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 PITTSBURGH, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Equitable Resources, Inc. (NYSE: EQT) today reported substantial gains in income for the periods ended Sept. 30, 1993.
 Compared with 1992, earnings rose approximately 30 percent and 40 percent for the 12 months and nine months and nearly doubled in the third quarter before a special charge triggered by Congress' recent enactment of a corporate tax increase. After the charge, which trimmed about 16 cents per share from all three periods, earnings advanced 23 percent to $2.26 per share for the 12 months, 29 percent to $1.52 per share for the nine months and 17 percent to 27 cents per share for the third quarter.
 Increases in wellhead prices and production of natural gas have led the improvement in earnings, complemented by higher margins and throughput from utility operations. Production volumes of 51.6 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for 12 months, 38.7 Bcf for nine months and 13.8 Bcf for the third quarter set new records and surpassed last year's levels by 10 percent, 9 percent and 15 percent respectively. Natural gas prices have remained strong relative to 1992, averaging 31 percent more per Mcf through the first nine months.
 The company said it expects volume gains to widen through the rest of 1993, citing the continued growth of its coalbed methane production in Appalachia; increased activity in the Gulf of Mexico; and recent purchases of existing gas production in the Gulf and Canada. Updating earlier estimates of a 5 to 10 percent increase in gas production over 1992, the company said that the high end of the range appears well within reach.
 Officials noted that Louisiana Intrastate Gas Corporation (LIG), which Equitable acquired on June 30, is meeting expectations. Increases in pipeline throughput have offset the temporary drop in selling prices for processed liquids. More importantly, LIG will realize more than $4 million of annualized savings from cost cutting measures adopted in October and made possible by its synergies with Equitable.
 (Thousands Except Per Share Amounts)
 Period Ended Three Months Nine Months 12 Months
 Sept. 30 1993 1992 1993 1992 1993 1992
 REVENUES $272,745 $144,429 $750,346 $550,989 $1,011,731 $769,733
 GAS 167,737 62,138 427,006 264,950 569,111 372,621
 REVENUES 105,008 82,291 323,340 286,039 442,620 397,112
 EXPENSES 80,221 67,933 229,226 212,652 307,467 289,861
 INCOME 24,787 14,358 94,114 73,387 135,153 107,251
 OTHER INCOME 125 298 263 663 1,381 862
 CHARGES 10,811 8,246 28,508 28,471 37,448 38,718
 INCOME TAXES 5,489 (751) 17,631 8,687 27,714 12,262
 NET INCOME 8,612 7,161 48,238 36,892 71,372 57,133
 -- AVERAGE 32,195 31,350 31,728 31,331 31,645 31,318
 SHARE $.27 $.23 $1.52 $1.18 $2.26 $1.83
 (A) Share and per share amounts have been adjusted for three-for-two stock split in January 1993. On Sept. 29, 1993, the company issued 3 million shares of common stock.
 (B) Due to the seasonal nature of the business, the interim statements for the three-month and nine-month periods are not indicative of results for a full year.
 (C) The company adopted the provisions of SFAS No. 109 in the first quarter of 1993. The company has elected to restate retained earnings by reducing the balance as of Jan. 1, 1988, by approximately $11 million without restatement of periodic net income because the effect of the change in accounting on all periods reported since that date was not material. As a result, application of the new rules increased deferred income tax liabilities at Jan. 1, 1993, by approximately $80 million and created regulatory assets of approximately $69 million.
 (D) The company was also required to adopt SFAS No. 106 - "Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions" in the first quarter of 1993. Under the deferral method, the company's estimated transition obligation of $46 million at Jan. 1, 1993, will be amortized over the next 20 years. Although annual accruals under the new standard will increase approximately $3.7 million, net income will be reduced by only $.5 million after reflecting the impact of regulated rate treatment.
 (E) Net income for all the periods ended Sept. 30, 1993 and 1992 includes approximately $4.7 million ($.15 per share) from settlements for the recovery of higher NGPA prices on natural gas produced between 1978 and 1983 as approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 1990. Approximately $49 million from the settlements remains to be recovered in future gas cost filings with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission over the next seven years.
 In addition, a final settlement proposal negotiated with Columbia Gas Transmission Company for the recovery of $19 million was approved by the FERC in February 1993. However, in view of Columbia's filing for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, the amount of recovery from Columbia remains uncertain and therefore no income has been recognized.
 This information is not given in connection with any sale or offer for sale or offer to buy any security.
 -0- 10/26/93
 /CONTACT: Brian Plante of Equitable Resources, 412-553-5802/

CO: Equitable Resources, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: OIL SU: ERN

CD -- PG013 -- 6892 10/26/93 12:10 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 26, 1993

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