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Michael Anthony Sells 2-Million-Share Offering

NEW YORK -- Boosted by a recent earnings turnaround and improved jewelry sales, Michael Anthony Jewelers sold a secondary offering of 2 million shares at $8 a share on Dec. 28 and may sell more.<BR><BR>The company said the 2 million shares had been...

NEW YORK — Boosted by a recent earnings turnaround and improved jewelry sales, Michael Anthony Jewelers sold a secondary offering of 2 million shares at $8 a share on Dec. 28 and may sell more.

The company said the 2 million shares had been sold and the offering was oversubscribed. There is a 30-day period for the underwriters to purchase up to 300,000 additional shares if they choose.

The firm sold 1.6 million shares and raised $11.7 million after expenses. Co-chairmen Michael Paolercio, who is chief executive officer, and his brother Anthony Paolercio, executive vice president, each offered 200,000 shares, raising a total of $3.2 million for themselves. After the sale, the co-chairmen own an aggregate of about 28 percent of the outstanding common stock and will continue to control the company. A cousin of the co-chairmen, Michael Anthony Paolercio, is the firm’s treasurer.

The company’s proceeds will be used for working capital, expansion, possible acquisitions and general corporate purposes.

In the first fiscal quarter ended Sept. 30, 1993, the company earned $692,000, or 10 cents a share, against $26,000 a year earlier. Sales were up 23 percent, to $27.8 million from $22.6 million in the year-ago quarter. The firm attributed the jump to increased shipments to discounters, increased sales of rope chain, and an 8 percent rise in the average price of gold against the year-ago price. For the year ended June 30, 1993, earnings rebounded to $1.6 million, or 23 cents, from a loss of $369,000. Fiscal 1992 results included a $2.9 million charge from a stock issue related to early termination of employment agreements, up from a $1.8 million charge in 1991. Earnings in 1992 were also hurt by a $500,000 one-time charge related to distribution of the cash value of life insurance policies transferred by the company to Michael and Anthony Paolercio. Sales in 1992 totaled $112.7 million, down 6.2 percent from $120.2 million a year earlier. Michael Anthony Jewelers went public in 1986, issuing 1.2 million shares at $9 a share.

The company makes gold jewelry retailing for $20 to $200. It has licensing agreements with Playboy, Warner Brothers and major sports leagues.

The company sells to retailers and wholesalers and has branched out into mass merchants, discount stores, catalogs and the Home Shopping Network. Wal-Mart Stores, J.C. Penney Co., Montgomery Ward and Kmart are among the company’s customers.

The stock closed Friday at 8 3/8, up 1/4 on the American Stock Exchange.