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Mohawk raises caution flag on heels of 4Q loss

CALHOUN, GA -Fourth-quarter profits dipped by 3.1 percent at Mohawk Industries Inc., and the giant carpet and home fashions producer cautioned that earnings through the first half of 2001 could fall sharply from year-ago levels.

With the U.S. economy slowing down and costs climbing sharply higher, Mohawk said first-quarter profits will fall short of year-ago levels by 15 percent to 20 percent. And though business is expected to pick up steam during the second quarter, earnings will still drop off about 5 percent to 10 percent, the company forecast.

With natural gas and higher utility costs putting pressure on the bottom line, along with raw material costs, fourth-quarter profits slipped modestly, to $39.3 million from $40.2 million last year.

Sales advanced by 3.1 percent, to $799.4 million from $775.5 million, most of the gain stemming from internal growth. Sales resulting from the fourth-quarter acquisition of the Crown Crafts woven products division will have a greater impact on the current first quarter.

Mohawk Industries Inc.


Qtr. 12/31 (x000) 2000 1999 %CHG

Sales

$799,441

$775,547

3.1

Oper. Income (EBIT)

75,429

74,231

1.6

Net income

39,262a

40,175a

-2.3

Per share (diluted)

0.74

0.70

5.7

Average gross margin

25.3%

25.1%

-

SG & A expenses

15.9%

15.5%

-

12 months

2000

1999

%CHG

Sales

3,255,846

3,083,264

5.6

Oper. Income (EBIT)

317,115

293,797

7.6

Net income

162,599b

157,239b

3.4

Per share (diluted)

3.00

2.61

14.9

Average gross margin

25.3%

25.2%

-

SG & A expenses

15.5%

15.6%

-


a-Fourth-quarter results include miscellaneous expenses of $1.6 million, compared with year-ago income of $864,000.

b-12-month results were reduced by a $7 million settlement of a class action lawsuit. Results include miscellaneous expenses of $4.4 million vs. $2.3 million the preceding year.

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