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MONTANA POWER REPORTS EARNINGS

 MONTANA POWER REPORTS EARNINGS
 BUTTE, Mont., Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Montana Power Co. (NYSE: MTP)


reported net income for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 1992, of 29 cents per share, compared with 26 cents per share for the third quarter of 1991. Net income for the nine-month and 12-month periods ended Sept. 30, 1992, decreased 11 cents per share and 15 cents per share, respectively, from the same periods in 1991.
 This quarter, consolidated net income improved over the comparable period last year as a result of increased wholesale sales of electricity. Strong operating performance by the utility's coal-fired plants more than offset a decline in hydrogeneration, and helped to provide energy for the wholesale market. Net income during the quarter also was boosted by higher earnings from Entech's Oil Division.
 The warmer and drier than normal weather experienced in the company's region during the first half of this year adversely impacted the consolidated results for the nine- and 12-month periods. The average temperature during the winter months of 1992 was 13 percent warmer than last year and 22 percent warmer than normal as measured by heating degree days, causing natural gas sales to decline. Low streamflows during the first nine months of 1992 reduced hydrogeneration 21 percent from the comparable period last year; replacement energy came from more expensive sources. Losses incurred at a coal mine acquired in June 1991 adversely impacted consolidated net income during all periods.
 MONTANA POWER CO.
 (In thousands, except per-share amounts)
 Quarter Ended Sept. 30: 1992 1991
 Consolidated revenues $229,704 $208,039
 Net income $ 15,630 $ 13,923
 Net income available for common $ 14,683 $ 12,976
 Average shares outstanding 51,234 50,396
 Net income per share $ 0.29 $ 0.26
 Nine Months Ended Sept. 30: 1992 1991
 Consolidated revenues $701,364 $669,961
 Net income $ 62,297 $ 67,225
 Net income available for common $ 59,455 $ 64,383
 Average shares outstanding 51,015 50,225
 Net income per share $ 1.17 $ 1.28
 Twelve Months Ended Sept. 30: 1992 1991
 Consolidated revenues $970,486 $921,586
 Net income $100,788 $107,190
 Net income available for common $ 96,998 $103,400
 Average shares outstanding 50,909 50,145
 Net income per share $ 1.91 $ 2.06
 CONSOLIDATED NET INCOME PER SHARE BY BUSINESS SEGMENTS
 Quarter Six Months 12 Months
 Ended Sept. 30: 1992 1991 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Utility Operations $0.06 $0.03 $0.42 $0.50 $0.89 $0.97
 Entech Inc. 0.23 0.21 0.71 0.73 0.97 1.05
 Independent Power
 Group -- 0.02 0.04 0.05 0.05 0.04
 Consolidated $0.29 $0.26 $1.17 $1.28 $1.91 $2.06
 -0- 10/27/92
 /CONTACT: Russ Cox of Montana Power, 406-496-5040/
 (MTP) CO: Montana Power Co. ST: Montana IN: UTI SU: ERN


SW-JH -- SE009 -- 5598 10/27/92 15:56 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 27, 1992
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