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HOUSTON INDUSTRIES REPORTS RESULTS

 HOUSTON INDUSTRIES REPORTS RESULTS
 HOUSTON, May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Houston Industries Incorporated (HI)


(NYSE: HOU) today reported a consolidated loss of $33.9 million or $.25 per share for the first quarter of 1992, compared to consolidated earnings of $51.8 million or $.41 per share for the first quarter of 1991. Earnings for the first quarter of 1992 would have been approximately $23 million or $.19 per share had it not been for the recognition of charges related to the restructuring at Houston Lighting & Power Company (HL&P), HI's electric utility subsidiary. Consolidated earnings for the 12 months ended March 31, 1992, were $331.6 million or $2.62 per share, compared to $400.2 million, or $3.14 per share, for the same period a year earlier.
 HL&P reported a loss after preferred dividends of $25.3 million for the first quarter of 1992, compared to net income of $56.1 million for the first quarter of 1991. Earnings would have been approximately $32 million without the one-time pre-tax charge of $86 million related to its Success Through Excellence in Performance (STEP) restructuring program discussed below.
 In October 1991, HL&P launched its STEP program, an internal effort to identify performance improvement opportunities that could be made while maintaining the high level of customer satisfaction that HL&P has achieved in the past. As a result of the program, approximately 500 employees accepted an early retirement plan in March 1992, and an additional 1,100 positions were eliminated in April 1992. HL&P anticipates that the effect on earnings over the next 12 months will be substantially mitigated by the savings derived from the STEP program.
 Residential kilowatt-hour (KWH) sales for the first quarter of 1992 decreased approximately 4.3 percent from the same period last year, due to milder weather, while commercial and firm industrial KWH sales were up 1.4 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively. Also contributing to lower earnings was an increase in depreciation and amortization and property taxes and a decrease in interest income related to a 1991 refund of prior years' income taxes.
 For the 12 months ended March 31, 1992, HL&P reported net income after preferred dividends of $366.9 million, down from $441.1 million a year earlier. In addition to the effects discussed above, earnings for this period were also negatively impacted by an increase in employee benefits, primarily medical and pension expenses, and an increase in production maintenance expense.
 KBLCOM Incorporated (KBLCOM), HI's cable television subsidiary, experienced a net loss of $10.3 million in the first quarter of 1992 compared to a net loss of $16.4 million for the same period last year. For the 12 months ended March 31, 1992, KBLCOM reported a loss of $49.1 million, compared to $68.5 million for the same period last year.
 KBLCOM revenues for the quarter ended March 31, 1992, increased to $57.3 million, up 5.8 percent over the same period last year. Revenues for the 12 months ended March 31, 1992, increased to $227.9 million up $19.7 million, or 9.5 percent over the same period a year ago. Gross margin for the first quarter and 12 months ended March 31, 1992, increased $2.8 million, or 14.1 percent, and $11.0 million, or 14.4 percent, respectively, over 1991. Interest expense decreased for the quarter and 12 months ended March 31, 1992, due to lower interest rates.
 Utility Fuels, Inc. (UFI), HI's coal supply subsidiary, reported earnings of $6.0 million for the first quarter of 1992, compared to $6.7 million for the same period a year earlier. UFI's net income for the 12 months ended March 31, 1992, was $27.4 million, a $4.7 million decrease from the same period last year. The decrease for the 12 months ended March 31, 1992, was primarily attributable to decreased returns on assets under contract with HL&P.
 HI is headqartered in Houston.
 -0- 5/6/92
 /CONTACT: Sandy Brendler, 713-629-3123; Dan Bulla, 713-629-3120; or S. J. Brendler (financial), 713-629-3123, all of HI/
 /FIRST AND FINAL ADD -- TABULAR MATERIAL -- TO FOLLOW/
 (HOU) CO: Houston Industries Incorporated ST: Texas IN: UTI SU: ERN


GK -- NY009 -- 6896 05/06/92 08:33 EDT
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Date:May 6, 1992
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