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CASCADE NATURAL GAS REPORTS EARNINGS

 SEATTLE, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Cascade Natural Gas Corp. (NYSE: CGC) reported earnings of $3,962,000, or 85 cents per share of common stock, for the fourth quarter of 1992 as compared to earnings of $3,025,000, or 69 cents per share, for the comparable quarter one year ago. Earnings for the year ended Dec. 31, 1992, were $4,248,000, or 95 cents per share, compared to $7,503,000, or $1.71 per share, for the comparable period one year ago. A return to more normal weather (5 percent colder than normal) in the fourth quarter of 1992 resulted in strong earnings for the quarter. However, weather for the entire year was 19 percent warmer than normal, severely impacting the full-year results. Management estimates that the warmer-than-normal weather cost at least 69 cents per share in earnings. The 1991 results included overrun penalty income in the amount of $748,000, or 17 cents per share. Costs of $157,000, or 3 cents per share, representing approximately one-half of the costs incurred to date in connection with natural gas exploration were charged to expenses in the fourth quarter.
 Customer growth continues at a strong pace. Customer growth for all of 1992 was up 7.51 percent. Cascade has added 23,400 customers in the last three years for an average growth rate of 7.3 percent. Operating expenses increased 5.5 percent ($359,000) over the same quarter of 1991. Operating expenses for all of 1992 were up 6.6 percent ($1,632,000) over 1991. Payroll and fringe benefit costs (primarily medical costs) accounted for the majority of the increase in both periods.
 Gas deliveries to the core market were up 11 percent in the fourth quarter and down 3.5 percent in the full year, compared to the comparable periods one year ago. Non-core deliveries were up 1 percent in the fourth quarter and 14.7 percent in the full year, compared to the comparable periods one year ago. The significant increase in deliveries to the non-core market is largely attributable to the electric generation market.
 CASCADE NATURAL GAS CORP.
 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 FOURTH QUARTER - 1992
 (In thousands, except share amounts)
 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 charges 1,728 1,751 1,822 2,022 7,323
 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 $ 13.65 $ 13.65
 Market closing
 price $ 21.63 $ 22.13 $ 23.00 $ 23.50 $ 23.50
 Core customers
 (end of
 period) 117 115 116 123 123
 Gas Deliveries:
 Core customers 64,346 29,044 23,472 72,593 189,455
 Non-core
 customers 100,828 92,722 115,753 106,378 415,681
 Degree Days:
 Normal 2,373 982 318 2,002 5,675
 Actual 1,767 544 216 2,095 4,622
 Warmer than
 normal (pct) 26 45 32 -5 19
 1991
 Three Months Ended Year
 March 31 June 30 Sept. 30 Dec. 31 To Date
 Revenues $ 52,851 $ 30,122 $ 23,137 $ 48,202 $154,312
 Operating
 margin 20,874 10,846 8,006 15,626 55,352
 Operating
 expense 12,243 9,200 7,831 10,627 39,901
 Operating
 income 8,631 1,646 175 4,999 15,451
 Interest charges 2,286 1,829 1,751 1,934 7,800
 Net income 6,345 (183) (1,576) 3,065 7,651
 Preferred
 dividends 36 36 36 40 148
 Earnings on
 common $ 6,309 $ (219) $ (1,612) $ 3,025 $ 7,503
 Common Shares
 Outstanding:
 End of period 4,386 4,397 4,410 4,421 4,421
 Average 4,380 4,390 4,402 4,414 4,391
 Earnings per
 share $ 1.44 $ (0.05) $ (0.37) $ 0.69 $ 1.71
 Cash flow
 per share $ 3.10 $ 0.81 $ (0.21) $ 0.24 $ 3.94
 Dividends paid
 per share $ 0.33 $ 0.34 $ 0.34 $ 0.34 $ 1.35
 Book value
 per share $ 13.66 $ 13.29 $ 12.60 $ 12.95 $ 12.95
 Market closing
 price $ 18.88 $ 21.38 $ 22.00 $ 23.25 $ 23.25
 Core customers
 (end of
 period) 108 108 107 115 115
 Gas Deliveries:
 Core customers 73,983 34,756 22,264 65,184 196,187
 Non-core
 customers 97,253 86,321 73,949 105,112 362,635
 Degree Days:
 Normal 2,373 982 318 2,002 5,675
 Actual 2,200 1,009 225 1,957 5,391
 Warmer than
 normal (pct) 7 -3 29 2 5
 -0- 2/2/93
 /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

LM-SW -- SE010 -- 1980 02/02/93 14:37 EST
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