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A.O. SMITH CORPORATION DECLARE EARNINGS

 A.O. SMITH CORPORATION DECLARE EARNINGS
 MILWAUKEE, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- A. O. Smith Corporation


(AMEX: SMC) today announced 1991 earnings of $1.6 million or $.20 per share.
 The earnings came on sales of $879.7 million, approximately six percent lower than 1990's sales of $935.2 million. Earnings in 1990 were $26.9 million or $3.05 per fully diluted share.
 "Given the length of the recession in the industries we serve, remaining profitable in 1991 was an achievement," Robert J. O'Toole, president and chief executive officer said. "The last time A. O. Smith faced a recession of this magnitude in 1982, we lost nearly $13 million."
 Three of the corporation's four largest operating companies reported lower sales in 1991. Combined sales for the Automotive Products Company and Electrical Products Company were more than $50 million lower than the prior year.
 "We are confident the corporation's financial performance will improve in 1992, provided the economy begins to recover," O'Toole observed. "Our costs will be lower in a number of areas. This year we will open only one new plant, which means significantly lower start-up costs. Our Automotive Products Company will benefit from a full year of the new business that went into production during the second half of 1991, and we expect to see lower costs in conjunction with the new labor agreements signed with the largest Milwaukee unions last year."
 In the fourth quarter, A. O. Smith earned $2.0 million or $.25 per share on sales of $223.3 million. That compared with 1990 earnings of $6.1 million or $.70 per fully diluted share on sales of $207.2 million. Despite higher sales compared to the prior year, fourth quarter earnings were adversely affected by start-up costs at four new plants and unfavorable product mix. In addition, fourth quarter 1990 results benefited from recognition of non-recurring tax credits and other adjustments.
 In a related development, the directors of A.O. Smith Corporation today declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $ .20 per share of common stock (Class A and B) payable Feb. 17, 1992 to shareholders of record Jan. 31, 1992.
 The directors also declared a dividend of $.53125 per share of convertible exchangeable preferred stock, payable Feb. 17, 1992 to shareholders of record Jan. 31, 1992. A. O. Smith, with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a diversified manufacturer headquartered in Milwaukee. Its product lines include passenger car and truck structural components, fractional horsepower and hermetic electric motors, residential and commercial water heaters, fiberglass reinforced piping systems, inorganic protective industrial coatings, agricultural feed storage systems, agricultural financing, municipal and industrial water and bulk storage systems.
 A.O. SMITH CORPORATION
 Twelve months Three months
 Dec. 31 1991 1990 1991 1990
 Net sales $879,666,000 $935,217,000 $223,274,000 $207,230,000
 Net earnings 5,041,000 30,458,000 2,841,000 6,956,000
 Preferred
 div. paid 3,425,000 3,573,000 856,000 857,000
 Net earnings
 common stock 1,616,000 26,885,000 1,985,000 6,099,000
 Earnings per
 common share
 - Primary .20 3.40 .25 .77
 - Fully diluted .20 3.05 .25 .70
 Avg. no. of
 shrs. outstg.
 - Primary 7,921,946 7,913,309 7,941,351 7,904,611
 - Fully diluted 9,992,460 9,976,948 10,006,647 9,893,800
 -0- 1/17/92
 /CONTACT: Edward J. O'Connor, vice president-human resources and public affairs of A.O. Smith, 414-359-4100/
 (SMC) CO: A.O. Smith Corporation ST: Wisconsin IN: AUT SU: ERN SM -- NY052 -- 1082 01/17/92 15:33 EST
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Date:Jan 17, 1992
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