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CENTERIOR REPORTS THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS

 CENTERIOR REPORTS THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS
 INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Centerior Energy


Corporation (NYSE: CX) today reported third quarter earnings of $122 million, or $.86 per share, compared with $95 million, or $.68 per share, for the same period in 1991.
 A Rate Stabilization Program approved by The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio allowed the recording of carrying charges on new facilities in service but not yet in rate base and the deferral of depreciation and property taxes on those facilities. These authorizations were retroactive to Jan. 1, 1992. The carrying charges and deferrals totaled about $41 million on an after-tax basis, or $.29 per share, for the first three quarters of the year. They were recorded in the third quarter.
 Revenues for the third quarter were down $51 million, or 7 percent, mostly because of weather-related sales declines. The cooler-than- normal summer weather accounted for some $47 million of the revenue drop from the comparison quarter in 1991 when the weather was hotter than normal.
 The revenue decrease was substantially offset by reductions in operating expenses, including deferrals of $35 million of depreciation and property taxes authorized under the Rate Stabilization Program, an $11 million decline in fuel and purchased power costs, and a $15 million decline in other operation and maintenance expenses.
 Nonoperating income in the third quarter increased by $20 million, primarily because of the accrual of $26 million in carrying charges under the Rate Stabilization Program relating to net plant additions not currently reflected in rates.
 The Rate Stabilization Program, which was developed by Centerior and customer representative groups, extends the current freeze on electric rates until 1996 and limits subsequent rate increases for Cleveland Electric and Toledo Edison customers through 1998. Rate increases beyond the rate moratorium, if needed, could not exceed 4.7 percent in 1996, 3.4 percent in 1997, and 2.5 percent in 1998.
 The Program allows Centerior and its operating companies to defer and subsequently recover certain costs not currently recovered in rates and to accelerate amortization of certain benefits.
 For the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 1992, earnings per share were $1.56, down from $1.74 for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 1991. The previously explained regulatory accounting measures had an estimated effect of $.29 per share in the current 12-month period. Net income was $220 million, compared with $242 million for the year-ago period. The 12-month earnings decline stems primarily from a $117 million drop in operating revenues, a result of moderate weather and the continuing economic slump for much of the 12-month period.
 This was offset, in part, by an $81 million decline in operating expenses. Among other items, the aforementioned cost deferrals associated with depreciation and property taxes contributed $35 million to the decline in expenses. Fuel and purchased power costs were down $44 million because of lower sales and a decrease in fuel costs. Other operation and maintenance expenses were down $39 million.
 Retail kilowatt-hour sales for the third quarter were down 7 percent from the year-ago quarter as Cleveland Electric's and Toledo Edison's service areas experienced the coolest summer in 56 years. The summer of 1991 was one of the hottest on record, further accentuating the sales variation between the two quarters.
 Residential sales were down 15 percent and commercial sales down 5 percent from the 1991 third quarter. Industrial sales were down 2 percent from the year-ago period as the local economy continued to be sluggish. Production in the auto and steel sectors is showing improvement, although at a slow rate. Total sales in the third quarter were down 5 percent from a year ago as the retail sales decline was offset in part by a 19 percent increase in sales to other utilities.
 Retail sales for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 1992, were down 1 percent from the previous 12 months, primarily because of unusually moderate weather this past winter and summer. Wholesale sales were down 8 percent. Total sales declined by 2 percent.
 Centerior Energy Corporation and Subsidiaries
 (Thousands except per share amounts)
 Quarter ended September 30
 1992 1991
 Revenues $665,000 $716,000
 Net Income $122,000 $95,000
 Average Shares 142,045 139,336
 Per Share Earnings $.86 $.68
 12 months ended September 30
 1992 1991
 Revenues $2,428,000 $2,545,000
 Net Income $220,000 $242,000
 Average Shares 140,987 138,776
 Per Share Earnings $1.56 $1.74
 -0- 10/27/92
 /CONTACT: Lee Bailey of Centerior Energy Corporation, 216-447-3235 or 216-623-1060 after hours/
 (CX) CO: Centerior Energy Corporation ST: Ohio IN: UTI SU: ERN


KK -- CL014 -- 5346 10/27/92 11:23 EST
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Date:Oct 27, 1992
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