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Worthington Industries Announces First Quarter Results: Earnings Per Share Up 50%


Columbus, Ohio, September 22, 1999 -- Worthington Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: WTHG) today reported results for the three months ended August 31, 1999. For the quarter, earnings per diluted share from continuing operations were $0.27, and increase of 50 percent from $0.18 last year.

For the fiscal 2000 first quarter, earnings were $24.3 million compared to $17.7 million from continuing operations for the same period a year ago. Earnings from continuing operations increased 37 percent and, per share, grew 50 percent due to a reduced share count in the comparative quarters. Earnings rose due to strong demand in all segments and favorable material costs.

The company's net earnings for the fiscal 2000 first quarter also compare favorably to net earnings for the fiscal 1999 first quarter of $8.5 million and $0.09 per diluted share, which included a $1.3 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, loss from discontinued operations and a $7.8 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, accounting change.

For the first quarter of fiscal 2000, sales were $463 million, an increase of 13 percent from $409 million last year. Strong volumes in the cylinder and processed steel segments, which included increasing sales from the startup processed steel facilities in Delta, Ohio, and Decatur, Alabama, and at Spartan Steel Coating, compared favorably to the GM strike depressed first quarter last year.

The startup facility at Decatur negatively impacted earnings per share by $0.05 this quarter, compared to $0.06 last quarter, and $0.02 in the first quarter last year when the facility was only partially operational. In addition, Y2K compliance efforts cost $0.04 in earnings per share this quarter.

"We are pleased with these tangible results from our increasing focus on core operations and the significant capital investments of recent years," said John P. McConnell, Chairman and CEO of Worthington Industries. "Improvements in operations at our newer steel processing facilities, Delta, Monroe, and Spartan Steel Coating, as well as a strong performance in our metal framing business, Dietrich Industries [a 1996 acquisition], helped drive earnings growth," added John S. Christie, President and Chief Operating Officer.

Worthington Industries is a leading diversified metal processing company with annual sales of approximately $2 billion. The Columbus, Ohio, based Company is North America's premier value-added steel processor and a leader in manufactured metal products such as automotive aftermarket stampings, pressure cylinders, metal framing, metal ceiling grid systems and laser welded blanks. The Company employs 7,500 people and operates 53 facilities in 11 countries.

Founded in 1955, the Company operates under a long-standing 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 startups, 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.

THE YEAR 2000 STATEMENTS CONTAINED HEREIN ARE YEAR 2000 READINESS DISCLOSURES (as defined under the Year 2000 Information and Readiness Act) and shall be treated as such for all purposes permissible under such Act. These statements are based on management's analysis of all information obtained to date and use what management believes to be reasonable assumptions in estimating costs, project timing, and the occurrence of future events. There can be no assurance that actual costs will not exceed any stated estimates, that all possible Year 2000 issues will be resolved by the stated times, or that there will be no adverse impact on the Company due to system failures caused by either internal or external Year 2000 issues.

(in Thousands, Except Per Share)

Three Months Ended
August 31,




Net Sales:


Processed Steel Products

$ 300,404

$ 253,102

Metal Framing



Pressure Cylinders






Total Net Sales




Cost of Goods Sold



Gross Margin




Selling, General & Administrative



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