Ogden to Sell Off Third of Business,
Take Charges That Offset Earnings
By JONATHAN ACERBACH
Staff Reporter of TrII WALL STREET JOURNAL
NEW YORK Ogden Corp. said it
f wants to shed about a third of its business
as part of a plan to restructure and focus on
core entertainment, aviation, power-gen-
eration and waste-treatment operations.
As a result of the plan, the company
said it will take charges in the fourth
quarter that largely offset income from
continuing operations and lowered its pro-
jection for 1996 profit by 14% to $1.55 a
In New York Stock Exchange composite
trading, Ogden slid 50 cents to 522.625.
Ogden, which last summer announced
it was considering a major overhaul, said
it plans to dispose of its facilities-services
business, with 1994 revenue of S357 million;
its technology-services operation, with
revenue of S212 million, and its environ-
mental-services segment, which ac-
counted for S141 million in revenue. Com-
pany-wide revenue was $2.11 billion.
Ogden said the businesses, which in-
clude operations ranging from servicing
companies' computer systems to selling
concessions at sports arenas, depend heav-
ily on lower-margin short-term contracts.
The company wants to use proceeds from
selling them to invest in its higher-mar-
gin businesses, including entertainment.
More than half of the company's 5140
million in operating profit last year came
from waste management, one of the busi-
isputzz .itoin Repubiica.s ownk5.
has said it wants to boost entertainment
earnings to one-third of operating income
from less than the current 20%.
"They're trying to get themselves out of
a rut so that they will have meaningful
earnings growth in 1997," said Carol
Neves. an analyst with Merrill Lynch & Co.
She added that once the restructuring is
complete. Ogden is expecting annual earn-
ings growth of 12% to 15%.
Ogden didn't estimate how much cash it
expects to generate from the divestitures
or make a projection on fourth-quar-
ter profit, but a spokesman said earnings
would be lower than year-earlier results.
Before yesterday, analysts were project-
ing fourth-quarter earnings of 54 cents a
share, according to First Call. In the 1994
quarter, earnings were S16.1 million, or 37
cents a share, on revenue of S556.4 mil-
For the full year, analysts had been
projecting 1996 profit of $1.80 a share,
in line with the company's internal pro-
jections. In 1994, Ogden earned S66.3 mil-
lion, or 51.51 a share.
Ogden, which has interests in theme
parks, last month agreed to acquire Fire-
hole Entertainment Corp., which develops
theme attractions. Terms weren't dis-
closed. It also completed its purchase of a
50% interest in closely held Metropolitan
Entertainment Inc., a concert-promotion
and theatrical-production concern.