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1993 FIN – TriMas & Elco Featured in Media Spotlight

October 14
00:00 2009

1993 FIN – TriMas & Elco Featured in Media Spotlight

November 30, 1993 FIN – TriMas Corp. and Elco Industries were the subject of recent press coverage and following are some of the things said about those companies by Barron’s and Crain’s Chicago Business.

TriMas Corp., Ann Arbor, Michigan, was the subject of a generally favorable piece in the November 22, 1993, Barron’s titled, “TriMas – Productivity keys gains at diversified manufacturer.”

TriMas is the parent company of Lake Erie Screw Corp., Eskay Screw Corp., Monogram Aerospace Fasteners Inc. and the new Frankfort Indiana fastener operation, TriMas Fasteners Inc.

The article says that TriMas president Brian Campbell believes that some economists are unduly pessimistic about the manufacturing activity in the U.S. and about prospects for economic growth – at least based on the present situation at Campbell’s own company.

Most of the units of TriMas, Campbell told Barron’s, are doing well, with the exception of fasteners for the aerospace industry.

Among the products that the company makes are towing systems for vehicles (enjoying record sales this year); industrial maintenance items; specialty container products; and fasteners and other components for automobiles, heavy-duty trucks, and construction.

Some other highlights of the article:

• Earnings this year are expected to be around $1 a share on sales of around $425 million (compared with a net income o $29.8 million or $.87 a share on sales of $388 million in 1992).

For 1994 the company is looking at earnings of about $1.20 or better.

• Sales per employee were $138,700 in 1992, more than twice that of U.S. manufacturing generally. This is expected to increase (with the employee count remaining at around 2,800) due to increasing use of automation and close attention to costs.

• Earnings growth is expected not only from productivity gains and cost control but also from introduction of new products (30% of last year’s revenues come from products introduced in the last four years).

New products will come both from the company’s own development program and from new lines picked up in acquisitions.

• The company’s balance sheet has been helped by a secondary offering of common stock in 1992 and a $100 million issue of convertible debentures this year (partly used to reduce bank debit) leaving the company with $70 million in cash.

For the historically minded, FIN’s files on TriMas include:

TriMas Corp. founded by Brian Campbell, a former Masco Corp. executive, was originally Campbell Industries Inc. from 1986 to October 1988 and Monogram Aerospace Fasteners Inc. in October 1991.

TriMas Fasteners Inc. the Frankfort, Indiana, plant which will eventually occupy about 275,000 sq ft, when finished and produce over 50 million pounds of screws annually (concentrating on standard hex cap screws, both inch and metric).

This facility will produce fasteners principally for Lake Erie Screw customers and sales will be handled by Lake Erie’s existing sales force. ©1993/2009

1993 FIN � Auto Recovery Boosting Elco
November 30, 1993 FIN – Elco Industries Inc., Rockford, Illinois, was the subject of an article titled “Elco fastening onto economy’s recovery” in the November 15, 1993, issue of Crain’s Chicago Business.

Characterizing Elco as a classic cyclical manufacturer, the article says that the company’s recent results (double digit sales gain after a draught persisting since the start of the 1990 recession) is evidence of an upturn in the economic cycle.

John C. Lutz, Elco’s CEO (succeeding Jack Packard, 66, who has retired) told Crain’s that the company was surprised by the results for the first fiscal quarter ended September 30.

Revenues for that 1993 quarter rose 13% to $46.6 million while earnings nearly doubled to $1.9 million of 39 cents a share.

Elco suffered its first loss ($2.5 million) in fiscal 1992 then rebounded with a net income of $5 million or 98 cents a share in the fiscal year ending June 30 when its sales rose 5% to $199.2 million.

The improvement, Lutz told Crain’s, can largely be traced to the auto industry which accounts for about half of Elco’s revenues. In the 1993 model year when North America car and truck production rose 9% to 12 million vehicles, Elco’s sales to the industry rose 10%.

Some other highlights of the article:

• On it’s sales of $28 million to GM, Elco lost $8 million, partly due to the demands of GM’s recently departed vice president of purchasing, J. Ignacio Lopez de Arriortua, for substantial price concessions.

• Rocknel Fastener Inc., an Elco joint venture with Nagoya Screw Manufacturing Co. Ltd. of Japan, set up to do business with Japanese automakers in the U.S., has so far been a disappointment, having forged ties with only Honda Motor Co.

Annual sales of Rocknell are now about $10 million but it’s still losing money.

One option, according to Crain’s, is the sale of Elco’s interest in Rocknel back to Nagoya. Another is renegotiating its pricing with Honda.

Elco Industries manufactures custom-designed fasteners and precision-engineered metal and plastic components for the industrial market, as well as packaged fasteners for the retail and construction markets.

The company operates Precision Automotive Division, Precision Commercial Division, Tool Manufacturing Division, Heat Treat and Finishes Division in Rockford, Illinois, and Precision Stamping Division in Logansport, Indiana.

Wholly-owned subsidiaries include Elco Consumer Products Corp., Rockford, Illinois; Thermoplastics, Inc., Mishawaka, Indiana and Anchor Wire Corp., of Tennessee, Goodlettsville, Tennessee. ©1993/2009

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