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THE DELTA QUEEN STEAMBOAT CO. REPORTS THIRD QUARTER RESULTS

 NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Delta Queen Steamboat Co. (NASDAQ-NMS: DQSB) today reported significant improvements in results for the third quarter and first nine months of its fiscal year.
 Earnings for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1992, were $2.8 million, or 25 cents per share, compared to a pro forma loss of ($.7 million), or (7 cents) per share, during the third quarter of fiscal 1992.
 Last year's pro forma results included a non-cash, non-recurring compensation expense of $4 million, or 23 cents per share after tax. This year's quarterly earnings include a previously announced gain of $450,000, or 4 cents per share, arising from the finalization in December 1992 of amounts owed to Delta Queen's prior owner pursuant to a tax disaffiliation agreement.
 Excluding last year's charge and this year's gain, third quarter earnings per share rose 31 percent to 21 cents per share from 16 cents per share last year. Revenues during the third quarter increased 10 percent to $17.1 million from $15.5 million during the same quarter of the prior fiscal year.
 For the first nine months of fiscal 1993, earnings were $8.7 million, or 77 cents per share, compared to pro forma earnings of $4.2 million, or 37 cents per share, in the same period last year. Revenues rose 9 percent, to $54.0 million.
 S. Cody Engle, Delta Queen chairman, said improvements in performance were mainly the result of the company's 176-berth paddlewheel steamboat DELTA QUEEN operating 31 more days during this fiscal year's third quarter than in the previous year. As a result, total capacity passenger nights rose 11 percent to 54,464 from 49,008 during last year's third fiscal quarter.
 "The increased sailing days provided us significant additional inventory during the quarter, and enabled us to increase our passenger nights by 5 percent over last year's quarter. However, because of the larger base and our efforts to maintain our pricing structure, our physical occupancy statistics declined by 5 percent, to 89.3 percent," he said.
 Total steamboat segment revenues rose 9 percent, and steamboat segment operating income increased 15 percent when compared to operating income excluding last year's non-cash charge, Engle said.
 Despite the 11 percent increase in capacity (all of which occurred during the traditionally weak December period), fare revenue per passenger night held firm at $261 for the quarter. Total steamboat revenues per passenger night rose 4 percent to $318.
 Hotel segment revenues rose 17 percent to $1.6 million, due to slightly higher hotel occupancy and significantly higher average daily rate at the company's 197-room Maison Dupuy in New Orleans's French Quarter, Engle said. For the three months, hotel average daily rate per occupied room rose 17 percent to $99 from $85 during the same period last year.
 "The company's third quarter results, a record performance for the period, are about where we expected them to be," said Engle. "Like many other consumer-driven businesses, we saw a slight decline in demand during late October and early November, while consumers apparently paused in anticipation of the national elections.
 "However, since that time we've seen reservation demand pick up, and we expect full year performance to be on track with our expectations. Our sales rate for January is even with last year's and is accelerating."
 As of Jan. 22, 1993, cruise revenues plus advance reservations for cruises during the balance of calendar 1993 stood at $34 million, an 8 percent decrease from the same date last year but a 25 percent increase over the same date in calendar year 1991.
 "At the start of calendar 1992, we were virtually sold out for the first half of the year," Engle said. "To preserve flexibility and enhance our yields, we made the conscious decision to raise prices, narrow discounts and end our early-booking discount earlier than normal, fully expecting some weakness in demand as a result. Demand is accelerating at the present time, and is consistent with another record year for the company."
 Providing an update on the company's plans for a third boat, which will increase the company's cabin capacity by 70 percent, Engle said Delta Queen expects to sign a final construction contract with its shipyard within the next 30 days. Plans call for the third boat, tentatively named the BELLE OF AMERICA, to begin carrying passengers sometime between November 1994 and March 1995.
 The Delta Queen Steamboat Co., headquartered in New Orleans, is the nation's only provider of overnight paddlewheel steamboat vacations. Its two vessels, The Delta Queen and The Mississippi Queen, annually carry approximately 35,000 passengers to 50 cities and towns on the Mississippi, Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers. The company also owns the Maison Dupuy Hotel, a 197-room hotel in New Orleans' French Quarter. The Delta Queen Steamboat Co. made an initial public offering of approximately 4.1 million shares in March 1992, and its shares are traded on the NASDAQ National Market System with the symbol DQSB.
 THE DELTA QUEEN STEAMBOAT CO. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Consolidated Statements of Income
 (Amounts in thousands)
 Periods ended Three months Nine months
 Dec. 31 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Revenues $17,097 $15,535 $53,990 $49,541
 Cost of operations 8,879 8,214 27,471 25,655
 Gross profit 8,218 7,321 26,519 23,886
 Gross profit
 margin (in pcts.) 48.07 47.13 49.12 48.21
 Selling, general and
 administrative expense 4,259 3,894 12,659 11,670
 Depreciation 623 723 1,833 2,098
 Non-recurring executive
 compensation expense (A) 0 4,000 0 4,000
 Operating income 3,336 (1,296) 12,027 6,118
 Operating income
 margin (in pcts.) 19.51 -8.34 22.28 12.35
 Interest income 253 133 862 501
 Interest expense 0 640 0 1,898
 Income before income taxes 3,589 (1,803) 12,889 4,721
 Income taxes 801 (660) 4,177 1,733
 Net income $ 2,788 (1,143) $ 8,712 $ 2,988
 PRO FORMA ADJUSTMENTS (B)
 Interest expense 640 1,898
 Taxes (218) (645)
 Pro forma net income $ 2,788 $ (721) $ 8,712 $ 4,241
 Average common and common
 equivalent shares
 outstanding (B) 11,340 11,340 11,340 11,340
 Earnings per common
 share (A)(B) $ 0.25 $ (0.07) $ 0.77 $ 0.37
 DELTA QUEEN STEAMBOAT CO.
 Financial Highlights
 (Amounts in thousands)
 Periods ended Three months Nine months
 Dec. 31 1992 1991 1992 1991
 REVENUES
 Steamboat $15,478 $14,154 $49,470 $45,290
 Hotel 1,619 1,381 4,520 4,251
 Total $17,097 $15,535 $53,990 $49,541
 OPERATING INCOME
 Steamboat (A) $ 2,917 $(1,468) $11,027 $ 5,495
 Hotel 419 172 1,000 623
 Total $ 3,336 $(1,296) $12,027 $ 6,118
 Net income (A)(B) $ 2,788 $ (721) $ 8,712 $ 4,241
 Earnings per common
 share (A)(B) $ 0.25 $ (0.07) $ 0.77 $ 0.37
 Average common and
 equivalent shares
 outstanding 11,340 11,340 11,340 11,340
 OPERATING STATISTICS
 Steamboat:
 Fair revenue per
 passenger night $260.84 $260.48 $273.65 $256.99
 Total revenue per
 passenger night 318.09 305.76 327.47 303.79
 Operating days:
 Delta Queen 92 61 275 244
 Mississippi Queen 92 92 275 275
 Average vessel capacity per day (berths)
 Delta Queen 176.0 176.0 176.0 176.0
 Mississippi Queen 416.0 416.0 416.0 411.5
 Capacity Passenger Nights 54,464 49,008 162,800 156,120
 Passenger Nights 48,659 46,291 151,069 149,081
 Physical occupancy
 percentage (berths) 89.3 94.5 92.8 95.5
 HOTELS (197 rooms)
 Average daily rate per
 occupied room $ 98.89 $ 84.79 $ 85.98 $ 79.15
 Physical occupancy
 percentage (rooms) 71.7 70.4 76.1 79.2
 (A) In the third quarter of fiscal 1992, the company issued stock options to certain executive officers of the company resulting in the accrual of $4.0 million ($2.6 million after tax, or $0.23 per share) of non-recurring, non-cash compensation expense.
 (B) In March 1992, the company completed the sale of approximately 4.1 million shares of the company's common stock. The prior period net income, earnings per common share, and average common and common equivalent shares outstanding have been prepared assuming the offering occurring on April 1, 1991, resulting in (i) interest savings, net of tax, from the retirements of all outstanding debt with proceeds from the offering; and (ii) an increase in average common equivalent shares reflecting the issuance of shares from the offering.
 -0- 1/26/93
 /CONTACT: Kirk Brewer for The Delta Queen Steamboat Co., 312-258-4358/
 (DQSB)


CO: Delta Queen Steamboat Co. ST: Louisiana IN: LEI SU: ERN

SM -- NY014 -- 8959 01/26/93 09:41 EST
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