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MONTANA POWER REPORTS EARNINGS

 BUTTE, Mont., April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Montana Power Co. (NYSE: MTP) reported net income for the quarter ended March 31, 1993, of 76 cents per share, compared with 80 cents per share for the first quarter of 1992. Net income for the 12 months ended March 31, 1993, was $1.98 per share, a decrease of 1 cent from the same period in 1992.
 On Nov. 1, 1992, the company implemented a change to its seasonal rates for electric retail customers pursuant to a Montana Public Service Commission order. The new rates result in lower revenues during the winter months and higher revenues during the rest of the year compared to prior years. The rate change lowered earnings for both periods in 1993 an estimated 5 cents per share. This earnings impact will reverse during the last half of 1993.
 Cold weather during this quarter favorably affected the consolidated results for both current periods through higher retail sales of natural gas and electricity. Net income for both periods also benefited from increased wholesale sales of electricity and lower interest expense.
 Consolidated net income for both periods in 1993 was impacted by lower Entech Coal Division earnings. Coal sales declined as a result of the forced outages of Colstrip Units 3 and 4 and lower volumes delivered during this quarter to Midwestern customers. Coal volumes to Midwestern customers are expected to be the same during 1993 as last year. Net income for both periods also was affected by lower earnings from the Independent Power Group. Additionally, higher maintenance on coal mining equipment was incurred during the current 12-month period.
 MONTANA POWER CO.
 (In thousands, except per-share amounts)
 Quarter Ended March 31: 1993 1992
 Consolidated revenues $ 302,803 $ 270,695
 Net income $ 40,045 $ 41,617
 Net income available for common $ 39,098 $ 40,670
 Average shares outstanding 51,689 50,790
 Net income per share $ 0.76 $ 0.80
 Twelve Months Ended March 31: 1993 1992
 Consolidated revenues $1,029,534 $ 946,373
 Net income $ 105,493 $ 104,483
 Net income available for common $ 101,703 $ 100,693
 Average shares outstanding 51,351 50,499
 Net income per share $ 1.98 $ 1.99
 CONSOLIDATED NET INCOME PER SHARE BY BUSINESS SEGMENTS
 Quarter 12 Months
 Ended March 31: 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Utility operations $0.53 $0.47 $1.02 $0.95
 Entech Inc. 0.23 0.30 0.91 0.94
 Independent Power Group -- 0.03 0.05 0.10
 Consolidated $0.76 $0.80 $1.98 $1.99
 -0- 4/27/93
 /CONTACT: Russ Cox of Montana Power, 406-496-5040/
 (MTP)


CO: Montana Power Co. ST: Montana IN: UTI SU: ERN

LM-SW -- SE007 -- 1587 04/27/93 16:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 27, 1993
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