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Praegitzer Industries reports loss for last quarter, $25 million for year

TUALATIN

-- Praegitzer Industries lost $18.6 million in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended June 30, and $25 million for the fiscal year, the company reported this week.

The heavy losses were expected after the company announced a restructuring plan in early July. The company eliminated 158 jobs, including 50 in Oregon. Fifteen employees at the company's White City plant were laid off, leaving it with 378 workers.

The bulk of the losses were tied to the company's restructuring efforts, which revolve around the company's purchase and eventual closure of a troubled plant in Huntsville, Ala.

Praegitzer is suing Intergraph Corp., the Alabama plant's former owner, for providing inaccurate information about the plant. It is seeking $25 million in damages. Intergraph has also sued Praegitzer, accusing it of selling poor quality circuit boards that have hurt the company.

The losses have placed Praegitzer in a precarious financial position. The company disclosed that it is not in compliance with agreements it has made with lenders. However, officials say the company expects lenders to allow those agreements to be modified enough to allow Praegitzer to continue operating through the restructuring.

Even without the restructuring, the company operated at a loss for both the quarter and the year.

For the fourth quarter, it lost $4.7 million or 36 cents a share; in the fourth quarter of 1998, it made $15,000 -- basically break-even earnings on a per-share basis.

For the fiscal year, the company lost $1.8 million or 14 cents a share, compared to profits of $5.1 million or 40 cents a share in fiscal 1998. However, revenues for fiscal 1999 were a record-high $217.7 million, up from $182.8 million in 1998.

The earnings were reported after the close of trading Thursday. On Friday, the company's stock closed at $4.50 a share, down 6.25 cents a share.