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BALL CORPORATION ACHIEVES GAINS IN EARNINGS AND SALES FOR QUARTER, YEAR

 MUNCIE, Ind., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) today said strengthened fourth quarter earnings in its packaging and aerospace segments, combined with continued excellent performance by the businesses expected to be spun off as Alltrista Corporation during the first quarter of 1993, resulted in record net income and earnings available to common shareholders for 1992.
 Fourth quarter performance resulted in net income increasing from the fourth quarter of 1991 by 28.9 percent to $11.6 million, earnings available to common shareholders growing 61.9 percent to $10.2 million and earnings per share up 56 percent to 39 cents, accomplished on a modest sales growth of 9 percent, resulting in $524.8 million sales for the final quarter.
 For the year, net income rose 4.4 percent to $69.1 million, earnings available to common shareholders was up 14 percent to $63.7 million and earnings per share grew 1.2 percent to $2.45 on a 12.6 percent increase in average outstanding common shares in 1992 as a result of the September 1991 equity offering. Sales for the year from continuing operations rose 7.9 percent to $2.2 billion, excluding those attributable to Alltrista. The results of the businesses that comprise Alltrista are now reported as an after-tax single line amount within the financial statements.
 Approximately 85 percent of consolidated sales and operating earnings for the year were generated by packaging operations, with the remainder from the company's aerospace segment.
 Delmont A. Davis, Ball Corporation president and chief executive officer, said the company would have reported record earnings per share had it not been for a 12 cent after-tax charge recorded in the second quarter for costs to consolidate Alltrista's plastic packaging operations into a single facility. "It was a year of which we can be proud," Davis said, "especially considering the many obstacles our operations faced during the period.
 "While we are pleased with 1992 results, we've also taken several steps to enhance our future," Davis said. "We increased the focus on our core businesses through the early 1992 acquisition of additional glass container manufacturing capacity and the December announcement of our intention to acquire Heekin Can, Inc., a mid-west manufacturer of food cans with 1991 sales of $353 million, for approximately $89 million of Ball stock. In addition, we previously announced a plan to spin-off our non-core businesses, having combined 1992 sales of approximately $270 million, into Alltrista Corporation, and we redeemed preferred stock for $50.3 million early in the year."
 Davis said higher metal container earnings "are a credit to our people in this business, as they continue to find ways to operate more efficiently in the face of continuing competitive pressures." Glass container sales rose during the year, while earnings were below those of 1991, primarily resulting from integration of the newly acquired plants, offering new contract pricing prior to reconfiguring capacity to reduce costs, closing of two plants and integrating the business in other plants, and the construction of a new furnace in Ruston, La., to reduce costs to meet new long-term contractual requirements and better serve customers.
 While sales rose marginally in the aerospace operations, annual operating earnings were 22.8 percent under a year ago. This was due in large part to development costs in connection with the visual image generating system product line and to lower sales and profits in the atomic oscillator business resulting from lost production by a commercial customer in the cellular telephone market while upgrading its product line. Davis said the segment's backlog was at a record year-end level.
 "We are hopeful of being able to complete the Heekin acquisition and the Alltrista spin-off by the end of the first quarter of 1993," Davis said. "About 90 percent of our sales in 1993 will come from the packaging segment, and we are looking forward to improved results in 1993 and beyond."
 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 (millions, except share data)
 Twelve Months Ended Three Months Ended
 12/31/92 12/31/91 12/31/92 12/31/91
 Net sales $2,177.8 2,018.4 $ 524.8 $ 481.2
 Net income from:
 Continuing operations 62.9 62.6 11.3 11.2
 Operations to be spun off 6.2 3.6 0.3 (2.2)
 Net income 69.1 66.2 11.6 9.0
 Preferred dividends (5.4) (10.3) (1.4) (2.7)
 Net earnings available
 to common shareholders $ 63.7 $ 55.9 $ 10.2 $ 6.3
 Earnings (loss) per share from:
 Continuing operations $ 2.21 $ 2.26 $ .38 $ .33
 Operations to be
 spun off $ .24 $ .16 $ .01 $ (.08)
 Net earnings per share $ 2.45 $ 2.42 $ .39 $ .25
 Fully diluted earnings (loss)
 per share from:
 Continuing operations $ 2.12 $ 2.15 $ .37 $ .32
 Operations to be spun off .22 .14 .01 (.08)
 Fully diluted earnings
 per share $ 2.34 $ 2.29 $ .38 $ .24
 Weighted average shares
 outstanding (thousands) 26,039 23,125 26,279 25,648
 Fully diluted weighted
 average shares
 outstanding (thousands) 28,224 25,408 28,453 27,929
 -0- 1/26/93
 /CONTACT: Larry Miller, 317-747-6170, or 317-286-5856 after hours; or Brad Wilks, 317-747-6165, or 317-282-6198 after hours; both of Ball Corporation/
 (BLL)


CO: Ball Corporation ST: Indiana IN: PAP ARO SU: ERN

KK -- CL021 -- 9246 01/26/93 16:09 EST
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Date:Jan 26, 1993
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