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EPE ANNOUNCES 1992 THIRD QUARTER RESULTS

 EL PASO, Texas, Nov. 19 ~PRNewswire~ -- El Paso Electric (NASDAQ: ELPAQ) reported net income applicable to common stock of $9.8 million (or $.27 per common share) for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 1992, compared to a net loss of $18.6 million (or $.52 per common share) for the same period in 1991. The income for the quarter in 1992 was due primarily to peak sales during the quarter and the discontinuation of: (i) accruing interest (approximately $8.6 million) on obligations not secured by first or second mortgages; and (ii) accruing dividends on preferred stock. A regulatory disallowance of $30.6 million in the third quarter of 1991, with no comparable disallowance in 1992, also contributed to the difference in reported operating quarterly results. Historically, the company has reported higher operating revenues during the third quarter (as compared to other quarters of the year) because of the service area's climatic conditions.
 Despite the third-quarter income, for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1992, El Paso Electric reported a net loss of $5.6 million (or $.16 per common share), which was down from the net loss reported for the 1991 nine-month period of $26.7 million (or $.75 per common share). The loss in 1992 is primarily attributable to: (i) cash rates that are not sufficient to recover the cost of providing service plus a return on investment; (ii) a one-time write-off of debt issue costs in the second quarter of 1992; and (iii) the recognition of approximately $8.7 million of net reorganization expenses in connection with the company's bankruptcy proceedings. The loss is mitigated by increases in operating revenues and the discontinuation of: (i) accruing interest (approximately $26.4 million) on obligations not secured by first or second mortgages; and (ii) accruing dividends on preferred stock beginning in January 1992.
 Operating revenues increased in 1992 primarily due to: (i) cash rate increases of approximately $30 million and $7 million annually, effective August 1991 and September 1991, respectively, which were granted by the Public Utility Commission of Texas; (ii) a $11.9 million surcharge related to recovery of certain regulatory costs that previously have been expensed; and (iii) increases in total system kilowatt-hour sales of 14.6 percent for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1992, compared to the same period in 1991.
 The company achieved record peak demands in 1992, recording an all- time total system peak demand of 1,302 megawatts (MW) on July 7, 1992, which was a 14 percent increase over the prior record peak of 1,142 MW in 1991, primarily related to additional sales to Comision Federal de Electricidad, the national electric utility of Mexico. The company's 1992 native system peak demand of 974 MW, also a new record, was a 5 percent increase from the previous record of 929 MW in 1991.
 El Paso Electric Company, which filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code on Jan. 8, 1992, is an electric utility serving approximately 250,000 customers in El Paso, Texas, and an area of the Rio Grande Valley in West Texas and Southern New Mexico.
 El Paso Electric Company's unaudited results of operations for the three and nine months ended Sept. 30, 1992 and 1991 are as follows (in thousands except per share data):
 EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY
 Period ended Three Months
 Sept. 30, 1992 1991
 Operating revenues $ 150,316 $ 129,627
 Operating expenses 118,905 103,694
 Income (loss) before
 reorganization items 13,154 (16,716)
 Net income (loss) (A) 9,819 (16,716)
 Net income (loss) applicable
 to common stock 9,819 (18,579)
 Weighted average number of
 common shares outstanding 35,535 35,523
 Net income (loss) per weighted
 average shares of common stock $ 0.27 $ (0.52)
 Period ended Nine Months
 Sept. 30, 1992 1991
 Operating revenues $ 397,063 $ 338,910
 Operating expenses 327,597 294,371
 Income (loss) before
 reorganization items 12,310 (20,288)
 Net income (loss) (A) (5,621) (20,288)
 Net income (loss) applicable
 to common stock (5,621) (26,698)
 Weighted average number of
 common shares outstanding 35,529 35,512
 Net income (loss) per weighted
 average shares of common stock $ (0.16) $ (0.75)
 (A) Net loss for 1991 includes a regulatory disallowance in the pre-tax amount of $30.6 million recorded in the third quarter.
 -0- 11~19~92
 ~CONTACT: John E. Droubay of El Paso Electric, 915-543-4122~
 (ELPAQ)


CO: El Paso Electric Company ST: Texas IN: UTI SU: ERN

LD -- NY120 -- 3176 11~19~92 18:56 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 19, 1992
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