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ASHLAND COAL REPORTS RECORD EARNINGS FOR 1991

 ASHLAND COAL REPORTS RECORD EARNINGS FOR 1991
 HUNTINGTON, W.Va., Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Ashland Coal, Inc.,


(NYSE: ACI) reported today that it earned $11.5 million, or $.72 a share on a primary basis, for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 1991.
 This compares to net income of $5.1 million, or $.30 a share, for the same quarter last year. Revenues for the fourth quarter were $111.7 million, as compared to $106.5 million in the fourth quarter of 1990.
 For the year ended Dec. 31, 1991, Ashland Coal had record net income of $38.6 million or $2.40 a share, compared to net income of $26.4 million or $1.60 a share in 1990. This year's earnings surpassed the previous high in 1988 of $33.0 million or $2.24 a share. Revenues were $444.0 million in 1991 compared to $407.4 million in 1990.
 "The fourth quarter's higher revenues and improved earnings reflect primarily a shift from domestic spot sales to higher-priced domestic contract sales," said William C. Payne, president and chief executive officer. "Sales to two important customers were well above the year-ago levels, when shipments to one of those customers were at an unusually low level. In addition, average cost of sales declined, reflecting higher levels of production at low cost by our Mingo Logan Coal Company subsidiary," Payne added.
 "Higher sales volume and lower costs made possible by the continuing development at Mingo Logan, aided by a shift towards contract sales, contributed to 1991's record results," Payne continued. "These factors helped offset a continuing soft spot market."
 Mingo Logan's new Black Bear Preparation Plant was placed in service in December and longwall mining is scheduled to begin midyear. As previously reported, Mingo Logan is expected to produce in excess of 6 million tons of coal in 1992.
 "Looking ahead," Payne concluded, "we expect that 1992 will be a good year for Ashland Coal."
 Ashland Coal, Inc., is engaged in the mining, processing and sale of low-sulfur steam coal, and markets its coal principally to electric utilities in the eastern United States and into the export markets.
 Mingo Logan Coal Company is an independent operating subsidiary of Ashland Coal, Inc.
 ASHLAND COAL, INC., AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income
 (In thousands, except per share data)
 Three Months Ended Dec. 31 Year Ended Dec. 31
 1991 1990 1991 1990
 (Unaudited)(Unaudited)(Unaudited)
 Revenues
 Coal Sales $107,427 $103,400 $430,301 $393,875
 Operating revenues 4,315 3,093 13,688 13,481
 111,742 106,493 443,989 407,356
 Costs and expenses
 Cost of coal sold 86,674 89,805 353,990 336,556
 Operating expenses 2,637 2,161 10,247 9,255
 Selling, general and
 administrative expenses 6,584 5,128 23,374 20,704
 95,895 97,094 387,611 366,515
 Operating income 15,847 9,399 56,378 40,841
 Other income (expense)
 Interest income 305 -- 804 297
 Interest expense (A) (2,575) (2,718) (9,862) (10,048)
 Income before income
 taxes 13,577 6,681 47,320 31,090
 Income tax expense 2,052 1,539 8,700 4,736
 Net income 11,525 5,142 38,620 26,354
 Earnings per common share
 Primary $.72 $.30 $2.40 $1.60
 Fully diluted $.67 $.29 $2.22 $1.49
 Weighted average shares
 outstanding
 Primary 15,214 15,107 15,155 15,099
 Fully diluted 16,671 16,571 16,655 16,572
 Operating Information
 (In thousands of tons)
 Three Months Ended Dec. 31 Year Ended Dec. 31
 1991 1990 1991 1990
 Coal sales
 Domestic contract 1,884 1,490 7,102 6,165
 Domestic spot 936 1,301 3,452 3,744
 Export 643 715 3,751 3,331
 3,463 3,506 14,305 13,240
 Coal sources
 Hobet Mining, Inc. (B) 1,349 1,300 5,308 5,122
 Coal-Mac, Inc. (B) 590 916 2,922 3,396
 Mingo Logan Coal
 Company (B) 1,121 612 3,935 2,151
 Purchases 514 870 2,006 2,975
 Other, including
 inventory change (111) (192) 134 (404)
 3,463 3,506 14,305 13,240
 (A) Interest costs of $2,239,000 and $1,149,000 were capitalized in the three months ended Dec. 31, 1991 and 1990, respectively. Interest costs capitalized in the years ended Dec. 31, 1991 and 1990, were $6,497,000 and $3,878,000, respectively.
 (B) Independent operating subsidiary of Ashland Coal, Inc.
 ASHLAND COAL, INC., AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
 (In thousands)
 Dec. 31 Dec. 31
 1991 1990
 (unaudited)
 Assets
 Current assets
 Cash and cash equivalents $8,214 $952
 Accounts and notes receivable 48,493 41,770
 Inventories 20,394 24,228
 Prepaid royalties 3,284 7,319
 Other current assets 842 772
 81,227 75,041
 Other assets
 Prepaid royalties 60,240 60,619
 Coal supply agreements 43,259 47,654
 Notes receivable and other assets 5,090 6,986
 108,589 115,259
 Property, plant and equipment
 Cost 494,281 397,038
 Less accumulated depreciation,
 depletion and amortization 137,262 108,606
 357,019 288,432
 546,835 478,732
 Liabilities and stockholders' equity
 Current liabilities
 Accounts payable 31,490 28,386
 Accrued expenses 21,269 18,639
 Income taxes payable 4,594 1,298
 Deferred income taxes 952 2,750
 Current portion of long-term debt 24 755
 58,329 51,828
 Long-term debt 181,066 148,392
 Accrued black lung benefits 8,863 8,715
 Other long-term liabilities 15,492 12,620
 Deferred income taxes 45,942 52,158
 Deferred gain on sale and
 leaseback of asset 3,822 4,163
 Convertible Class C preferred
 stock (subject to redemption) 32,741 31,509
 Stockholders' equity
 Convertible Class B preferred stock 33,050 33,050
 Common stock 116 115
 Paid-in capital 43,523 42,621
 Retained earnings 123,891 93,561
 200,580 169,347
 546,835 478,732
 -0- 1/21/92
 /CONTACT: David Todd of Ashland Coal, Inc., 304-526-3755/
 (ACI) CO: Ashland Coal, Inc. ST: Kentucky IN: MNG SU: ERN


CD -- PG001 -- 1621 01/21/92 08:01 EST
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