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ASHLAND OIL EXPECTS DISAPPOINTING THIRD QUARTER, YEAR RESULTS; TARGETS SALE OF MORE THAN $200 MILLION IN ASSETS

 ASHLAND OIL EXPECTS DISAPPOINTING THIRD QUARTER, YEAR RESULTS;
 TARGETS SALE OF MORE THAN $200 MILLION IN ASSETS
 ASHLAND, Ky., June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Ashland Oil Inc. (NYSE:ASH) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John R. Hall today told analysts that the company expects to report disappointing results in its fiscal third quarter, ending June 30, 1992.
 In addition, Hall reported that the company expects to sell various assets valued between $200 million and $250 million.
 "The gasoline margin over crude oil has not reached the peak levels of the previous two years, so refinery margins have been disappointingly below last year while environmental regulations have added to our cost," Hall told analysts. "We expect the results for our fiscal third quarter to be significantly below those of a year ago. Without a marked improvement in refinery margins over the balance of our fiscal year, we will be unable to achieve last year's results for either our fiscal fourth quarter or the year."
 Ashland had net income of $67 million or $1.19 per share in its 1991 fiscal third quarter and $63 million or $1.07 per share in its 1991 fiscal fourth quarter. The company had net income of $145 million or $2.56 per share in fiscal 1991.
 Because of the company's expectation of lower earnings and its large capital spending requirements for its petroleum refineries, Hall said that Ashland is targeting the sale of assets worth between $200 million and $250 million. Proceeds will be used to reduce debt.
 "We believe it is prudent to sell some assets in order to maintain our financial flexibility during this difficult period in the industry. We have attempted to select assets that are currently providing us with a relatively low rate of return," Hall said. Among the assets identified for possible sale are the company's SuperAmerica gasoline/convenience stores in Florida and its Arizona highway construction subsidiary. Other smaller assets and parts of other businesses also may be offered for sale.
 "SuperAmerica's Florida operations, while profitable, are outside our traditional marketing area and must receive their gasoline supply from other refiners and marketers," Hall said. "In addition, our Arizona construction operations have been hard hit by the economic downturn and have not met our performance expectations."
 SuperAmerica's Florida operations include 51 retail gasoline/convenience stores located primarily in the southwestern part of the state. Ashland's Arizona subsidiary is one of the state's largest highway construction and construction materials producers.
 Hall said that Ashland has retained The First Boston Corporation to advise the company in its disposition efforts.
 Ashland Oil Inc. is a diversified energy company with operations in petroleum refining, transportation and marketing; retail gasoline marketing; motor oil marketing; chemicals; coal; highway construction; and oil and gas exploration and production.
 -0- 6/18/92
 /CONTACT: Roger Schrum of Ashland Oil, 606-329-4061/
 (ASH) CO: Ashland Oil Inc. ST: Kentucky, Florida IN: OIL SU: ERN


DM -- PG003 -- 1364 06/18/92 08:54 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 18, 1992
Words:491
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