Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Zoltek Zips to Record Earnings, Up 152%

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Zoltek Zips to Record Earnings, Up 152%

Article excerpt

Zoltek Cos. Inc. said its profit for the second quarter rose 152 percent, to record levels.

The strong earnings reflect improved margins in the company's core carbon fibers business, as well as its Hungarian acrylic fibers business, Chairman Zsolt Rumy said.

Although sales for the three months that ended March 31 rose 21 percent, Zoltek continued to be squeezed by capacity constraints. The Bridgeton-based company is well on its way to eliminating the bottleneck, Rumy said. "We are on track to add a total of 5 million pounds of new annual capacity by the end of the year," he said. "That will more than double our current capacity." Smurfit Shows Loss Lower prices for containerboard and newsprint contributed to a loss of $7 million in the first quarter for Jefferson Smurfit Corp., based in Clayton. Although there are positive signs in the industry, President Richard Graham warned that "our earnings will be under pressure in the coming months." Sales in the quarter dropped 15 percent to $778 million, even though shipments of containers rose 7 percent. Stifel Profit Soars Earnings at Stifel Financial Corp. jumped more than tenfold in the first quarter to $1.65 million, the brokerage company said. Chief Executive Gregory Taylor credited the performance to strength in the firm's research and investment banking departments, as well as "exceptional" results in retail sales. Laclede Steel Gains Laclede Steel Co. of St. Louis has started to get results from programs started last year to boost productivity and cut costs. In the first quarter, the company earned $135,000, compared with a loss of $2 million a year earlier. "We are very encouraged by the progress we have made," said President John B. McKinney. The latest results included a gain of $592,000, after taxes, on the sale of an operation in Benwood, W.Va. Maverick Sets Record Maverick Tube Corp., which provides tubular products for the energy industry, posted record profit in the second quarter, which ended March 31. Gregg Eisenberg, president and chief executive, said demand for products was up, thanks to earlier increases in oil and gas prices. …

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