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COLUMBIA GAS SYSTEM REPORTS IMPROVED NET INCOME

 WILMINGTON, Del., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The Columbia Gas System, Inc. (NYSE: CG) today reported improved net income of $87.8 million, or $1.73 per share, for the fourth quarter of 1992, as compared to $81.5 million, or $1.61 per share, for the same period in 1991.
 Columbia Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John H. Croom said the results reflect the net effect of bankruptcy-related issues in both periods, higher income for both the oil and gas and transmission segments and lower distribution segment income.
 The Columbia Gas System, Inc., and its principal pipeline subsidiary, Columbia Gas Transmission Corp., have been operating as debtors in possession under Chapter 11 of the U. S. Bankruptcy Code since July 31, 1991. None of the parent company's other subsidiaries is under Chapter 11 protection.
 Croom said discussions with representatives of creditors of both companies and of the parent shareholders are continuing in an effort to develop consensual reorganization plans that will maximize value to shareholders, creditors and other affected parties. "However, due to delays associated with pending litigation and resolving claims for rejected contracts filed by producers against Columbia Transmission, it now appears unlikely that the Chapter 11 proceedings can be concluded before the end of this year," he added.
 The System's net income for 1992 was $51.2 million, or $1.01 per share. This compares to a loss of $694.4 million, or $13.74 per share, in 1991, that was primarily due to charges associated with non- competitive gas purchase contracts that led to the Chapter 11 filings. Absent this and the impact of bankruptcy related issues and unusual items that were recorded in both years, net income for 1992 would have been $98.7 million, as compared to $80.8 million for 1991.
 FOURTH QUARTER RESULTS
 The oil and gas segment had operating income of $14.9 million in the period, a $4.8 million increase over the fourth quarter of 1991. Excluding the impact due to the Dec. 31, 1991 sale of Canadian oil and gas operations, oil and gas had a 27 percent increase in prices for natural gas that more than offset a decline in gas production of 1.8 billion cubic feet to 17.3 billion cubic feet. Adjusted for the sale of the Canadian properties, oil production increased 11 percent to 874,000 barrels in 1992, but this was offset by a $1.07 per barrel price decline.
 The transmission segment's fourth quarter operating income was $88.8 million in 1992, a $40.1 million improvement over the fourth quarter of 1991. About half of this increase ($20.9 million) is due to gas inventory charges paid by distribution company customers to partially compensate Columbia Gas Transmission for gas supply management costs after the customers failed to purchase previously agreed to volumes. Another $11.9 million is due to reduced gas costs.
 The distribution segment reported operating income of $47.3 million for the fourth quarter of 1992, a $17.4 million decline from the same period in 1991. Higher operating costs in the 1992 quarter were partially offset by the beneficial effect of increased throughput resulting from temperatures that were 5 percent colder than the same period in 1991.
 12 MONTHS RESULTS
 A $126.4 million writedown in the carrying value of Columbia's oil and gas properties to reflect depressed oil and gas prices during the first quarter was the major cause of the $101.2 million loss reported by the oil and gas segment for 1992. In 1991, a $4.5 million loss was recorded by the segment primarily due to $36.4 million in writedowns of Canadian oil and gas properties.
 Benefitting from increased use of firm transportation services and additional throughput because temperatures were colder than during the previous year, the transmission segment had operating income of $129.9 million in 1992. A reserve for environmental remediation costs totaling $65.3 million and a $38.6 million writedown in capitalized gas costs were recorded during the year. In 1991, the segment reported a loss of $1,192.2 million due to the rejection of high-cost producer contracts, related gas supply management costs and the impact of contract rejection and renegotiation costs previously capitalized.
 In 1992, colder weather combined with the effect of favorable rate settlements increased operating income to $137.7 million for the distribution segment, a $22.8 million increase over 1991. Distribution throughput increased five percent in 1992.
 THE COLUMBIA GAS SYSTEM, INC.
 Summary of Financial and Operating Data
 Periods ended Three Months 12 Months
 Dec. 31 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Income Statement Data ($ millions)
 Total Operating Revenue $935.5 $790.3 $2,922.0 $2,576.8
 Income (Loss) Before
 Extraordinary Item and
 Accounting Changes 87.8 81.5 90.9 (794.8)
 Net Income (Loss) 87.8 81.5 51.2 (694.4)
 Operating Income (Loss) By Segment:
 Oil and Gas 14.9 10.1 (101.2) (4.5)
 Transmission 88.8 48.7 129.9 (1,192.2)
 Distribution 47.3 64.7 137.7 114.9
 Other Energy 4.1 5.2 6.8 4.9
 Corporate (4.8) (1.5) (10.3) (9.5)
 Total 150.3 127.2 162.9 (1,086.4)
 Per Share Data:
 Income (Loss) Before
 Extraordinary Item and
 Accounting Changes $1.73 $1.61 $1.79 $(15.72)
 Earnings (Loss) on
 Common Stock 1.73 1.61 1.01 (13.74)
 Dividends on Common Stock --- --- --- 1.16
 Average Common Shares
 Outstanding (millions) 50.6 50.6 50.6 50.5
 Operating Data:
 Oil and Gas Volumes:
 Gas Production (billion
 cubic feet) 17.3 21.6(A) 69.2 76.3(A)
 Oil Production (000 barrels) 874 936(A) 3,061 3,411(A)
 Transmission (billion cubic feet):
 Gas Sales 31.4 49.1 196.0 112.6
 Transportation:
 LDC & End Users 239.0 224.4 920.0 849.9
 Short-Haul 157.0 161.3 625.0 564.7
 Total Transportation 396.0 385.7 1,545.0 1,414.6
 Throughput 427.4 434.8 1,741.0 1,527.2
 Distribution (billion cubic feet):
 Gas Sales 94.3 88.2 283.0 267.7
 Transportation 52.1 51.1 203.7 194.7
 Throughput 146.4 139.3 486.7 462.4
 Degree Days-Distribution Service Territory
 Actual 2,016 1,918 5,507 4,998
 Normal 2,039 2,039 5,624 5,592
 Pct. Colder (warmer)
 than normal (1.1) (5.9) (2.1) (10.6)
 Pct. Colder (warmer)
 than prior period 5.1 10.5 10.2 4.5
 (A) Includes production of 2.5 Bcf and 151 thousand bbls for the three months ended Dec. 31, 1991, and 6.2 Bcf and 578 thousand bbls for the year ended Dec. 31, 1991, relating to Canadian operations which were sold effective Dec. 31, 1991.
 /delval/
 -0- 2/10/93
 /CONTACT: W.R. McLaughlin, 302-429-5443, or H.W. Chaddock, 302-429-5261, or (financial), D.W. McFarland, 302-429-5363, or T.L. Hughes, 302-429-5471, all of Columbia Gas/
 (CG)


CO: The Columbia Gas System, Inc. ST: Delaware IN: OIL SU: ERN

LJ-MJ -- PH026 -- 5263 02/10/93 14:59 EST
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Date:Feb 10, 1993
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