Executive Overview: Business Watch (Advanced Ceramics)

Although tech stocks have taken a nosedive in the first few months of 2001, many advanced ceramics manufacturers are reporting record sales for 2000—and anticipated continued growth in the years ahead.

For instance, CARBO Ceramics Inc. recently announced a net income of $14.8 million on record revenues of $93.3 million in 2000. This compares with 1999 net income of $10.5 million on revenues of $69.7 million. “We are operating in a very strong market, driven primarily by the continued demand for natural gas, and we are in an excellent position to satisfy what we expect to be a growing market for our products,” said Jesse P. Orsini, president and CEO.

CoorsTek, Inc. achieved record revenue of $539.7 million in 2000, 48% greater than in 1999, and record operating income of $58.0 million, 55% greater than the prior year. Although first quarter visibility for the semiconductor segment suggests a softening of demand that could result in a 10-20% decrease in revenue compared with fourth quarter 2000, the company is confident that its diversification strategy will prove successful. “We will remain focused on our core competencies and offer our diverse customer base the industry’s broadest array of materials and services," said John K. Coors, chairman, president and CEO. "With our strong balance sheet, we have the financial flexibility to take advantage of new business opportunities and if needed, weather volatile market conditions.”

Ferro Corp. also achieved record sales in 2000. For the year ended December 31, 2000, total sales increased 6.8% to a record $1.45 billion, compared with $1.36 billion in 1999. And French glass maker and building materials group Saint-Gobain announced a 16.2% increase in net profit, thanks in large part to strong performances by the company’s High Performance Ceramics and Plastics division.

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