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ARKANSAS BEST CORPORATION ANNOUNCES 1992 OPERATING RESULTS

 FORT SMITH, Ark., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Arkansas Best Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: ABFS) had consolidated revenues of $240.6 million for the fourth quarter of 1992, a 6.6 increase from $225.6 million for the fourth quarter of 1991.
 For the fourth quarter of 1992, the company had net income of $3.6 million, or 17 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $(1.0) million, or $(.08) per share, for the fourth quarter of 1991. Average shares outstanding for the fourth quarter of 1992 increased to 21.3 million shares from 12.6 million for the fourth quarter of 1991.
 For the year ended Dec. 31, 1992, the company reported consolidated revenues of $959.9 million, an increase from $884.5 million for 1991. For 1992, the company reported income of $18.8 million, or 99 cents per share, before a previously announced extraordinary item and the cumulative effect of an accounting change, compared to $7.8 million, or 61 cents per share, for 1991. In 1992, the company recorded an extraordinary loss of $(16.0) million (net of income taxes of $9.8 million), or $(.84) per share, for the net loss on extinguishments of debt, following its previously announced public offering in May 1992. Pursuant to a pronouncement by the Emerging Issues Task Force of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, effective Jan. 1, 1992, the company changed its accounting method whereby revenue is allocated between reporting periods based on relative transit time in each reporting period with expenses continuing to be recognized as incurred. This change in accounting method resulted in a charge to earnings for 1992 having a cumulative effect of $(3.4) million (net of income taxes of $2.1 million), or $.(18) per share. After recognizing the extraordinary item and the cumulative effect of the change in accounting method, the company reported a consolidated net loss for 1992 of $(583,000), or $(.03) per share, compared to net income of $7.2 million, or 57 cents per share, for 1991. Net income for 1991 included a gain on the sale of subsidiary stock of $8.8 million (net of tax of $5.3 million), or 69 cents per share, and an extraordinary loss of $(515,000) (net of income taxes of $320,000), or $(.04) per share, for the loss on extinguishing of debt. Average shares outstanding for 1992 increased to 19.0 million shares from 12.7 million in 1991.
 Fourth quarter 1992 revenues from the carrier operations segment were $214.6 million, a 5.4 percent increase from $203.6 million for the fourth quarter of 1991, reflecting primarily an 5.0 percent increase in ABF Freight System, Inc.'s ("ABF") total tonnage. ABF, the company's largest subsidiary, accounted for 98 percent of the carrier operations segment for the fourth quarter of 1992 was $8.7 million compared to $4.6 million for the fourth quarter of 1991. ABF's ICC operating ratio was 96.4 percent for the fourth quarter of 1992 compared to 98.2 percent form the fourth quarter of 1991. For the fourth quarter of 1992, less-than-truck load ("LTL") tonnage increased 2.8 percent and truck load tonnage increased 13.3 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 1991.
 Revenues from the carrier operations segment for 1992 were $858.8 million, a 7.7 percent increase from $797.4 million for 1991, reflecting primarily an 8.4 percent increase in ABF's total tonnage. Operating profit from the carrier operations segment was $46.7 million for 1992 compared to $29.9 million for 1991. ABF's ICC operating ratio was 1992 94.9 percent compared to 96.3 percent for 1991. For 1992, LTL tonnage increased 6.6 percent and truck load tonnage increased 15.0 percent compared to 1991.
 The company is engaged through its 4$ 6 percent owned consolidated subsidiary, Treadco, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: TRED), in truck tire retreading and new tire sales. For the fourth quarter of 1992, the company reported revenues from tire operations of $24.9 million, an 18.7 increase from $21.0 million for the fourth quarter of 1991. Operating profit from the tire operations segment was $2.4 million for the fourth quarter of 1992 compared to $2.5 million for the fourth quarter of 1991.
 Revenues from tire operations for 1992 were $96.3 million, an increase of 15.7 percent from $83.2 million for 1991. Operating profit from the tire operations segment was $8.8 million for 1992 compared to $7.2 million for 1991.
 The following table compares financial data by business segment:
 ARKANSAS BEST CORPORATION
 Consolidated Statements of Operations
 (Unaudited)
 Three Months Ended Year Ended
 12/31/92 12/31/91 12/31/92 12/31/91
 (thousands)
 Operating Revenues
 Carrier operations $214,619 $203,638 $856,755 $797,405
 Tire operations 24,880 20,954 96,254 83,193
 Other 1,076 990 4,940 3,900
 Total 240,577 225,582 959,949 884,498
 Operating Profit (Loss)
 Carrier operations 8,683 4,638 46,725 29,945
 Tire operations 2,397 2,473 8,767 7,174
 Other (266) (38) 267 (634)
 Total Operating Profit 10,814 7,073 555,759 36,485
 Minority Interest 782 764 2,825 690
 Gain on Sale of
 Subsidiary Stock --- 982 --- 14,141
 Interest Expense 2,529 7,503 17,285 34,421
 Income (Loss) Before
 Income Taxes,
 Extraordinary Item
 and Cumulative Effect
 of Accounting Change 7,503 (212) 35,649 15,515
 Provision for Income Taxes 3,808 757 16,894 7,763
 Income (Loss) Before
 Extraordinary Item
 and Cumulative Effect
 of Accounting Change 3,695 (969) 18,755 7,752
 Extraordinary Item:
 Net loss on
 extinguishments
 of debt (122) --- (15,975) (515)
 Cumulative Effect on
 Prior Years of
 Change in Recognition
 of Revenue --- --- (3,363) ---
 Net Income (Loss) $3,573 $(969) $(583) $7,237
 Earnings Per Share:
 Income (Loss) Before
 Extraordinary Item
 and Cumulative Effect
 of Accounting Change $.17 $ $(.08) $.99 $.61
 Extraordinary Item:
 Net loss on
 extinguishments of debt --- --- (.84) (.04)
 Cumulative Effect on
 Prior Years of Change
 in Recognition of Revenue --- --- (.18) ---
 Net Income (Loss) $.17 $(.08) $(.03) .57
 Average Shares
 Outstanding 1121,298,471 12,798,134 19,040,103 12,731,141
 -0- 1/19/93
 /CONTACT: Randall Loyd of Arkansas Best Corporation, 501-785-6200/
 (ABFS TRED)


CO: Arkansas Best Corporation; Treadco, Inc. ST: Arkansas IN: TRN SU: ERN

KD-BN -- AT006 -- 6324 01/19/93 12:06 EST
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Date:Jan 19, 1993
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