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 BALTIMORE, Aug. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (NYSE: BGE) reported common stock earnings of $157,204,000 for the seven months ended July 31, 1993, equivalent to $1.09 per common share.
 This compares with earnings of $121,614,000 or $.91 per share for the same period last year. Earnings per share for the company's utility operations and for its diversified activities were as follows:
 Seven Months Ended July 31 1993 1992
 Utility Operations $1.08 $ .83
 Diversified Activities .01 .08
 Total 1.09 .91
 Edward A. Crooke, president and chief operating officer, said, "The increase in utility earnings primarily reflects the impact of the hot summer weather we've experienced this year, which substantially increased our customers' demand for electricity. During the month of July 1993, the Baltimore metropolitan area experienced the 3rd hottest July on record, including 12 straight days where the temperature exceeded 90 degrees. In contrast, summer temperatures in 1992 fell well below normal, which had an adverse effect on last year's electric sales." The April 1993 base rate increase authorized by the Public Service Commission of Maryland also had a positive effect on this year's results. Utility earnings were reduced by a one-time charge of $3.2 million to reflect passage of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 which increased the federal corporate income tax rate on 1993 earnings to 35 percent from 34 percent, retroactive to Jan. 1, 1993.
 For the seven months ended July 31, 1993, sales of electricity increased 6.2 percent from the comparable period last year, reflecting the impact of hot summer weather during 1993 and an increase in the total number of electric customers. Electric sales to residential customers increased 8.7 percent, while commercial and industrial electric sales increased 4.6 percent.
 Gas sales decreased 1.1 percent during the first seven months of 1993 vs. the same period last year. Sales of gas to residential customers increased 4 percent, reflecting the impact of the colder 1993 winter heating season and customer growth. Commercial and industrial gas sales, however, decreased 4.1 percent primarily due to lower utilization by Bethlehem Steel of our delivery service program and a planned maintenance outage at their Sparrows Point plant which reduced the volume of steel produced.
 Earnings from diversified business activities primarily represent the results of Constellation Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries. Bruce M. Ambler, president, Constellation Holdings, noted, "The commercial operation of our Puna geothermal plant provided Constellation with energy tax credits, which were partially offset by a charge associated with problems at our 83-megawatt Panther Creek waste-coal project. Together, these two energy projects contributed net income of $4 million, or $.03 per share, for the seven months ended July 31, 1993. However, Constellation's earnings through July were negatively impacted by $6 million, or $.04 per share, due to a non-cash charge to increase Constellation's existing deferred tax liability in response to the recent increase in the federal corporate income tax rate to 35 percent from 34 percent."
 Consolidated Financial Information
 (In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts)
 Seven Months Ended July 31 1993 1992
 Electric $1,196,915 $1,148,035
 Gas 273,849 234,986
 Diversified Activities 57,987 71,121
 Total 1,528,751 1,454,142
 Net Income 181,725 146,285
 Earnings Applicable to Common Stock 157,204 121,614
 Average Common Shares Outstanding 144,573 133,095
 Earnings Per Share of Common Stock:
 Utility Operations $1.08 $.83
 Diversified Activities .01 .08
 Total 1.09 .91
 -0- 8/20/93
 /CONTACT: Arthur J. Slusark of Baltimore Gas and Electric, 410-234-7433/

CO: Baltimore Gas and Electric Company ST: Maryland IN: UTI SU: ERN

MK -- PH012 -- 8714 08/20/93 14:38 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 20, 1993

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