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BALL CORPORATION SALES UP 67 PERCENT; NET INCOME ROSE 32 PERCENT FOR 1991; EARNINGS PER SHARE OF $2.42 UP 19 PERCENT FROM 1990

 BALL CORPORATION SALES UP 67 PERCENT; NET INCOME ROSE 32 PERCENT
 FOR 1991; EARNINGS PER SHARE OF $2.42 UP 19 PERCENT FROM 1990
 MUNCIE, Ind., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) today reported record net income of $66.2 million for 1991, 32 percent higher than a year ago. Earnings available to common shareholders of $55.9 million were 26 percent above 1990 and earnings per share grew 19 percent to $2.42. Sales for the year were $2.3 billion, a 67 percent increase.
 For the quarter, sales of $537.4 million were 78 percent above last year. Net income was $9 million compared with $1.4 million in 1990, earnings available to common shareholders were $6.3 million vs. a loss of $0.4 million in 1990 and earnings per share were 25 cents against a two cent loss in 1990, when the company had a 26 cents per share after-tax charge for costs related to an attempted acquisition.
 A majority of the increases in consolidated sales and operating earnings reflects the impact of consolidating in 1991 Ball-InCon Glass Packaging Corp. and Ball Packaging Products Canada, Inc., both now wholly owned subsidiaries. Those businesses, plus the domestic metal beverage container business, reported improvement vs. the prior year. These results were enhanced by improved aerospace performance vs. 1990.
 As a result of the company's sale of 3.2 million common shares in September 1991, the weighted average shares outstanding in the fourth quarter were 17 percent higher than the same period in 1990. For the year, the dilutive effect of the issuance of shares was partially offset by lower interest expense as the proceeds of $104 million from the offering were initially used to reduce debt.
 "All product lines in our core packaging business performed well, although margins remained at an unacceptable level," said Delmont A. Davis, president and chief executive officer. "Those results were complemented by higher operating earnings in the aerospace operations."
 Davis said the domestic metal beverage container business of Ball, while still hampered by industry overcapacity, resulting in far lower than historical margins, had a significant increase in sales volume and operating earnings due to operating at record efficiencies. He said volume will increase again in 1992 due to continued productivity improvement and a new production line in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., which will begin operation during the second quarter. "While final industry shipment figures are not yet available, we know we outperformed the industry in 1991, gaining market share, and are in a position to continue this performance during 1992."
 Ball-InCon had record sales and profits in 1991, its first full year of operation as a wholly owned subsidiary. Ball-InCon's primary business is in glass food containers, the only major container segment in the commercial glass industry experiencing volume growth.
 Ball-InCon's volume will increase further in 1992 assuming the company's previously announced acquisition of certain commercial glass container assets of Kerr Glass Manufacturing Corporation is consummated. Davis said this acquisition, which is subject to Kerr shareholder approval, should be completed in a few weeks. Elsewhere in its packaging operations, the company's newest wholly owned subsidiary, Ball Canada, exceeded planned performance in 1991.
 Commenting on aerospace operations, Davis said gains were achieved by the electro-optics/cryogenics, space systems and time/frequency product lines. The latter's increased sales and operating earnings were primarily a result of increased volume to the cellular phone industry.
 "We're pleased with our 1991 performance, particularly in light of general economic conditions," Davis said. "The year 1992 will be a challenging one, but at this time we are expecting continued improvements from 1991."
 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 (millions, except share data)
 Twelve Months Ended Three Months Ended
 12/31/91 12/31/90 12/31/91 12/31/90
 Net sales $2,267.4 $1,357.2 $ 537.4 $ 302.0
 Costs and expenses 2,157.5 1,293.9 523.2 299.8
 Income from consolidated
 operations before taxes 109.9 63.3 14.2 2.2
 Taxes on income (40.2) (19.7) (5.2) .4
 Minority interests (2.7) - (.5) -
 Income from consolidated
 companies 67.0 43.6 8.5 2.6
 Equity in (losses)/earnings
 of affiliates (.8) 6.6 .5 (1.2)
 Net income 66.2 50.2 9.0 1.4
 Preferred dividends (10.3) (5.8) (2.7) (1.8)
 Net earnings (loss)
 available to common
 shareholders $ 55.9 $ 44.4 $ 6.3 $ (.4)
 Net earnings (loss)
 per share $ 2.42 $ 2.03 $ .25 $ (.02)
 Fully diluted earnings
 (loss) per share $ 2.29 $ 1.95 $ .24 $ (.02)
 Weighted average shares
 outstanding
 (thousands) 23,125 21,886 25,648 21,989
 Fully diluted weighted
 average shares
 outstanding
 (thousands) 25,408 23,975 26,031 21,989
 -0- 1/28/92
 /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 -- CL001 -- 4040 01/28/92 08:10 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 28, 1992
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