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Hechinger profits weak in 1st quarter

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Hechinger Co., a Landover-based home improvement chain, ran afoul of the weather during its snow-ridden first quarter, posting income of $3.2 million, or 8 cents a share -- well below its usual earnings for the period.

Sales were up 9 percent, to $479.1 million, but comparable store sales were down 3 percent for the quarter.

On their face, the earnings represent a turnaround from a loss of $51 million, or $1.22 a share, for the first quarter of 1992.

But the prior year's figure included a $57.3 million charge to cover the cost of converting its Hechinger stores division to a new format. Without that, the company would have posted operating income of 15 cents a share.

Hechinger chief executive John Hechinger Jr. said the weak earnings were largely the result of poor weather in February and March.

Hechinger Co.

Ticker.. .. .. .. .. ... .. ..Yesterday's

Symbol.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Cls.. .. .. .. ..Chg.

HECHA ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ..9 1/2 .. .. .. .. .. ..- 3/8

Period ended

May 1 .. .. .. .. .. 1st qtr.. .. .. .. .. ..Year ago.. .. .. .. .. Chg.

Revenue .. .. .. .. ..$481,557 .. .. .. .. .. $442,967 .. .. .. .. .+8.7%

Net Income .. .. .. ..$3,228 .. .. .. .. ... .$(51,041).. .. .. .. .. --

Primary EPS .. .. .. ..$0.08 .. .. .. .. .. ..($1.22).. .. .. .. .. .. --

Figures in thousands (except per share data.)

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