Isaacs' earnings jump while sales decline; delisting is possible


I. C. Isaacs & Co. Inc., a Baltimore- and New York-based sportswear maker, reported a hefty jump in first-quarter earnings yesterday, despite a slight dip in sales.

The company also alerted its stockholders that its shares could be delisted from the Nasdaq stock market.

I. C. Isaacs sells full lines of sportswear for men, women and boys in the United States, Europe and Puerto Rico under the licensed brand names of Beverly Hills Polo Club, Urban Expedition and Marithe and Francois Girbaud. It previously carried the BOSS line.

For the three months ended March 31, I. C. Isaacs reported net income of $639,000, equal to 8 cents per common share. In the corresponding quarter of 2000, the company earned $117,000, or 2 cents per share.

Net sales in the quarter totaled $24.5 million, a decline of 0.8 percent from $24.7 million for the like part of last year.

Concerning its stock listing, I. C. Isaacs reported that it has been notified by Nasdaq that the company fails to comply with the minimum required market value of public float and the number of shares outstanding and available for trading by the public. It also fails to meet Nasdaq's $1 minimum bid-price requirement. As a result, its securities are subject to delisting.

The company said it has requested a hearing before Nasdaq's qualifications panel to review the pending action, but warned that there is no assurance the panel will grant its request for continued listing. A hearing is expected to be held within 45 days. Until a final decision is made, I. C. Issacs' shares will continue to be listed.

I. C. Isaacs shares lost 8 cents yesterday to close at 60 cents. The company's shares last closed at a minimum of $1 on Dec. 15.

Robert J. Arnot, I. C. Isaacs' president and chief executive officer, said that, despite "a soft retail environment, sales of the Marithe and Francois Girbaud line continued to show significant growth."

Arnot said that during the quarter just ended the company was able to reduce its operating expenses by almost 9 percent compared with the corresponding part of 2000.

He attributed the reduction primarily to the company's termination of the royalty obligations under the BOSS license.

Looking ahead, Arnot said that while the company expects to report a loss for the second quarter, it anticipates that the deficit will be smaller than that reported for the second quarter of 2000.

For the year as a whole, he said, "it is our expectations that the continued success of Girbaud and reduced expenses will enable us to report a profit for the full year."

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