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SONAT REPORTS SECOND QUARTER RESULTS, ANNOUNCES DIVIDEND INCREASE AND STOCK SPLIT

 BIRMINGHAM, Ala., July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Ronald L. Kuehn, Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer of Sonat Inc. (NYSE: SNT), today announced second quarter earnings and said that the Sonat Board of Directors had approved a dividend increase and a two-for-one stock split.
 Kuehn said that the company's earnings from continuing operations for the three months ended June 30, 1993, were $125.9 million, or $2.91 per share before giving effect to the stock split. After adjusting for a gain of $99.7 million, or $2.31 per share, from the June 4 closing of the initial public offering of Sonat Offshore Drilling Inc. (NYSE: RIG) common stock, of which Sonat continues to own a 40 percent interest, earnings from continuing operations were $26.2 million, or $.60 per share. This compared with a loss of $4.2 million, or $.10 per share, for the same period in 1992.
 For the first six months of 1993, the company's earnings continuing operations were $191.0 million, or $4.42 per share. After adjusting for the gain from the Sonat Offshore Drilling public offering and $17.1 million, or $.40 per share, of various non-recurring first quarter items, the company earned $74.2 million, or $1.71 per share. This compared with $38.8 million, or $.91 per share for the first six months of 1992.
 "I am pleased to report to our shareholders that the Board of Directors has approved an increase in the regular quarterly dividend from $.50 per share to $.54 per share," said Kuehn. "The decision to increase the dividend reflects Sonat's strong growth in earnings and the expectations by our Board and management that our earnings will continue to show excellent growth," he said. The dividend, payable on September 14, 1993, to stockholders of record on August 31, 1993, is the 218th consecutive quarterly dividend paid on the company's common stock.
 Kuehn also announced that the Board of Directors had approved a two- for-one stock split to be effective September 14, 1993, to stockholders of record on August 31, 1993. On a post-split basis, the quarterly dividend will be $.27 per share and $1.08 per share on an annual basis.
 Sonat, headquartered in Birmingham, is a worldwide energy company involved in natural gas transmission and marketing, oil and gas exploration and production, and has significant investments in the oil field services industry.
 SONAT INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
 (Unaudited)
 3 Months 6 Months
 Periods Ended June 30, 1993 1992 1993 1992
 (In Thousands, Except Per-Share Amounts)
 Revenues $356,492 $295,586 $853,405 $715,563
 Costs and Operating
 Expenses 312,810 280,077 726,621 621,617
 Operating Income 43,682 15,509 126,784 93,946
 Other Income, Net 167,987 5,178 172,097 8,777
 Interest Income
 (Expense), Net (21,069) (25,188) (18,674) (53,177)
 Income (Loss) from
 Continuing
 Operations Before
 Extraordinary
 Item and
 Income Taxes 190,600 (4,501) 280,207 49,546
 Income Taxes
 (Benefits) 64,735 (336) 85,419 10,767
 Income (Loss) from
 Continuing
 Operations before
 Extraordinary
 Item 125,865 (4,165) 194,788 38,779
 Income from
 Discontinued
 Operations (1) --- 111,915 --- 112,207
 Extraordinary
 Item (2) --- --- (3,829) ---
 Net Income (3) $125,865 $107,750 $190,959 $150,986
 Earnings Per Share of Common Stock:
 Earnings (loss)
 from continuing
 operations
 before
 extraordinary
 item $ 2.91 $ (.10) $ 4.51 $ .91
 Earnings from
 discontinued
 operations --- 2.61 --- 2.61
 Loss from
 extraordinary
 item --- --- (.09) ---
 Earnings
 Per Share $ 2.91 $ 2.51 $ 4.42 $ 3.52
 Cash Dividends Paid
 Per Common
 Share $ .50 $ .50 $ 1.00 $ 1.00
 SONAT INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 BUSINESS SEGMENT DATA
 (Unaudited)
 3 Months 6 Months
 Periods Ended June 30, 1993 1992 1993 1992
 (In Thousands)
 Revenues:
 Natural gas
 transmission
 and marketing $250,595 $184,276 $650,166 $510,907
 Exploration and
 production 85,767 62,246 164,701 126,120
 Offshore
 drilling 52,584 59,668 108,244 104,596
 Other 1,254 3,404 2,387 6,953
 Intersegment
 revenue (33,708) (14,008) (72,093) (33,013)
 $356,492 $295,586 $853,405 $715,563
 Operating Income:
 Natural gas
 transmission
 and marketing $ 16,767 $ 12,681 $ 78,338 $ 82,106
 Exploration and
 production 23,716 3,245 45,523 12,622
 Offshore
 drilling 3,638 (365) 2,438 429
 Other, net of
 corporate
 expenses (439) (52) 485 (1,211)
 Operating
 Income $ 43,682 $ 15,509 $126,784 $ 93,946
 (1) Discontinued operations represents the operations
 of Teleco Oilfield Services which was sold in
 April 1992.
 (2) In March 1993 the Company recognized a $4 million
 loss or $.09 per share, net of taxes of
 $2 million, on the redemption of the Company's
 7-1/4 Percent Zero Coupon, Subordinated Convertible
 Notes which were due September 6, 2005.
 (3) Net income for the 1993 six-month period includes
 a net gain of $21 million, or $.48 per share,
 related to the settlement of an examination of the
 Company's federal income tax returns for the years
 1983 through 1985 and other tax issues.
 -0- 7/22/93
 /CONTACT: Bruce L. Connery, 205-325-3898, or Thomas W. Barker, Jr., 205-325-3586, both of Sonat/
 (SNT RIG)


CO: Sonat Inc. ST: Alabama IN: OIL SU: ERN

BR -- AT006 -- 4462 07/22/93 10:58 EDT
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Date:Jul 22, 1993
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