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ASHLAND ANNOUNCES RESULTS FOR 1992 FISCAL FOURTH QUARTER AND YEAR

ASHLAND ANNOUNCES RESULTS FOR 1992 FISCAL FOURTH QUARTER AND YEAR
 ASHLAND, Ky., Oct. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Ashland Oil, Inc. (NYSE: ASH) said today that for its fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, 1992, net income, excluding unusual items, was $12 million, or 20 cents a share.
 Sales and operating revenues were $2.8 billion. For the 1992 fiscal year ended Sept. 30, net income excluding unusual items was $64 million, or $1.08 a share. Sales and operating revenues were $10.2 billion.
 However, as previously announced, Ashland adopted Financial Accounting Standards Board Statements No. 106 and 109, effective Oct. 1, 1991, resulting in a net charge of $291 million, or $4.97 a share, against fiscal 1992 net income. In addition, other previously announced special charges reduced net income for the quarter by $109 million, or $1.85 a share.
 As a result, Ashland reported a net loss of $103 million, equal to $1.75 a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 1992. In the quarter last year, Ashland had net income of $63 million, or $1.07 a share, and sales and operating revenues of $2.7 billion. For the year, Ashland had a net loss of $336 million, or $5.75 a share. In fiscal 1991, Ashland had net income of $145 million, or $2.56 a share, and sales and operating revenues of $9.9 billion.
 "Although the company was modestly profitable before the accounting changes and other special charges, its overall performance for fiscal 1992 was disappointing, primarily because of poor results from Ashland Petroleum Company," said Ashland Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John R. Hall. "However, we had strong results from several of our non-refining businesses. Looking at results before unusual items, operating income from Valvoline, for example, reached an all-time high. APAC's operating income increased 32 percent, while both Ashland Exploration and Ashland Chemical had strong years although their operating income declined slightly."
 Hall said Ashland Petroleum's poor performance was due to extremely weak refinery margins stemming from excess refining capacity and soft petroleum product demand. The situation was made worse by a strengthening of heavy crude oil prices and weakening in prices for asphalt and other heavy oil products produced in larger quantities from heavy crude oil. Margin weakness persisted all year, resulting in a $34 million operating loss from Ashland Petroleum Company.
 "Soft demand also played a part in SuperAmerica's performance, as the battle for greater share of a no-growth market led to weak retail gasoline margins. Operating income for the year declined to $27 million. However, gasoline margins strengthened in the fourth quarter, and operating income doubled to $11 million, compared to last year's quarter," Hall said.
 Most of Ashland's other non-refining businesses had strong performances. Valvoline had an excellent year, with operating income of $52 million, a 34 percent increase, reflecting higher branded motor oil volumes, better motor oil margins and profit improvements from nearly every line of business.
 Although down slightly from 1991, Ashland Chemical had a good year in light of a struggling U.S. economy. Operating income totaled $96 million and included strong performances from most specialty chemical businesses and the plastics distribution business. Results from petrochemicals and the Industrial Chemical and Solvents distribution business declined, due to lower margins. Higher environmental expenses and costs associated with integrating the recently acquired Unocal distribution group into our business also contributed to lower results from chemical distribution.
 Operating income of $54 million from APAC highway construction operations reflected improvements from a majority of its regional operations. Operating income from Ashland Exploration totaled $33 million, "a good performance given the normal decline in our Nigerian crude oil production," Hall said. He added that tax credits for natural gas produced from Ashland Exploration's non-conventional wells in the Appalachian region also added $9 million to Ashland Oil net income.
 Combined equity income from coal operations more than doubled to $23 million. Equity income of $13 million from Ashland Coal nearly equaled that of last year, as a 20 percent increase in tons sold substantially offset slightly lower margins. Equity income from Arch Mineral amounted to $10 million, including a previously reported $8 million gain from an insurance settlement.
 "In summary, fiscal 1992 was a difficult year," Hall said. "A strong performance by our non-refining businesses was more than offset by the difficulties experienced by Ashland Petroleum, the accounting changes and other special charges.
 "Looking ahead, we are cautiously optimistic about the outlook for the majority of our non-refining businesses," he added. "The short-term outlook for refining is less encouraging, as the industry continues to cope with overcapacity. We believe a refining industry shakeout is inevitable and that the investments we are making now to strengthen our refining operations should put us in a strong position to benefit from improved margins in the future."
 Ashland Oil, Inc. is a diversified energy corporation engaged in petroleum refining, transportation and marketing; retail gasoline marketing; motor oil and lubricants marketing; chemicals; coal; highway construction; and oil and gas exploration and production.
 ASHLAND OIL, INC.
 (In thousands except per share data -- unaudited)
 PAGE ONE
 Period Three Months Year Ended
 Ended Sept. 30 1992 1991 1992 1991
 REVENUES
 Sales & Operating
 revenues (including
 excise taxes) $2,830,107 $2,742,215 $10,210,818 $9,866,614
 Sales & Operating
 revenues (excluding
 excise taxes) 2,660,357 2,579,827 9,552,231 9,246,415
 Total revenues
 (including excise
 taxes) 2,842,676 2,758,392 10,267,660 9,923,225
 RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
 Operating income
 (loss)(A) $(147,024) $105,745 $(62,599) $294,253
 Interest expense-net (34,278) (20,720) (128,029) (115,273)
 Equity income (loss) 2,932 (6,744) 32,512 13,852
 Income tax credit
 (expense) 75,321 (15,764) 89,818 (47,834)
 Income (loss) before the
 cumulative effect of
 accounting changes (103,049) 62,517 (68,298) 144,998
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting changes(B) -- -- (267,442) --
 Net income (loss)(C) $(103,049) $ 62,517 $(335,740) $144,998
 EARNINGS (LOSS) PER SHARE
 Income (loss) before the
 cumulative effect of
 accounting changes $(1.75) $1.07 $(1.18) $2.56
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting changes -- -- (4.57) --
 Net income (loss) $(1.75) $1.07 $(5.75) $2.56
 AVG. COMMON SHARES
 & EQUIVALENTS
 OUTSTANDING 58,861 58,020 58,390 56,269
 PAGE TWO
 NET INCOME EXCLUDING
 UNUSUAL ITEMS $11,837 $72,675 $63,829 $155,156
 Special charges:
 Voluntary enhanced
 retirement program (19,576) -- (19,576) --
 Environmental
 provisions (25,290) -- (25,290) --
 Asset write-downs (40,454) (10,158) (40,454) (10,158)
 Riley-related
 reserves (23,309) -- (23,309) --
 Total special charges(108,629) (10,158) (108,629) (10,158)
 Accounting changes:(B)
 Current year effect (6,257) -- (23,498) --
 Cumulative effect as
 of Oct. 1, 1991 -- -- (267,442) --
 Total accounting
 changes (6,257) -- (290,940) --
 NET INCOME (LOSS) $(103,049) $62,517 $(335,740) $144,998
 EARNINGS (LOSS) PER SHARE
 Net income excluding
 unusual items $0.20 $1.24 $1.08 $2.74
 Special charges (1.85) (0.17) (1.86) (0.18)
 Accounting changes (0.10) -- (4.97) --
 Net income (loss) $(1.75) $1.07 $(5.75) $2.56
 PAGE THREE
 SALES & OPERATING REVENUES
 Ashland Petroleum $1,341,161 $1,418,417 $ 4,791,416 $4,819,036
 SuperAmerica Group 548,777 536,569 2,084,478 2,165,652
 Valvoline 228,844 205,902 900,027 792,674
 Chemical 658,401 574,060 2,487,800 2,285,365
 Construction 342,467 302,820 1,043,336 1,019,158
 Exploration 62,545 72,483 261,709 323,309
 Intersegment sales (352,088) (368,036) (1,357,948) (1,538,580)
 $2,830,107 $2,742,215 $10,210,818 $9,866,614
 OPERATING INCOME (LOSS)(A)
 Ashland Petroleum $(69,811) $ 55,628 $(98,667) $137,045
 SuperAmerica Group (37,927) 5,540 (24,896) 31,459
 Valvoline 9,604 16,929 50,048 38,614
 Chemical 10,482 26,467 81,101 97,803
 Construction 21,697 14,681 45,440 40,782
 Exploration (11,062) 9,729 16,517 40,602
 General corporate
 expenses (70,007) (23,229) (132,142) (92,052)
 $(147,024) $105,745 $(62,599) $294,253
 EQUITY INCOME (LOSS)
 Arch Mineral Corp. $(2,142) $(12,004)(D) $ 9,550(E) $(5,433)(D)
 Ashland Coal, Inc. 2,595 4,509 13,137 15,020
 Other 2,479 751 9,825 4,265
 $2,932 $(6,744) $32,512 $13,852
 PAGE FOUR Income
 Excluding Special Accounting Income As
 Unusual Items Charges Changes(F) Reported
 Three Months Ended
 Sept. 30, 1992
 OPERATING INCOME (LOSS)
 Ashland Petroleum $(12,434) $(54,889) $(2,488) $(69,811)
 SuperAmerica Group 11,385 (48,571) (741) (37,927)
 Valvoline 10,064 -- (460) 9,604
 Chemical 19,611 (7,425) (1,704) 10,482
 Construction 24,611 -- (2,914) 21,697
 Exploration 4,966 (15,825) (203) (11,062)
 General corporate
 expenses (21,995) (47,524) (488) (70,007)
 $36,208 $(174,234) $(8,998) $147,024
 Year Ended
 Sept. 30, 1992
 OPERATING INCOME (LOSS)
 Ashland Petroleum $(33,691) $(54,889) $(10,087) $(98,667)
 SuperAmerica Group 26,650 (48,571) (2,975) (24,896)
 Valvoline 51,868 -- (1,820) 50,048
 Chemical 96,088 (7,425) (7,562) 81,101
 Construction 53,886 -- (8,446) 45,440
 Exploration 33,194 (15,825) (852) 16,517
 General corporate
 expenses (82,541) (47,524) (2,077) (132,142)
 $145,454 $(174,234) $(33,819) $(62,599)
 (A) See page 4 for impact of unusual items on 1992 operating income.
 (B) Effective Oct. 1, 1991, Ashland adopted FAS 106, "Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions", and FAS 109, "Accounting for Income Taxes."
 (C) See page 2 for impact of unusual items on net income and earnings per share.
 (D) Includes a loss of $11,005,000 (Ashland's 50 percent share) resulting from the closure of the Oven Fork, Ky., mine due to unfavorable geological conditions.
 (E) Includes a gain of $7,658,000 (Ashland's 50 percent share) from insurance proceeds resulting from a fire at an Illinois mine.
 (F) Effective Oct. 1, 1991, Ashland adopted FAS 106, "Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions", and FAS 109, "Accounting for Income Taxes". This column reflects the current year impact of these accounting changes.
 /delval/
 -0- 10/22/92 R
 /CONTACT: Bill Hartl, investor relations, in New York, 212-421-1250; or Roger Schrum, media relations, 606-329-4061, both of Ashland Oil/
 (ASH) CO: Ashland Oil, Inc. ST: Kentucky IN: OIL SU: ERN


DM -- PG004 -- 3352 10/22/92 09:21 EDT
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