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HOUSTON INDUSTRIES REPORTS RESULTS

 HOUSTON, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Houston Industries Incorporated (HI) (NYSE: HOU) today announced consolidated earnings of $260.4 million or $2.00 per share for the third quarter of 1993, compared to $239.4 million or $1.85 per share for the third quarter of 1992. Consolidated earnings for the first nine months of 1993 were $387.7 million or $2.99 per share, compared to $411.5 million or $3.18 per share for the same period in 1992. For the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 1993, HI reported consolidated net income of $410.8 million or $3.17 per share, compared to earnings of $468.3 million or $3.62 per share for the same period last year.
 A portion of the decrease in HI's earnings for the nine and 12 months ended Sept. 30, 1993, when compared to the same periods for 1992, was due to nonrecurring items at Houston Lighting & Power Company (HL&P), HI's electric utility subsidiary, that had the net effect of increasing reported earnings for 1992, as discussed below. Without these items, HI's earnings for the nine and 12 months ended Sept. 30, 1992, would have been $374.4 million or $2.89 per share and $431.1 million or $3.33 per share, respectively.
 HI's 1993 earnings for all reported periods were negatively impacted by $13.6 million as a result of the 1 percent increase in the general corporate income tax rate imposed by the 1993 tax act.
 HL&P reported net income after preferred dividends of $271.6 million for the third quarter of 1993, compared to $243.9 million for the third quarter of 1992. For the nine and 12 months ended Sept. 30, 1993, HL&P reported net income after preferred dividends of $408.9 million and $441.6 million, compared to $437.5 million and $508.1 million for the same periods a year earlier when nonrecurring items had the net effect of increasing reported earnings. The 1992 nine and 12 months ended earnings included $142.7 million of pretax income associated with the adoption of a change in accounting principle reflecting a change in the timing of revenues from electricity sales, and a pretax charge of $86 million related to HL&P's restructuring program. Excluding these two non-recn?g items, earnings for the nine and 12 months ended Sept. 30, 1992, would have been $400.4 million and $470.9 million, respectively.
 HL&P's 1993 earnings benefited from increased energy sales, partially offset by increased operating expenses. Base revenues rose $ $69 million in the third quarter of 1993, $53 million for the first nine months of 1993 and $51 million for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 1993, compared to the same periods in 1992. Higher base revenue resulted from increased residential and commercial sales due to warmer weather compared to 1992, and increased firm industrial sales.
 Residential kilowatt-hour (KWH) sales rose by 10 percent in the third quarter and 3 percent for the first nine months of 1993 compared to the same periods in 1992. Commercial sales were up 9 percent for the third quarter and 4 percent for the first nine months of 1993 compared to 1992, while firm industrial sales increased 1 percent for both periods.
 Increased expenses were primarily the result of the recognition of higher postretirement benefit costs, costs related to the sale of unbilled receivables, higher production plant operation and maintenance costs, and increased property taxes. These increases were partially offset by reduced interest expense and preferred dividends resulting from refinancing activities.
 HL&P's earnings for the current and prior periods have been restated to reflect the merger of HL&P and Utility Fuels, Inc., HI's coal supply subsidiary. As a result of the merger, HL&P's quarter, nine months and 12 months ended Sept. 30, 1993, earnings increased $3.3 million, $16.1 million and $23.1 million, respectively. The merger was completed in October 1993.
 KBLCOM Incorporated (KBLCOM), HI's cable television subsidiary, reported a loss of $270,000 in the third quarter of 1993, excluding $6.9 million in additional income tax expense incurred as a result of the 1 percent tax increase imposed by the 1993 tax act. KBLCOM lost $4.8 million for the same period of 1992.
 For the nine and 12 months ended Sept. 30, 1993, KBLCOM reported losses of $4.5 million and $6.9 million, excluding the impact of the 1993 tax act, compared to $18.8 million and $28.4 million for the same periods of the previous year. The improvements in KBLCOM's results are primarily the result of increased revenues, reduced interest expense and increased profits from its jointly owned cable television partnership, Paragon Communications.
 HI is headquartered in Houston.
 -0- 10/26/93
 /CONTACT: Sandy Brendler, 713-629-3123, or Dan Bulla, 713-629-3120, both of Houston Industries/
 /FIRST AND FINAL ADD -- TABULAR MATERIAL -- TO FOLLOW/
 (HOU)


CO: Houston Industries Incorporated ST: Texas IN: UTI SU: ERN

CK -- NY059 -- 6849 10/26/93 14:04 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 26, 1993
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