles which combine the features of both the sport utility and the pickup truck." Leganza concluded, "Incoming orders and backlogs are strong at all seven of our plant locations, and we are optimistic that the year 2000 will be another prosperous one for the Eastern Company."

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

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 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)

                               THE EASTERN COMPANY (AMEX-EML)

                       THREE Months Ended        TWELVE Months Ended

                        13 wks     13 wks        52 wks     52 wks
                  Jan. 1, 2000 Jan. 2, 1999  Jan. 1, 2000 Jan. 2, 1999

Net Sales           $17,023,423  $16,988,642 $74,678,420  $70,749,529

Net Income After Tax  1,825,475    1,441,277   6,537,931    5,443,187

Net Income Per Share:
          Basic      $     0.50  $      0.40 $      1.80  $      1.49
          Diluted    $     0.49  $      0.39 $      1.75  $      1.43

Weighted average
 shares outstandings:
          Basic       3,628,336    3,580,835   3,626,001    3,645,360
          Diluted     3,716,511    3,716,165   3,738,899    3,799,302