FOURTH QUARTER 2000 EARNINGS
New York, NY, March 15, 2001......Standard Motor Products, Inc. (NYSE:SMP) automotive replacement parts manufacturer and distributor, reported its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2000, the three months ended December 31, 2000, and the full year 2000.
Net sales for the fourth quarter of 2000 were $116.6 million, 35.6% higher than net sales of $86 million during the comparable quarter of a year ago. Net losses for the fourth quarter of 2000 were $2 million or 18 cents per diluted share, compared to net losses of $17.6 million, or $1.36 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 1999. The fourth quarter of 1999 included $8 million for non-recurring items.
Net sales for the full year 2000 were $606.5 million, 7.9% lower than net sales of $658.2 million in 1999. Net earnings in 2000 were $9.7 million or 81 cents per diluted share, compared to $7.6 million or 58 cents per diluted share in 1999. Excluding extraordinary losses on the early extinguishment of debt in 2000 and 1999, net earnings for the full year 2000 were $10.2 million or 85 cents per diluted share, as compared to net earnings of $8.7 million or 66 cents per diluted share of a year ago.
Lawrence Sills, Chief Executive Officer, said, "The improvement in net sales for the quarter was a combination of approximately a $14 million increase in Engine Management net sales and a $17 million reduction in Temperature Control customer returns. The reduction in customer returns was a direct benefit from stricter return policies implemented in early 2000 and our 1999 decision to consolidate our Four Seasons and Cooper product offerings."
Mr. Sills added, "The full year 2000 net sales shortfall was entirely in Temperature Control products. As previously stated, the combination of customer inventory reduction efforts, the loss of a large retail account and a very cool and wet summer season in the northeast and mid-west, led to the net sales shortfall. We believe such inventory reduction efforts are essentially completed. In addition, with respect to the lost customer, such customer was reacquired in the beginning of 2001. Net sales in 2001 should be benefited by these factors; however, weather conditions as previously mentioned play a significant role in our Temperature Control business."
Mr. Sills stated, "Gross margins for the full year improved from 29.2% in 1999 to 31.4% in 2000. Gross margins improved in both Engine Management and Temperature Control divisions from cost reduction efforts and reduced customer returns."
Mr. Sills commented, "Inventories increased approximately $46 million over 1999 levels in both Engine Management and Temperature Control divisions due to the sales shortfall in Temperature Control and the build-up in Engine Management for a major new account. Inventory is expected to be dramatically reduced in 2001. It is our single highest priority."
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results, events and performance could differ materially from those contemplated by these forward looking statements. Among the factors that could cause actual results, events and performance to differ materially are risks and uncertainties discussed in this release and those detailed from time-to-time in prior public statements and the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's annual report on Form 10-K and the Company’s quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.