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PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY REPORTS FISCAL 1993 OPERATING RESULTS

 GASTONIA, N.C., Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Public Service Company of North Carolina, Inc. (PSNC) (NASDAQ-NMS: PSNC), a natural gas utility, today reported operating results for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 1993. Earnings per share were $.90 as compared to record earnings of $1.08 for fiscal 1992. All per share data is restated for PSNC's 3-for-2 common stock split effected in the form of a 50 percent common stock dividend paid Jan. 4, 1993.
 Gross margin for fiscal 1993 was $112.1 million, a $2.1 million or 2 percent increase as compared to $110.0 million for fiscal 1992. This resulted from operating revenues for fiscal 1993 of $280.0 million, an increase of $39.6 million over fiscal 1992, and cost of gas of $167.9 million, an increase of $37.5 million over fiscal 1992. Other operating expenses and taxes increased $4.4 million or 6 percent to $83.7 million. This increase, combined with an increase in other income and increased interest expense, produced net income for the current fiscal year of $14.2 million, a decrease of $2.5 million or 15 percent as compared to the record net income for fiscal 1992.
 The increased gross margin was due to larger quantities of natural gas sold for heating requirements to higher-margin residential and small commercial customers. The increase in quantities of 12 percent and 8 percent, respectively, was due to an increase in the respective customer bases of 4 percent and 3 percent, and due to weather that was 9 percent colder than in the prior fiscal year. The impact that weather had on gross margin during fiscal 1993 for these classes of customers was offset by the operation of the weather normalization adjustment mechanism which lowered gross margin by $597,000. Although throughput to lower-margin industrial and large commercial customers decreased 2 percent as compared to fiscal 1992, PSNC delivered a record 57.2 million dekatherms (DT) of natural gas to its customers during fiscal 1993.
 The increase in other operating expenses and taxes was due to several items. Operating and maintenance expenses increased $4.5 million or 10 percent as compared to fiscal 1992 due to increased wages and salaries, to increased insurance costs, to an increase in the provision for uncollectible accounts based on increased revenues, and to significant corporate re-engineering expenses for enhanced market competitiveness and operating efficiency. Depreciation expense increased $1.0 million or 8 percent due to $40.1 million of plant additions during the fiscal year, and general taxes increased $1.5 million or 12 percent due mainly to increased franchise taxes based on increased revenues. These increases were partially offset by a $2.6 million or 26 percent decrease in income tax expense.
 PSNC is franchised to serve 26 counties in North Carolina and distributes natural gas to more than 260,000 customers in 87 cities and communities ranging from the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill areas in the northeast; the Concord, Statesville, Gastonia and Forest City areas in the Piedmont; to the Asheville, Hendersonville and Brevard areas in the western part of the state. PSNC, through various subsidiaries, also participates in nonregulated businesses such as natural gas brokering and retail propane sales.
 PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY OF NORTH CAROLINA
 COMPARATIVE RESULTS
 (Amounts in Thousands, Except Raleigh/Durham degree Day
 and Per Share Data)
 Three Months Twelve Months
 Periods Ended 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Sept. 30:
 Normal degree days 18 18 3,356 3,374(A)
 Actual degree days 10 16 3,462 3,181(A)
 Percent of normal 56 89 103 94
 (A) Reflects an additional day for leap year.
 Total volume throughput
 (DT) 8,233 8,306 57,179 54,857
 Revenues $30,484 $30,361 $279,989 $240,403
 Gross margin $12,634 $13,657 $112,105 $110,003
 Operating income $(1,406) $ (574) $ 28,376 $ 30,647
 Net income $(5,086) $(4,349) $ 14,219 $ 16,750
 Earnings for common $(5,086) $(4,372) $ 14,184 $ 16,654
 Average common shares
 (B) 15,973 15,539 15,812 15,373
 Earnings per share
 (B) $ (.32) $ (.28) $ .90 $ 1.08
 Cash dividends declared
 per share(B) $.1975 $ .19 $ .775 $ .747
 (B) Prior period amounts have been restated for a 3-for-2 common stock split effected in the form of a 50 percent common stock dividend paid Jan. 4, 1993.
 -0- 11/1/93
 /CONTACT: Robert D. Voigt, senior vice president-finance and treasurer and chief financial officer, of Public Service Company of North Carolina, 704-834-6494/
 (PSNC)


CO: Pi?c Service Company of North Carolina, Inc. ST: North Carolina IN: UTI SU: ERN

SB-CM -- CH006 -- 9202 11/01/93 13:42 EST
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Date:Nov 1, 1993
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