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DUPONT LIFTS FORECAST: In a sign that the overall economic environment is proving to be a touch brighter than had been expected, DuPont last week said it expects its second-quarter results to beat analysts' estimates by as much as 21.8 percent. This...

DUPONT LIFTS FORECAST: In a sign that the overall economic environment is proving to be a touch brighter than had been expected, DuPont last week said it expects its second-quarter results to beat analysts’ estimates by as much as 21.8 percent. This marks the second consecutive quarter that DuPont has boosted its financial outlook.

The Wilmington, Del.-based industrial giant said it expects underlying earnings for the quarter to come in between 64 and 67 cents a share, ahead of the 56-cent First Call consensus. For comparison, the company reported underlying earnings of 41 cents a share in last year’s second quarter.

“Underlying earnings” is a term DuPont uses to describe what its financial results would have been without one-time charges, which are usually related to restructuring activities and can be substantial. Analysts also tend to factor out one-time events in making their earnings forecasts. In the first quarter, for instance, DuPont said underlying earnings per share were 55 cents, leaving out 7 cents a share worth of expenses — $73 million dollars aftertax on a net basis. Actual net income for the quarter was $479 million, or 48 cents a diluted share, down 3.2 percent from a year earlier.

Last year, one-time items — including DuPont’s sale of its pharmaceuticals business — more than tripled its reported net income to $4.16 a share versus $1.19 a share in underlying income.

Fiber and fabric executives in recent months have reported somewhat of an uptick in first-half business, following a weak period in late 2001 and 2002, when retailers and suppliers were aggressively reducing inventories because of fears that consumer buying would drop precipitously.

DAN RIVER KEEPS LISTING: The New York Stock Exchange last week confirmed that Dan River Inc.’s stock had met the NYSE listing requirements. In March, the exchange had warned the Danville, Va.-based mill that it risked being delisted if its shares fell below the $1 mark for 30 consecutive days.

On Monday, Dan River shares closed at $5.14, down 30 cents. That’s up substantially from a low of 18 cents reached in February.

As a result, the company will not go ahead with the reverse stock split authorized by its shareholders at its April annual meeting. At the end of the first quarter, the company had 21.8 million shares outstanding.

The bankruptcy filings of Burlington Industries, Guilford Mills and Galey & Lord drove textile stocks down substantially late last year and early this year; all three issues were delisted by the NYSE following their filings. Other mills retaining their place on the NYSE include Cone Mills Corp. and Delta Woodside Industries, which closed Monday at $2.86 and $2.25, respectively.

UNIFI GOES EAST: Greensboro, N.C.-based yarn manufacturer Unifi Inc. established an Asian subsidiary that will handle sales and marketing in the Far East. The new arm is called Unifi Asia Ltd. and is based in Hong Kong.

“Asia is a strategic area of focus for the company and the central location of this new entity will enable us to drive sales of Unifi yarn throughout the entire region,” said Mike Delaney, senior vice president of Unifi. “We believe the unique comfort, fashion and performance benefits of our yarn will provide a competitive advantage to manufacturers and customers sourcing from the region.”

John Walker has been named president of the unit. He came to Unifi Asia from Li & Fung (Trading) Ltd., the Hong Kong-based global sourcing and full-garment production company. From 1973 until 1975, Walker served as vice president of international sales for Unifi. In his new post, Walker will report to Unifi president and chief executive Brian Parke.

Brian Moore will serve as vice president of the Asian operation. He was most recently director of Unifi’s Six Sigma, a management program that focuses on improving operational efficiency.

CONE HIRE: Kara Nicholas has assumed the role of vice president of new product development and marketing at Greensboro, N.C.-based Cone Mills Corp. She succeeded Ken Girouard, who left the company in May to become vice president and creative director for denim at Gap Inc., as reported.

Nicholas has been with Cone since 1999, when she joined the company as a product manager. Most recently at Cone, she was director of new product development for specialty retailers. Prior to her responsibilities at the 111-year-old textile manufacturing company, Nicholas worked in production and merchandising for vendors such as Armani Exchange, J. Crew and Armani Jeans.

Tom McKenna, Cone’s executive vice president of merchandising and marketing said of Nicholas’s work on open-line denim: “Her leadership of our development efforts for specialty retailers has helped turn that segment into our fastest-growing market.”

SIMONS LEAVES DOGI: Virgil Simons, who was general manager at Dogi International Fabrics USA, stepped down from his post June 24. Simons said he will focus on growing prostate-online.com — a nonprofit educational foundation for prostate cancer information that he started eight years ago.

“There’s a lot more psychological and emotional satisfaction out of it,” Simons said. “The idea of saving lives is more compelling than just finding a new brassiere. It’s a way to make an impact on people’s lives.”

Simons said his position at Dogi, which he held for 2 1/2 years, will not be filled. Dogi is a Barcelona, Spain-based textile manufacturer of elastic fabrics for intimate apparel and swimwear.