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ASHLAND REPORTS SUBSTANTIALLY IMPROVED RESULTS FOR JUNE QUARTER, FISCAL NINE MONTHS

 ASHLAND, Ky., July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Ashland Oil, Inc. (NYSE: ASH) today reported net income of $50 million, or 81 cents a share, for the quarter ended June 30, 1993, the third quarter of its current fiscal year.
 These results compare to net income of $25 million, or 42 cents a share, in the quarter last year. Sales and operating revenues were $2.6 billion for both quarters. Last year's results included an $11 million income tax credit due to the reversal of excess accruals and have been restated to reflect changes in accounting for nonpension retiree benefits and income taxes.
 For the nine months ended June 30, 1993, net income was $76 million, or $1.25 a share, more than double that of a year ago when restated net income was $35 million, or 58 cents a share. Sales and operating revenues were $7.5 billion for the period just ended and $7.4 billion for the first nine months of last year. Last year's results exclude the cumulative effect of accounting changes.
 "Record third-quarter earnings from SuperAmerica and Ashland Chemical along with improved results from Ashland Petroleum and nearly all our other operating companies led to a substantially better performance," said John R. Hall, Ashland chairman and chief executive officer. "The June quarter is our best since the fourth quarter of 1991."
 Operating income from the petroleum refining and marketing group, including Ashland Petroleum, SuperAmerica and Valvoline, was $66 million for the June quarter, more than four times last year's income. Ashland Petroleum reported operating income of $34 million. Moderately higher gasoline demand, improved margins on asphalt sales and an ongoing profit improvement program contributed to the petroleum company's much-improved results.
 SuperAmerica's operating income of $17 million was an all-time high for the June quarter, as higher gasoline and merchandise margins more than offset lower volumes resulting from fewer stores. Valvoline had a strong quarter with operating income of $15 million, down slightly from last year's record third-quarter results. Valvoline's nine-month total of $41 million is slightly ahead of 1992's record pace.
 Ashland Chemical's operating income climbed 54 percent to $32 million, setting a new record for the June quarter. More normal results from our Industrial Chemicals & Solvents distribution business and continued strength in plastics distribution and the specialty chemical units contributed to this outstanding performance. Operating income from the APAC highway construction companies increased 71 percent to $17 million, and at June 30 the APAC group had a record backlog of $629 million.
 Ashland Exploration's operating income improved 63 percent to $8 million, reflecting increases in natural gas production and prices. Natural gas production increased 41 percent and continued to average over 100 million cubic feet a day.
 Both of Ashland's partially owned coal companies were adversely affected by the United Mine Workers of America strike. As a result, modest equity income from Ashland Coal, Inc., was more than offset by a $4 million equity loss from Arch Mineral Corporation, resulting in a $3 million net equity loss from these operations.
 "In summary, we are pleased by improved results for the third quarter and first nine months of our fiscal year," Hall said. "Our non-refining businesses are performing extremely well and are growing contributors to profits. Ashland Petroleum is benefiting from improved gasoline demand and better refinery margins and is seeking opportunities to further improve its competitive position. We now anticipate results for fiscal 1993 to be significantly higher than 1992, with record performances expected for the year from SuperAmerica, Valvoline and Ashland Chemical."
 ASHLAND OIL, INC.
 (In thousands except per share data - unaudited)
 Period Three months Nine months
 June 30 1993 1992(1) 1993 1992(1)
 REVENUES
 Sales and operating
 revenues (including
 excise taxes) $2,605,124 $2,628,659 $7,545,594 $7,380,711
 Sales and operating
 revenues (excluding
 excise taxes) 2,445,955 2,467,821 7,066,470 6,891,874
 Total revenues
 (including excise
 taxes) 2,619,486 2,639,325 7,605,160 7,424,984
 RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
 Operating income $ 105,292 $ 36,463 $ 192,840 $ 84,425
 Interest expense -
 net (29,486) (32,297) (92,927) (93,751)
 Equity income (641) 5,768 11,905 29,580
 Income taxes (25,050) 14,979 (36,120) 14,497
 Income before the
 cumulative effect of
 accounting changes 50,115 24,913 75,698 34,751
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting changes -- -- -- (267,442)
 Net income (loss) $ 50,115 $ 24,913 $ 75,698 $ (232,691)
 PRIMARY EARNINGS
 (LOSS) PER SHARE
 Income before the
 cumulative effect of
 accounting changes $.81 $.42 $1.25 $ .58
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting changes -- -- -- (4.57)
 Net income (loss) $.81 $.42 $1.25 $(3.99)
 AVERAGE COMMON SHARES
 & EQUIVALENTS
 OUTSTANDING 59,232 58,625 59,058 58,331
 (1) Amounts have been restated to reflect the adoption of FAS 106, "Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions," and FAS 109, "Accounting for Income Taxes," effective Oct. 1, 1991.
 ASHLAND OIL, INC.
 (In thousands - unaudited)
 Period Three months Nine months
 June 30 1993 1992(1)(2) 1993 1992(1)(2)
 SALES AND OPERATING
 REVENUES
 Ashland Petroleum $1,185,640 $1,201,762 $3,528,571 $3,492,130
 SuperAmerica Group 444,374 487,212 1,356,093 1,389,200
 Valvoline 249,162 255,051 693,921 671,183
 Chemical 674,212 672,773 1,931,758 1,829,399
 Construction 314,613 266,664 759,115 700,869
 Exploration 57,473 65,521 194,147 199,164
 Intersegment sales (320,350) (320,324) (918,011) (901,234)
 $2,605,124 $2,628,659 $7,545,594 $7,380,711
 OPERATING INCOME
 Refining and
 Marketing Group
 Ash. Petroleum $33,754 $(4,777) $19,798(3)$(31,685)
 SuperAmerica Group 16,924 2,667 47,611 15,860
 Valvoline 15,449 16,633 41,486 40,444
 66,127 14,523 108,895 24,619
 Chemical 31,964 20,788 79,962 70,619
 Construction 17,034 9,964 27,542 23,743
 Exploration 8,151 5,002 31,378 27,579
 General corporate
 expenses (17,984) (13,814) (54,937) (62,135)
 $ 105,292 $ 36,463 $192,840 $ 84,425
 EQUITY INCOME (LOSS)
 Arch Mineral Corp. $(3,694) $1,084 $(2,233) $11,692(4)
 Ashland Coal, Inc. 450 2,593 7,399 10,542
 Other 2,603 2,091 6,739 7,346
 $ (641) $ 5,768 $ 11,905 $ 29,580
 (1) Amounts have been restated to reflect the adoption of FAS 106, "Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions," and FAS 109, "Accounting for Income Taxes," effective Oct. 1, 1991.
 (2) Effective Oct. 1, 1992, responsibility for Ashland Branded Marketing, Inc. was transferred to Ashland Petroleum from SuperAmerica Group. Prior year amounts have been restated for comparison.
 (3) Includes a gain of $14,864,000 on the sale of TPT, an inland waterways barge operation.
 (4) Includes a gain of $7,658,000 (Ashland's 50 percent share) from insurance proceeds resulting from a fire at an Illinois mine.
 /delval/
 -0- 7/22/93
 /CONTACT: Bill Hartl, Investor Relations, 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 -- PG003 -- 4333 07/22/93 08:59 EDT
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Date:Jul 22, 1993
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