Crown Crafts reports earnings

Gonzales-based Crown Crafts Inc. reported Wednesday that its earnings for the fourth quarter of the fiscal year remained flat at $1.9 million, or 19 cents per share, the same as a year ago.

Crown’s fiscal year ended March 31.

Sales for the quarter dipped to $23.6 million, down from $24.8 million a year earlier.

For the year, the infant apparel and accessories maker reported earnings of $5.1 million, or 52 cents per share, on sales of $78.4 million. That compared to $5.0 million, or 52 cents per share, on sales of $85.3 million a year earlier. The company said sales dipped as a result of dropping an unprofitable, private-label bedding program, as well as a lower birth rate and a soft retail environment.

Crown generated higher profits in 2006 and 2007, $7.6 million and $8.0 million, but roughly half of those earnings resulted from tax gains and lower income taxes. Excluding those two years, Crown’s fiscal 2013 profits were the highest since 2002.

The company paid shareholders $7.7 million, or 78 cents per share, in dividends during the year.

Crown’s fourth-quarter results also included a one-time, after-tax loss of $62,000 on the sale of its Churchill Weavers property in Berea, Ky. The property had been for sale since 2007, when Crown closed the Churchill Weavers subsidiary.