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Tue, Aug 15, 2000
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Sunbeam stock swoons after second-quarter losses exceed forecast

MIAMI — Sunbeam Corp. shares fell nearly 17 percent Monday after the appliance maker announced a wider-than-expected second quarter loss that fell well short of Wall Street expectations.

Sunbeam, based in Boca Raton, Fla., posted a second-quarter loss of was $80.2 million, or 75 cents per share, compared with $46.9 million, or 47 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding $27 million in one-time charges, the company lost $54 million, or 50 cents per share, for the quarter ended June 30. Analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial had forecast a loss of 33 cents per share.

Efraim Levy, an analyst at S&P; Equity Group in New York, called the report "disappointing'' and said he will continue to tell his company's clients to avoid Sunbeam stock. He said the company currently has $2 billion worth of debt, which it cannot pay down.

"They are not generating enough cash,'' he said.

Shares of Sunbeam closed down 43.7 cents at $2.188 on the New York Stock Exchange, recovering somewhat after a 19 percent swoon.

Sunbeam, which primarily makes appliances, other household goods and camping gear, blamed its poor performance on customers no longer buying generators and outdoor equipment in preparation for possible Y2K power outages.

Second quarter sales fell 8 percent to $610 million, compared with $661 million in 1999.

"We underestimated the degree to which the sale of Y2K-related products, mostly Powermate generators and to a lesser degree Coleman cooking and lighting products, impacted our results in 1999,'' chairman and CEO Jerry W. Levin said in a statement.

Levy said Sunbeam should not have been surprised by declining sales in those product lines.

"Management is supposed to anticipate such factors,'' the analyst said. "Sunbeam had the benefit of those sales last year -- this year it's payback time.''

Levin also announced that the company plans to sell its Oster Professional Products Division, which makes professional barber and hairstyling equipment, saying it no longer fits within the company's line of consumer-based products.

Levy said the sale would not have much impact on the company's long-term profits.

For the first six months of 2000, Sunbeam said it lost $140 million or $1.30 per share, compared to $108 million or $1.07 per share during the first half of 1999.

Sales for the first half of the year were $1.15 billion, compared with $1.18 billion during the same period last year.

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