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COLUMBIA GAS ANNOUNCES IMPROVED SECOND QUARTER EARNINGS

 COLUMBIA GAS ANNOUNCES IMPROVED SECOND QUARTER EARNINGS
 WILMINGTON, Del., Aug. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The Columbia Gas System,


Inc. (NYSE: CG) today announced improved second quarter earnings.
 For the period, the Corporation reported earnings of $30.7 million or 61 cents per share compared to a loss of $802 million or $15.88 per share in the second quarter of 1991.
 The Corporation and Columbia Gas Transmission Corp., its principal pipeline subsidiary, have been operating under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code since July 31, 1991. None of the Corporation's other subsidiaries is operating under bankruptcy court protection.
 The 1991 loss primarily reflected an after-tax charge of $765 million ($15.14 per share) associated with noncompetitive natural gas purchase contracts that Columbia Gas Transmission was subsequently permitted to reject by the bankruptcy court. Second quarter earnings for 1992 were improved $34.1 million as a result of not recording interest on pre-bankruptcy debt and were reduced $2.6 million by the net effect of other bankruptcy related items.
 Adjusting for these items, the Corporation would have reported a loss during the second quarter of 1992 of $800,000 compared to a loss of $37 million during the same period of 1991.
 Columbia Chairman and CEO John H. Croom said: "Columbia's second quarter operating results benefited from the effect of colder weather during the period and reflect steps the System's regulated subsidiaries have taken to respond to today's changing energy marketplace and the depressed condition of the nation's domestic oil and gas industry.
 "Proceedings in the bankruptcy court with respect to controversies with creditors of Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation are progressing and we hope the issues involved will soon be better defined and quantified. This will permit discussions with claimants to resolve major issues and develop reorganization plans that can have broad support. If progress continues to be made, our goal of emerging from Chapter 11 by mid-1993 can still be attained."
 Second Quarter Operating Results
 Columbia's oil and gas segment reported operating income of $2.2 million for the current quarter compared to a loss of $2.7 million last year. Last year, the System recorded a $7.3 million writedown of Canadian oil and gas properties that subsequently were sold. While increased oil and gas production improved segment income, this improvement was more than offset by lower energy prices.
 Transmission segment operating income for the current quarter was $49.3 million. In the same quarter last year, the transmission segment reported a loss of $1,161.9 million primarily because of the pre-tax effect of the gas contract charge. After adjusting for the prior period charge, the current quarter improvement primarily reflects the impact of a rate design change that went into effect April 1. The new rate design reduces the effect that weather has on revenues and allows fixed costs to be recovered more evenly throughout the year. The recording of higher estimated liabilities associated with two producer claims reduced earnings during the period.
 The distribution segment reported operating income of $5.2 million compared to a loss of $7.2 million in the same period in 1991. Colder weather and higher rates by each of Columbia's distribution companies helped improve segment income.
 Six-Month Results
 For the first six months of 1992, Columbia reported earnings of $41.5 million or 82 cents a share as compared with a loss of $653.8 million or $12.94 a share during the same period in 1991.
 The prior period loss primarily reflects the after-tax effect of the provision for gas supply charges in the second quarter of 1991. Net income for this period was improved by $69.6 million due to interest expense not being recorded on unsecured prepetition debt obligations and was reduced $6.3 million by the net effect of other bankruptcy related issues.
 The oil and gas segment had an operating loss of $119.8 million for the first six months of 1992 compared to a loss of $7.6 million during the same period in 1991. The current period loss is primarily due to the effect of lower energy prices in 1992 which caused a writedown of $126.4 million in the first quarter. Writedowns of $28.2 million for the Canadian subsidiary were recorded in 1991.
 The transmission segment had operating income of $90.4 million for the six month period in 1992. This compares with a loss of $1,115.4 million during the same period in 1991 resulting primarily from the writedown associated with non-competitive gas purchase contracts.
 Operating income for the distribution segment during the first six months of 1991 was $106.1 million, an increase of $38.5 million over last year due to increased throughput and higher rates.
 THE COLUMBIA GAS SYSTEM, INC.
 Summary of Financial and Operating Data
 Periods ended Three months Six months
 June 30 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Income statement data
 ($ millions)
 Total operating revenue 522.1 426.0 1,554.3 1,408.4
 Income before
 accounting changes 30.7 (802.0) 41.5 (754.2)
 Net income 30.7 (802.0) 41.5 (653.8)(A)
 Operating income (Loss)
 by segment:
 Oil and gas 2.2 (2.7) (119.8) (7.6)
 Transmission 49.3 (1,161.9) 90.4 (1,115.4)
 Distribution 5.2 (7.2) 106.1 67.6
 Other energy (0.3) (3.7) 2.8 (0.1)
 Corporate (1.9) (3.3) (3.9) (6.3)
 Total 54.5 (1,178.8) 75.6 (1,061.8)
 Per share data
 Income before accounting
 changes ($) 0.61 (15.88) 0.82 (14.93)
 Earnings on common
 stock ($) 0.61 (15.88) 0.82 (12.94)(A)
 Dividends on common
 stock ($) --- .58 --- 1.16
 Average common shares
 Outstanding (millions) 50.6 50.5 50.6 50.5
 Operating data
 Oil and gas volumes:
 Gas production (billion
 cubic feet) 17.6 15.8(B) 35.3 36.1(B)
 Oil production
 (000 barrels) 737 788(B) 1,484 1,602(B)
 Transmission
 (billion cubic feet):
 Gas sales 38.1 4.9 95.4 14.3
 Transportation:
 LDC & end users 246.7 186.1 479.4 446.3
 Short-haul 171.7 132.8 325.6 287.5
 Total transportation 418.4 318.9 805.0 733.8
 Throughput 456.5 323.8 900.4 748.1
 Distribution
 (billion cubic feet):
 Gas sales 41.4 36.1 167.7 161.6
 Transportation 47.4 44.5 107.3 98.9
 Throughput 88.8 80.6 275.0 260.5
 Degree days-distribution
 service territory
 Actual 693 391 3,365 2,964
 Normal 569 569 3,548 3,516
 Pct. colder (warmer)
 than normal 22 (31) (5) (16)
 Pct. colder (warmer)
 than prior period 77 (42) 14 1
 (A) Restated to reflect the adoption of SFAS No. 106 (Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions) and SFAS No. 96 (Accounting for Income Taxes)
 (B) Includes the Canadian operations which were sold effective Dec. 31, 1991.
 /delval/
 -0- 8/10/92
 /CONTACT: H.W. Chaddock, 302-429-5261, W.R. McLaughlin, 302-429-5443, or D.W. McFarland (analysts), 302-429-5363, or T.L. Hughes (analysts), 302-429-5471, 302-429-5000/
 (CG) CO: The Columbia Gas System, Inc. ST: Delaware IN: OIL SU: ERN


JS -- PH018 -- 8599 08/10/92 15:01 EDT
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