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ARKANSAS BEST CORPORATION ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER 1992 OPERATING RESULTS

ARKANSAS BEST CORPORATION ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER 1992 OPERATING RESULTS
 FORT SMITH, Ark., Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Arkansas Best Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: ABFS) (the "company") had consolidated revenues of $248.6 million for the third quarter of 1992, a 7.2 percent increase from $231.9 million for the third quarter of 1991.
 For the third quarter of 1992, the company had net income of $7.0 million, or $.30 per share, compared to $2.1 million, or $.16 per share, for the third quarter of 1991 excluding a gain on the sale of subsidiary stock of $8.2 million (net of tax of $5.0 million), or $.65 per share. Including this gain, net income for the third quarter of 1991 was $10.3 million, or $.81 per share. Average shares outstanding for the third quarter of 1992 increased to 23.5 million shares from 12.7 million for the third quarter of 1991.
 For the nine months ended Sept. 30, the company reported consolidated revenues of $719.4 million, a 9.2 percent increase from $658.9 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1991. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, the company reported income of $15.1 million, or $.82 per share, before an extraordinary item and the cumulative effect of an accounting change, compared to $8.7 million, or $.69 per share, for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1991. The company recorded an extraordinary loss of $(15.9) million (net of income taxes of $9.7 million), or $(.87) per share, for the loss on extinguishment of debt. 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 the nine months ended Sept. 30, 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 the nine months ended Sept. 30 of $(4.2) million, or $(.23) per share, compared to net income of $8.2 million, or $.65 per share, for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1991. Net income for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1991, included a gain on the sale of subsidiary stock of $8.2 million (net of tax of $5.0 million), or $.65 per share and an extraordinary loss of $(515,000) (net of income taxes of $320,000), or $(.04) per share, for the loss on extinguishment of debt. Average shares outstanding for the nine months ended Sept. 30 increased to 18.3 million shares from 12.7 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1991.
 Third quarter 1992 revenues from the carrier operations segment were $220.5 million, a 6.8 percent increase from $206.5 million for the third quarter of 1991, reflecting primarily an 8.7 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's revenues. Operating profit from the carrier operations segment for the third quarter of 1992 was $12.9 million compared to $11.8 million for the third quarter of 1991. ABF's ICC operating ratio was 94.6 percent for the third quarter of 1992 and 1991. For the third quarter of 1992, less-than-truckload ("LTL") tonnage increased 7.5 percent and truckload tonnage increased 13.3 percent compared to the third quarter of 1991.
 Revenues from the carrier operations segment for the nine months ended Sept. 30 were $644.1 million, an 8.5 percent increase from $593.8 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1991, reflecting primarily a 9.6 percent increase in ABF's total tonnage. Operating profit from the carrier operations segment was $38.0 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, compared to $25.3 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1991. ABF's ICC operating ratio for the nine months ended Sept. 30 was 94.4 percent compared to 95.7 percent for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1991. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, LTL tonnage increased 8.0 percent and truckload tonnage increased 15.6 percent compared to the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1991.
 The company is engaged through its 46.4 percent-owned consolidated subsidiary, Treadco, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: TRED), in truck tire retreading and new tire sales. For the third quarter of 1992, the company reported revenues from tire operations of $26.6 million, a 9.0 percent increase from $24.4 million for the third quarter of 1991. Operating profit from the tire operations segment was $2.6 million for the third quarter of 1992 compared to $2.2 million for the third quarter of 1991.
 Revenues from tire operations for the nine months ended Sept. 30 were $71.4 million, an increase of 14.7 percent from $62.2 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1991. Operating profit from the tire operations segment was $6.4 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, compared to $4.7 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1991.
 The following table compares financial data by business segment:
 ARKANSAS BEST CORPORATION
 Consolidated Statements of Operations
 (Unaudited)
 (Dollars in thousands except per-share data)
 For the 3 mos. ended Sept. 30 1992 1991
 Operating revenues
 Carrier operations $220,511 $206,538
 Tire operations 26,649 24,446
 Other 1,413 949
 Total 248,573 231,933
 Operating profit (loss)
 Carrier operations 12,883 11,771
 Tire operations 2,624 2,234
 Other 437 (537)
 Total operating profit 15,944 13,468
 Minority interest 838 (74)
 Gain on sale of subsidiary stock --- 13,159
 Interest expense 2,426 8,703
 Income before income taxes,
 extraordinary items, and
 cumulative effect of accounting change 12,680 17,998
 Provision for income taxes 5,724 7,161
 Income before extraordinary items and
 cumulative effect of accounting change 6,956 10,837
 Extraordinary items
 Loss on extinguishment of debt
 (net of income taxes of $9,700,000) --- ---
 Loss on extinguishment of debt
 (net of income taxes of $320,000) --- (515)
 Cumulative effect on prior year of change
 in recognition of revenue --- ---
 Net income (loss) $ 6,956 $10,322
 Earnings per share:
 Income before extraordinary items
 and cumulative effect
 of accounting change $ 0.30 $ 0.85
 Extraordinary items
 Loss on extinguishment of debt
 (net of income taxes of $9,700,000) --- ---
 Loss on extinguishment of debt
 (net of income taxes of $320,000) --- (0.04)
 Cumulative effect on prior year of change
 in recognition of revenue --- ---
 Net income (loss) $ 0.30 $ 0.81
 Average shares 23,514,818 12,708,810
 For the 9 mos. ended Sept. 30 1992 1991
 Operating revenues
 Carrier operations $644,136 $593,767
 Tire operations 71,374 62,239
 Other 3,862 2,910
 Total 719,372 658,916
 Operating profit (loss)
 Carrier operations 38,042 25,307
 Tire operations 6,370 4,701
 Other 533 (596)
 Total operating profit 44,945 29,412
 Minority interest 2,043 (74)
 Gain on sale of subsidiary stock --- 13,159
 Interest expense 14,756 26,918
 Income before income taxes,
 extraordinary items, and
 cumulative effect of accounting change 28,146 15,727
 Provision for income taxes 13,086 7,006
 Income before extraordinary items and
 cumulative effect of accounting change 15,060 8,721
 Extraordinary items
 Loss on extinguishment of debt
 (net of income taxes of $9,700,000) (15,853) ---
 Loss on extinguishment of debt
 (net of income taxes of $320,000) --- (515)
 Cumulative effect on prior year of change
 in recognition of revenue (3,363) ---
 Net income (loss) $ (4,156) $ 8,206
 Earnings per share:
 Income before extraordinary items
 and cumulative effect
 of accounting change $ 0.82 $ 0.69
 Extraordinary items
 Loss on extinguishment of debt
 (net of income taxes of $9,700,000) (0.87) ---
 Loss on extinguishment of debt
 (net of income taxes of $320,000) --- (0.04)
 Cumulative effect on prior year of change
 in recognition of revenue (0.18) ---
 Net income (loss) $ (0.23) $ 0.65
 Average shares outstanding 18,287,313 12,678,413
 Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
 (Unaudited)
 Sept. 30, 1992 Dec. 31, 1991
 Assets
 Current Assets $ 138,977 $ 118,555
 Property, plant and equipment (net) 187,211 197,860
 Other assets 13,466 20,199
 Goodwill (less amortization) 108,850 110,484
 Total $ 448,504 $ 447,098
 Liabilities and
 Shareholders' Equity
 Current liabilities $ 148,579 $ 149,955
 Long-term debt (less current portion) 77,333 210,987
 Other liabilities 1,843 2,768
 Deferred income taxes 27,822 27,917
 Minority interest 27,546 25,824
 Shareholders' equity 165,381 29,647
 Total $ 448,504 $ 447,098
 -0- 10/20/92
 /CONTACT: Randall Loyd of Arkansas Best, 501-785-6200/
 (ABFS TRED) CO: Arkansas Best Corporation ST: Arkansas IN: TRN SU: ERN


EA-BN -- AT003 -- 2043 10/20/92 09:16 EDT
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Date:Oct 20, 1992
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