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CONSOLIDATED NATURAL GAS COMPANY REPORTS RESULTS FOR FIRST NINE MONTHS

 PITTSBURGH, Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Consolidated Natural Gas Company reported today that net income for the first nine months of 1993 was $119.8 million, up from $97.9 million a year earlier. On a per share basis, earnings were $1.29 compared with $1.11.
 In the third quarter -- which is normally a loss quarter for CNG because of low natural gas use in the summer -- the company reported a larger loss than in 1992. This was due largely to an adjustment to deferred income taxes resulting from the recent increase in the federal corporate income tax rate.
 For the third quarter, the loss was $30 million, or 32 cents a share, compared with a loss of $13.9 million, or 15 cents a share, in the 1992 third period.
 The per share impact of the tax rate change was a reduction of 14 cents in the third quarter of 1993. This includes an $11.4 million, or 12 cents a share, non-cash charge to adjust deferred tax balances and a $1.6 million, or 2 cents a share, increase in current taxes due to provisions of the new tax law making the tax rate change retroactive to January 1. Absent the effects of the federal tax rate change, the 1993 third quarter loss would have been 18 cents a share.
 The earnings per share figures reflect a greater number of average shares outstanding due to the sale of 4.6 million shares of common stock in September 1992.
 Income in the first nine months was helped by comparatively colder weather earlier in the year, higher wellhead prices for natural gas, the expansion of the company's interstate pipeline system, and higher by-product revenues. Also, both the 1993 and 1992 nine month periods include the positive impact of deferred tax benefits. These positive factors were partially offset, however, by the effects in the third quarter of the increase in the federal income tax rate.
 Operating income from gas distribution activities was off slightly in the nine months, to $68.1 million from $71.7 million a year earlier. In the third quarter, CNG's distribution utilities showed an operating loss of $23.9 million compared to a loss of $15.8 million a year earlier. The utilities normally show a third quarter loss due to low seasonal demand. The weather in the 1993 nine months was 2.9 percent warmer than normal but 1.4 percent colder than in 1992. This resulted in a slight gain in distribution throughput in the nine months to 308 billion cubic feet from 302 billion cubic feet. The benefits of this gain were offset, however, by higher costs of operations and the retroactive increase in the federal tax rate reflected in the third quarter. In the third quarter, throughput was flat at 51.8 billion cubic feet.
 Operating income from interstate gas transmission operations showed a substantial gain in the nine months, though it was off slightly in the quarter. For the nine months, operating income was $69.9 million, up from $59.4 million in 1992. For the quarter it was $16 million compared with $17.5 million a year earlier. Transmission throughput was 509 billion cubic feet in the nine months, up from 455 billion; and 118 billion in the quarter, up from 102 billion last year. The improvement in operating income in the nine months is due partly to expanded service to both new and existing customers in the Northeast as a result of the company's pipeline construction program, increased throughput to affiliated distribution companies, and increased revenues from providing gas storage services and from by-product sales. Colder weather earlier in the year also contributed. These positive factors were partially offset by the effects of the federal tax increase in the third quarter.
 The effect of adjusting deferred tax balances in the third quarter to reflect the new federal tax rate took a substantial toll on the operating income of CNG's exploration and production operations. E&P had operating income of $20.2 million in the first nine months, down from $30.6 million in the first nine months of 1992. For the third quarter, the E&P operations showed an operating loss -- due to the tax changes -- of $476,000 compared with operating income of $12.7 million in 1992.
 The year-to-year operating income comparisons for E&P are significantly distorted both by the increase in the federal tax rate and by the implementation of Financial Accounting Standard No. 109. On a pretax basis, E&P operating income was $29.1 million in the 1993 nine months versus $17.4 million in the 1992 period. For the third quarter, pretax operating income was $7.3 million in 1993 compared with $8.6 million in 1992.
 Positive factors affecting results in E&P included higher wellhead prices for natural gas and slightly higher gas production for the nine months. Gas prices in the nine months, for example, averaged $2.24 per thousand cubic feet, up from $1.91 a year earlier. These benefits were offset in both periods by higher income taxes, lower oil production and prices, and lower margins on the brokering of gas.
 Consolidated is one of the country's largest producers, transporters and distributors of natural gas. Its primary marketing areas for natural gas are in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, New York and other states in the Northeast. The company explores for and produces gas and oil throughout the United States and in Canada.
 CONSOLIDATED NATURAL GAS COMPANY
 Three Months Ended September 30, 1993 1992
 Total operating revenues $ 473,348,000 $ 359,890,000
 Net income (A) $ (29,965,000) $ (13,818,000)
 Earnings per share of common stock (A) $(.32) $(.15)
 Average common shares outstanding 92,893,000 89,188,000
 (A) Includes a non-cash charge of $11,429,000, or 12 cents a share, to adjust deferred tax balances to reflect the higher federal corporate income tax rate. In addition, current year taxes increased by $1,603,000, or 2 cents a share, due to the tax rate change being retroactive to January 1.
 Nine Months Ended September 30, 1993 1992
 Total operating revenues $2,153,944,000 $1,730,531,000
 Net income (A)(B) $ 119,807,000 (B)$ 97,933,000
 Earnings per share of common stock
 (A)(B) $1.29 (B) $1.11
 Average common shares outstanding 92,769,000 88,005,000
 (B) In addition to the adverse tax effects described in Note A for the third quarter, the 1993 nine-months period includes earnings of $17,422,000, or 19 cents a share, from deferred tax benefits reflecting adoption of Financial Accounting Standard No. 109 on January 1, 1993. Comparatively, the 1992 period includes $7,267,000, or 8 cents a share, of deferred tax benefits recognized under the previously applicable accounting standard period.
 -0- 11/4/93
 /CONTACT: John Conti of Consolidated Natural Gas, 412-227-1133/
 (CNG)


CO: Consolidated Natural Gas Company ST: Pennsylvania IN: OIL SU: ERN

LG -- NY012 -- 0499 11/04/93 08:21 EST
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Date:Nov 4, 1993
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