Wednesday, January 26, 2000


The Cincinnati Enquirer

        • AK Steel — The Middletown steel maker reported lower fourth-quarter and full-year earnings.

        For the three months ended Dec. 31, AK Steel said earnings were $42.2 million, or 38 cents a share, excluding costs from its acquisition of Armco Inc. In the same period last year, AK Steel reported net income of $63.6 million, or 59 cents a share.

        Including $65.6 million in pretax merger costs and special charges resulted in a net loss of $6.3 million, or 6 cents a share, for the latest period.

        Revenues were $1.09 billion on shipment of 1.59 million tons of steel. A year ago, revenues were $1.02 billion on shipment of 1.61 million tons. AK Steel said operating profit, excluding merger-related costs and charges, was $65 a ton in the fourth quarter and $56 a ton for the full year.

        For the year, AK Steel said earnings before Armco-related costs and special items were $172.8 million, or $1.59 a share, vs. net earnings of $329.7 million, or $3.06 a share, in the prior year.

        Revenues in 1999 totaled $4.3 billion on shipments of 6.5 million tons, vs. revenues a year earlier of $4.03 billion on shipment of 6.07 million tons.

        • Convergys Corp. — The Cincinnati provider of billing and customer management services reported double-digit gains in earnings and revenues for the fourth quarter and full year.

        For the three months ended Dec. 31, Convergys said net income, excluding special items, increased 26 percent to $43 million, or 28 cents a share, vs $34.1 million, or 22 cents a share, a year ago.

        The special charges in the latest quarter — which included write-offs for its cellular telephone partnership with Ameritech — amounted to 7 cents a share. Inclusion of those one-time items reduced fourth-quarter net earnings to $32.1 million, or 21 cents a share.

        Revenues increased 20 percent to $486.7 million from $404.7 million a year ago.

        For the year, Convergys said net income, excluding special items, increased 40 percent to $149.9 million, or 97 cents a share, from $107.4 million, or 75 cents a share, in the prior year.

        Revenues increased 22 percent to $1.76 billion from $1.45 billion in the prior year.

        • Johnson & Johnson — The owner of Ethicon Endo-Surgery in Blue Ash said fourth-quarter profit rose 12 percent on increased sales of surgical equipment and drugs.

        Profit from operations rose to $796 million, or 56 cents a share, from $712 million, or 50 cents. Sales rose 6.3 percent, to $6.9 billion.

        The company said sales in its professional segment increased 16 percent in fiscal 1999 to $9.9 billion in part due to Ethicon Endo-Surgery's stronger sales for minimally invasive and mechanical wound closure products.

        Mike Boyer contributed to this report.


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