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MONTANA POWER REPORTS EARNINGS

 MONTANA POWER REPORTS EARNINGS
 BUTTE, Mont., April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The Montana Power Co.


(NYSE: MTP) today reported first quarter net income of 80 cents per share, a decrease of 4 cents from the same period in 1991.
 Earnings for the 12 months ended March 31, 1992, were $1.99 per share, virtually even with the $2.00 per share reported for the same period a year earlier.
 The principal reason for the decline was warmer winter weather in 1992, 22-percent warmer than normal, and 8-percent warmer than in the first quarter last year. The non-recurring sale of non-fuel mineral rights on Montana properties in 1991 also affects the comparison.
 The declines were offset, in part, by improved earnings resulting from electric rate increases authorized in 1991, by increased sales of electricity to out-of-state utilities and by a 7-percent increase in Entech coal sales.
 While the warm weather resulted in lower gas utility sales and earnings, it did not significantly impact electric utility results. Utility Operations produced 47 cents per share in the first quarter of 1992, compared to 50 cents per share last year.
 Entech contributed 30 cents per share for the quarter, a 4-cent decrease from last year.
 The Independent Power Group (IPG) contributed 3 cents per share to 1992 first-quarter earnings. The IPG had no earnings in the same period last year.
 THE MONTANA POWER CO.
 (In thousands, except per-share data)
 Quarter 12 Months
 Ended March 31: 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Consolidated revenues $270,347 $263,409 $945,871 $868,836
 Net income $ 41,617 $ 42,849 $104,483 $103,254
 Net income available for
 common $ 40,670 $ 41,902 $100,693 $ 99,464
 Average shares outstanding 50,790 50,060 50,499 49,821
 Net income per share $ 0.80 $ 0.84 $ 1.99 $ 2.00
 CONSOLIDATED NET INCOME PER SHARE BY BUSINESS SEGMENTS
 First Quarter 12 Months
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Utility Operations $ 0.47 $ 0.50 $ 0.95 $ 0.91
 Entech 0.30 0.34 0.94 1.08
 Independent Power Group 0.03 -- 0.10 0.01
 Consolidated $ 0.80 $ 0.84 $ 1.99 $ 2.00
 -0- 4/22/92
 /CONTACT: Russ Cox of The Montana Power Co., 406-496-5040/
 (MTP) CO: The Montana Power Co. ST: Montana IN: UTI SU: ERN


SC-LM -- SE008 -- 1550 04/22/92 18:55 EDT
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Date:Apr 22, 1992
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