LINCOLN – A.T. Cross Co. saw its bottom line rise 6.6 percent to $1.6 million, or 13 cents per diluted share, from the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013, the personal- and business-accessories maker announced after the market closed on Thursday.
Sales for the quarter rose 5.8 percent to $44.4 million in the three months ended March 30, from $41.9 million during the same quarter of 2012.
Cross’s Cross Optical Group saw revenue rise 19.1 percent to $23.8 million during the first quarter of 2013 from $20 million during the first quarter of 2012.
The company’s Cross Accessory Division – which comprises the company’s signature pens, as well as other related products – saw sales drop 6.2 percent during the first quarter.
In the company’s earnings release, A.T. Cross President and CEO David G. Whalen attributed two-thirds of the decline to the “substantially weaker Japanese Yen” and decreased sales of low margin discontinued product.
“Having said that, while our trend in the European market improved in Q1, we did experience softness in the America and Asia markets which we are addressing,” said Whalen in the release.
On Feb. 4, A.T. Cross announced its decision to explore “strategic alternatives” for its Cross Accessory Division.
At the time of the announcement, Kevin F. Mahoney, the company’s senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer, declined to comment further on the matter, but told Providence Business News that “given the circumstances,” he and Whalen wanted to “limit to what is stated in the press release.”
In the release announcing the decision, Whalen said: “We constantly look for ways to build shareholder value. At this point in our history, we think it is important to fully understand the different ways that the Cross brand can help us achieve that goal.”
The company engaged C.W. Downer & Co. to assist in the evaluation, but said that it has “not made a decision to pursue any specific transaction or any other strategic alternative,” and added that there is no timetable set for the strategic review process.
a.t. cross co.,
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david g. whalen