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Worthington Industries Announces First Quarter Results


Columbus, Ohio, September 17, 1998 -- Worthington Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: WTHG) today reported results for the three months ended August 31, 1998. For the quarter, net earnings from continuing operations were $17.7 million compared to $21.0 million for the previous year and earnings per share from continuing operations were $.18 versus $.22 last year. Sales increased 6% to $409.3 million, a first quarter record for continuing operations.

Net earnings and net earnings per share, which include the Company's discontinued operations, were $16.4 million and $.17 respectively, compared to $22.8 million and $.24 for the previous year.

"We are pleased with the results generated by our continuing operations," said John P. McConnell, Worthington's Chairman & Chief Executive Officer. "Strong performances from our metal fabricating operations partially offset the negative impact from two facility start-ups and the prolonged strike at General Motors." The Company estimates the impact of these items was $.05 on continuing operations and $.09 including discontinued operations.

"Our facility start-ups are proceeding extremely well," McConnell continued. "The Decatur, Alabama steel processing operation, our largest to date, remains ahead of schedule and will position us for significant growth in the southeastern United States. Both our hot dipped galvanizing joint venture with Rouge Steel and the rebuilding of our Monroe, Ohio pickling facility, which was destroyed in a fire last year, are progressing on or ahead of schedule. We expect these operations to begin contributing to earnings by fiscal year end."

"We continued to make progress during the quarter on our strategic efforts to focus the Company on its core competencies. We sold our scrap recycling business, I.H. Schlezinger Inc., and reached an agreement to sell the Worthington Precision Metals business and the garage door division of our metal framing business," McConnell added.

During the quarter the Company repurchased approximately 4.2 million shares of its stock and the Board of Directors recently increased the repurchase authorization by 10 million additional shares.

"The fundamentals of our continuing operations are strong," concluded McConnell. "We expect earnings to improve incrementally throughout the year as our new operations increase their revenue stream."

Worthington Industries is focused on value-added steel processing and metals related industries. The Company operates under a long-standing, simple corporate philosophy rooted in the golden rule, with earning money for its shareholders as the first corporate goal. This philosophy, an unwavering commitment to the customer, and one of the strongest employee/employer partnerships in American industry, serve as the Company's foundation.

Safe Harbor Statement
The Company wishes to take advantage of the Safe Harbor provisions included in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the Act"). Statements by the Company relating to future revenues and growth, stock appreciation, plant start-ups, capabilities, the impact of year 2000 and other statements which are not historical information constitute "forward looking statements" within the meaning of the Act. All forward looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ from those projected. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, the following: general economic conditions; conditions in the Company's major markets; competitive factors and pricing pressures; product demand and changes in product mix; changes in pricing or availability of raw material, particularly steel; delays in construction or equipment supply; year 2000 issues, and other risks described from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

(In thousands, except per share)

First Quarter Ended August 31,1998



% Change

Net Sales





Earnings (Loss) From:


Continuing Operations




Discontinued Operations, Net of Taxes




Net Earnings





Average Common Shares Outstanding





Earnings Per Share (Diluted)


Continuing Operations




Discontinued Operations




Net Earnings




*Results reflect the custom products and cast products business segments as discontinued operations.

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Cathy Mayne Lyttle

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