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AMAX REPORTS NET EARNINGS OF $30.2 MILLION FOR 1991; RECORDS LOSS IN FOURTH QUARTER

 AMAX REPORTS NET EARNINGS OF $30.2 MILLION FOR 1991;
 RECORDS LOSS IN FOURTH QUARTER
 NEW YORK, Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- AMAX Inc. (NYSE: AMX) today reported unaudited net earnings for full year 1991 of $30.2 million, equivalent to $0.34 per primary common share. This compares with $225.9 million, or $2.58 per primary common share earned in 1990.
 AMAX posted a $10 million loss for the fourth quarter of 1991, or $0.12 per primary common share. In the fourth quarter of 1990, the company earned $60.1 million, or $0.69 per primary common share.
 Full Year Results
 Sales of $3.8 billion in 1991 were unchanged from 1990. Sales revenues decreased in AMAX's major metals subsidiaries -- aluminum, gold and molybdenum -- but increased in the company's energy units -- coal and oil & gas -- both of which acquired substantial new operations. Volumes of shipments of the company's major products increased but lower per unit prices reduced operating earnings considerably, and higher interest expense on capital invested for recent business unit expansions further reduced net earnings. Earnings declined considerably at all metals units, were relatively unchanged from 1990 at coal and increased at oil & gas due to the 1990 acquisition.
 Results for the full-year 1990 included proceeds from settlement of a coal supply agreement and insurance proceeds from claims for hurricane-inflicted damage at the company's South Carolina primary aluminum plant. First-quarter 1991 results also included proceeds from long-term coal contract settlements.
 Fourth Quarter Results
 Fourth quarter sales of $897 million were down almost 5 percent from 1990 levels of $943 million. As with the full year, the sharp declines came in AMAX's metals businesses; energy units posted sales increases. The decrease in year-to-year quarterly aluminum earnings from $69 million to $16 million reflected the continuing decline in world aluminum prices, due to stagnant Western demand and a surge in exports from Russia and the Eastern Bloc nations. Amax Coal's operating earnings of $20 million were after a provision for a loss of $4.6 million on the anticipated sale of its Kentucky Prince operation. Higher costs due to lower ore grades at Amax Gold's Sleeper mine contributed to that units decline from the prior year. Amax Oil & Gas earnings of $11 million benefited from seasonal natural gas price increases.
 CEO Comments
 Allen Born, chairman and chief executive officer of AMAX, said that the results not unanticipated given the current economic environment.
 The recession has significantly dampened demand for our products in the United States, England and much of Europe. Even in Germany and Japan, where the decline was slower to come, we've seen demand fall off.
 Couple this with the surge of aluminum and other metals from Russia and former Eastern Bloc countries and you have a classic case of supply overwhelming demand, resulting in sharply lower prices.
 We've made substantial capital investments in recent years to rebuild our core businesses. We've added high-quality energy reserves, expanded our gold reserves, and invested capital in production facilities which enable us to compete globally as a low-cost metals producer. These investments have sharpened AMAX's competitive edge and given us a very favorable longer-term outlook. The near-term cost, however, is a higher interest bill on our outstanding capital borrowings. As these business enhancements come onstream, the additional revenues they generate will help us reduce outstanding debt and interest expense.
 We're proud of the fact that we were able to weather last years recession and remain profitable. We continue to have sufficient cash flows to meet our obligations and pay dividends. We expect the first part of 1992 to be difficult, but with most of our capital investments behind us and with low production costs, expanded production capacities, and significant reserves, we are well-positioned to ride out current conditions and profit from the upturn.
 AMAX INC.
 EARNINGS TABLE
 (In thousands except per share amounts)
 Quarter Ended Dec. 31 1991 1990
 Sales $896,700 $942,500
 Earnings from operations 24,300 104,700
 Net earnings (10,000) 60,100
 Weighted average shares
 outstanding 86,817 86,717
 Net earnings per common share $ (0.12) $ 0.69
 12 Months Ended Dec. 31 1991 1990
 Sales $3,771,600 $3,787,500
 Earnings from operations 197,900 402,600
 Net earnings 30,200 225,900
 Weighted average common
 shares outstanding 86,819 87,345
 Net earnings per common share $ 0.34 $ 2.58
 -0- 2/6/92
 /CONTACT: Jerry Cooper of AMAX, 212-856-5982/
 (AMX) CO: AMAX Inc. ST: New York IN: MNG SU: ERN


JT -- NY095 -- 7878 02/06/92 16:14 EST
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Date:Feb 6, 1992
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