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BALL CORPORATION REPORTS HIGHER FIRST QUARTER SALES; LOWER NET INCOME AND EARNINGS PER SHARE

 MUNCIE, Ind., April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) today reported that its first quarter sales increased 9.7 percent to $534.7 million. Excluding the cumulative effect of the adoption of new accounting standards, first quarter net income was $11.2 million, or 39 cents per share, versus $11.3 million or 40 cents per share in the first quarter of 1992.
 First quarter net income from continuing operations was $9.1 million, a 15.7 percent decline from $10.8 million in 1992. Net income from results attributable to Alltrista Corporation before the spin-off was $2.1 million, versus $0.5 million in 1992. Earnings per share from continuing operations were 31 cents, down from last year's 38 cents. Earnings per share from Alltrista Corporation were 8 cents, compared with 2 cents in 1992's first quarter. Average shares outstanding of 26.9 million for the quarter were approximately 4.4 percent higher than a year ago.
 Delmont A. Davis, Ball's president and chief executive officer, said slightly lower earnings in the company's packaging businesses were largely the result of a number of one-time factors including the slower- than-anticipated start-up of a new glass furnace in Ruston, Louisiana, and the sale of beverage can inventories manufactured from higher cost aluminum in the fourth quarter of 1992 to meet 1993 volume requirements. Lower earnings in aerospace included continuing product development costs in the segment's visual imaging business. The company reported increased interest expense in the quarter due to higher borrowing levels and the replacement of short term floating rate debt with long term fixed rate debt during 1992.
 Ball announced, effective January 1, 1993, a change in its method of accounting to comply with new standards established by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) relating to post-retirement health care costs and other employee benefit plans. The change in accounting resulted in a one-time, non-cash after-tax charge of $34.7 million, or $1.29 per share in the quarter. As a result the company reported a net loss of $23.5 million, or 90 cents per share for the quarter.
 Ball's metal container operations have been reorganized into three operating units to reflect the consolidation of Ball's metal food and beverage container operations, as well as the company's growing international business. The new units include metal food containers and specialty products; metal beverage containers; and international metal containers.
 Ball's domestic metal beverage container operations reported higher sales for the quarter. Despite an estimated 1.3 percent decline in industry-wide beer and soft drink can shipments during the quarter, Ball's U.S. metal beverage can shipments grew at a double digit pace. Profitability was hampered, however, from the sale of higher cost aluminum beverage cans manufactured last year, and lower 1993 selling prices. Canadian beer can volumes continued to be affected by a 10 cent per can environmental tax in Ontario, which has resulted in a 60 percent reduction in beer can shipments in the province since the tax was enacted in May 1992. The modernization of beverage lines in Baie d'Urfe, Quebec neared completion in the quarter.
 Strong growth in food can shipments in Canada and the United States, and continued cost reductions resulted in higher sales and operating income. The newly acquired Heekin operations were profitable for the period, with expectations for a strong 1993 performance. Overall metal packaging sales and earnings were higher than in 1992.
 Glass container sales increased during the quarter, reflecting in large part incremental volumes from the acquisition of Kerr Group, Inc.'s glass container manufacturing operations in February 1992. Earnings were lower, however, due in large part to a slower-than- anticipated start-up of the new Ruston furnace; an early glass furnace rebuild at Dolton, Illinois; higher costs associated with labor agreements ratified earlier this year.
 The aerospace segment had lower sales and profits for the quarter. The segment was reorganized into three divisions to better reflect its core competencies, products and served markets. They include electro- optics and cryogenics; telecommunications products; and space systems and engineering. Despite difficult market conditions in space and defense, commercial and telecommunications markets continue to show strength.
 "This year will mark the completion of a number of strategic initiatives that Ball has been pursuing for some time," Davis said. "With the acquisition of Heekin and spin-off of Alltrista Corporation, the company has greatly enhanced its focus on core businesses, and is in the process of organizational restructuring that should lead to improved performance. Despite a slow beginning this year, we believe that our focus on cost reduction, productivity improvement and quality, along with continued prospects for growth, position us well for improved performance for the balance of 1993."
 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 (millions, except share data)
 Three Months Ended
 April 4, 1993 March 29, 1992
 Net sales $534.7 $487.3
 Costs and expenses 520.4 468.7
 Income from continuing
 operations before taxes on income 14.3 18.6
 Provision for taxes on income (4.9) (7.1)
 Minority interest (1.0) (.9)
 Equity in earnings
 of affiliiates .7 .2
 Net income from:
 Continuing operations 9.1 10.8
 Alltrista operations 2.1 .5
 Net income before cumulative effect
 of changes in accounting principles 11.2 11.3
 Cumulative effect of changes
 in accounting principles,
 net of tax (34.7) -
 Net (loss) income (23.5) 11.3
 Preferred dividends, net of tax (.8) (.9)
 Net (loss) earnings attributable to
 common shareholders $(24.3) $ 10.4
 Earnings (loss) per share from:
 Continuing operations $ .31 $ .38
 Alltrista operations .08 .02
 Cumulative effect of changes
 in accounting principles (1.29) -
 Total per share $ (.90) $ .40
 Fully diluted earnings (loss)
 per share from:
 Continuing operations $ .30 $ .36
 Alltrista operations .08 .02
 Cumulative effect of changes
 in accounting principles (1.28) -
 Total per share $ (.90) $ .38
 Weighted average shares
 outstanding (thousands) 26,939 25,803
 Fully diluted weighted
 average shares
 outstanding (thousands) 27,182 28,044
 Note: Prior year's results have been restated to reflect preferred dividends net of tax benefits in accordance with Financial Accounting Standards No. 109, "Accounting for Income Taxes."
 -0- 4/23/93
 /CONTACT: Brad Wilks of Ball Corporation, 317-747-6165, or 317-282-6198, after hours/
 (BLL)


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

BM -- CL006 -- 9882 04/23/93 08:15 EDT
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Date:Apr 23, 1993
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