Thomas & Betts Corp., Memphis, Tenn., reported sales for the first fiscal quarter ended April 1 were $396.9 million, compared with $475.1 million in the year-ago quarter.
The company reported a loss from continuing operations of $5 million or 9 cents per diluted share, compared with earnings of $8.6 million, or 15 cents per diluted share in the first quarter 2000.
Slowing end-user demand for electrical products led many of the company's key electrical distributors to reduce inventory levels. In addition, several large cable TV companies have dramatically reduced spending on new system installation and delayed purchases.
"We continue to deliver in executing our turnaround strategy-- fact evident in our quarter-over-quarter sequential improvement in key metrics," said T. Kevin Dunnigan, chairman, president and chief executive, in a prepared statement. "We have methodically addressed customer billing issues and past dues. Consequently, we have significantly decreased our accounts receivable. We also held inventory levels essentially flat despite very soft sales-- a decision that reflects our sharp focus on more effectively managing working capital."