Wednesday, December 26, 2001

Hawaiian Natural
Water parent posts
$2 mil loss in quarter

Amcon, whose stock has risen
17.8% since the merger, also
declared a 3-cents-a-share dividend

By Dave Segal

Amcon Distributing Co., which last week acquired Hawaiian Natural Water Co. for $2.87 million in an all-stock deal, said it lost $2 million for the fourth quarter ended Sept. 28 amid continuing restructuring of the company's businesses.

The Omaha, Neb.-based distributor of consumer products, which said integration of its Merchants Wholesale Inc. acquisition in Quincy, Ill., has been slower than expected, saw earnings fall to 73 cents per share compared with a gain of about $300,000, or 11 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

For the fiscal year, Amcon posted a net loss from continuing operations of $1.8 million, or a loss of 65 cents per share, compared with income of $4.3 million, or $1.51 a share, in the year-ago period.

Net sales for the fourth quarter and fiscal year increased to record highs of $226.1 million and $582 million, respectively, compared with $118.6 million and $424.7 million for the same periods of the prior year.

Amcon sold its unprofitable natural food products wholesale distribution business in March.

Meanwhile, the company also declared a dividend of 3 cents per share, payable Jan. 18 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 31.

Hawaiian Natural shareholders will be eligible for the dividend since Amcon's acquisition of the company closed Dec. 17.

Amcon's stock, which was unchanged today at $4.64, is up 30.3 percent this year. The shares have risen 17.8 percent since completion of the merger. Its dividend yields 2.6 percent.

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