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CASCADE NATURAL GAS REPORTS EARNINGS

 SEATTLE, July 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Cascade Natural Gas Corp. (NYSE: CGC) reported improved 1993 operating results for the normally warm second quarter, with a loss of $982,000 or 19 cents per share of common stock compared to a loss of $1,177,000 or 27 cents per share for the comparable quarter one year ago. Earnings for the six months ended June 30, 1993, were $5,635,000 or $1.10 per share (including $209,000 or 4 cents per share from the cumulative effect of the adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No. 109, Accounting for Income Taxes) compared to $2,409,000 or 54 cents per share for the comparable period one year ago.
 Strong customer growth (up 7.4 percent) coupled with weather that was colder (32 percent more degree days) than the 1992 quarter, but still warmer than normal (15 percent fewer degree days) helped reduce the second quarter loss in 1993 from that experienced in 1992. Margins from the core customer group increased 21 percent ($1,258,000) in the current quarter compared to one year ago. Operating expenses were up 11.1 percent ($720,000) in the current quarter and 9.3 percent ($1,216,000) in the six-month period over the comparable 1992 periods. Payroll and fringe benefit cost increases accounted for 64 percent of the increase in the quarter and 68 percent in the six months. Increased overtime costs to meet current growth and maintenance requirements and accruals for postretirement medical benefits contributed significantly to these increases.
 Gas deliveries to the core market were up 18.9 percent in the quarter and 34.9 percent in the six-month period compared to the 1992 periods. Non-core deliveries were up 16.3 percent in the current quarter and 24.3 percent in the six-month period compared to one year ago. The increase in non-core deliveries is primarily attributable to the electric cogeneration market.
 CASCADE NATURAL GAS CORP.
 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 SECOND QUARTER - 1993
 (Thousands, except share amounts)
 1993
 Three Months Ended Year
 March 31 June 30 Sept. 30 Dec. 31 To Date
 Revenues $61,729 37,141 --- --- $98,870
 Operating margin 22,736 11,014 --- --- 33,751
 Operating expense 13,968 10,168 --- --- 24,138
 Operating income 8,768 846 --- --- 9,613
 Interest and other 2,213 1,682 --- --- 3,894
 Change in
 accounting (209) --- --- --- (209)
 Net income 6,764 (836) --- --- 5,928
 Preferred dividends 147 146 --- --- 293
 Earnings on
 common $ 6,617 (982) --- --- $ 5,635
 Common shares
 outstanding:
 End of period 5,091 5,679 --- --- 5,679
 Average 5,081 5,144 --- --- 5,100
 Earnings per
 share $ 1.30 (0.19) --- --- $ 1.10
 Cash flow per
 share $ 2.80 0.71 --- --- $ 3.51
 Dividends paid per
 share $ 0.350 0.355 --- --- $ 0.705
 Book value per
 share $ 14.61 15.16 --- --- $ 15.16
 Market closing
 price $ 25.38 26.00 --- --- $ 26.00
 Customers (end
 of period) 125 124 --- --- 124
 Gas deliveries
 (therms):
 Core customers 91,393 34,547 --- --- 125,940
 Non-core
 customers 132,855 107,802 --- --- 240,657
 Degree days:
 Normal 2,373 982 --- --- 3,355
 Actual 2,693 834 --- --- 3,527
 Warmer (colder)
 than normal (pct) (13) 15 --- --- (5)
 1992
 Three Months Ended Year
 March 31 June 30 Sept. 30 Dec. 31 To Date
 Revenues $ 47,155 27,676 25,161 52,474 $152,466
 Operating margin 16,946 9,651 8,175 18,377 53,149
 Operating expense 11,482 8,928 8,327 12,246 40,983
 Operating income 5,464 723 (152) 6,131 12,166
 Interest and other 1,728 1,751 1,822 2,022 7,323
 Change in
 accounting --- --- --- --- ---
 Net income 3,736 (1,028) (1,974) 4,109 4,843
 Preferred
 dividends 150 149 149 147 595
 Earnings on
 common $ 3,586 (1,177) (2,123) 3,962 $ 4,248
 Common shares
 outstanding:
 End of period 4,432 4,449 4,461 5,076 5,076
 Average 4,425 4,437 4,453 4,666 4,454
 Earnings per
 share $ 0.81 (0.27) (0.48) 0.85 $ 0.95
 Cash flow per
 share $ 2.14 0.73 (0.22) 1.09 $ 3.78
 Dividends paid
 per share $ 0.34 0.35 0.35 0.35 $ 1.39
 Book value per
 share $ 13.43 12.84 12.04 13.63 $ 13.63
 Market closing
 price $ 21.63 22.13 23.00 23.50 $ 23.50
 Customers (end
 of period) 117 115 116 123 123
 Gas deliveries
 (therms):
 Core customers 64,346 29,044 23,472 72,789 189,651
 Non-core
 customers 100,828 92,722 115,753 106,182 415,485
 Degree days:
 Normal 2,373 982 318 2,002 5,675
 Actual 2,027 629 264 2,155 5,075
 Warmer (colder)
 than normal (pct) 15 36 17 (8) 11
 -0- 7/26/93
 /CONTACT: Donald E. Bennett, executive vice president, chief financial officer and secretary, of Cascade Natural Gas, 206-624-3900/
 (CGC)


CO: Cascade Natural Gas Corp. ST: Washington IN: UTI SU: ERN

SB -- SE003 -- 5891 07/26/93 16:47 EDT
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Date:Jul 26, 1993
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