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MONTANA POWER REPORTS EARNINGS

 BUTTE, Mont., Oct. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Montana Power Co. (NYSE: MTP) reported net income for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 1993, of 21 cents per share, compared with 29 cents per share for the third quarter of 1992. Net income for the nine- and 12-month periods ended Sept. 30, 1993 decreased 13 cents per share and 2 cents per share, respectively, compared to the same periods in 1992.
 Third quarter consolidated net income was adversely impacted by higher utility maintenance expenses, primarily a result of planned maintenance work combined with repairs due to outages at the Colstrip generating plants. Net income also was adversely impacted by the higher Federal income tax rate enacted during the third quarter retroactive to Jan. 1, 1993 This tax rate increase reduced consolidated earnings for all current periods approximately 3 cents per share.
 Extended outages of the Colstrip plants in 1993 reduced earnings of Entech and the Independent Power Group (IPG) for the nine- and 12-month periods. Colstrip Unit 1 repair went eight weeks beyond planned maintenance, while lost time to repair Units 3 and 4 totaled 17 weeks. The outages resulted in lower Entech coal sales and negatively affected earnings from the IPG's wholesale sales of electricity. Consolidated income for the nine- and 12-month periods also declined as a result of net non-recurring gains that increased Entech's earnings in 1992.
 Favorable weather conditions during the first half of 1993 improved utility earnings for the nine- and 12-month periods. Cold weather resulted in higher sales of electricity and natural gas to residential and commercial customers, and improved stream-flows provided significantly more low-cost hydroelectric generation than last year.
 MONTANA POWER CO.
 (In thousands)
 Quarter ended Sept. 30, 1993 1992
 Consolidated revenues $ 248,716 $ 229,704
 Net income $ 12,056 $ 15,630
 Net income available for
 common $ 11,109 $ 14,683
 Average shares outstanding 52,162 51,234
 Net income per share $ 0.21 $ 0.29
 9-Months ended Sept. 30, 1993 1992
 Consolidated revenues $ 772,705 $ 701,364
 Net income $ 57,086 $ 62,297
 Net income available for
 common $ 54,244 $ 59,455
 Average shares outstanding 51,918 51,015
 Net income per share $ 1.04 $ 1.17
 12-Months ended Sept. 30. 1993 1992
 Consolidated revenues $1,068,768 $ 970,486
 Net income $ 101,855 $ 100,788
 Net income available for
 common $ 98,065 $ 96,998
 Average shares outstanding 51,804 50,909
 Net income per share $ 1.89 $ 1.91
 CONSOLIDATED NET INCOME PER SHARE BY BUSINESS SEGMENTS
 Quarter Ended 9 Months Ended 12 Months Ended
 Sept. 30 1993 1992 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Utility $ 0.01 $ 0.06 $ 0.48 $ 0.42 $1.03 $ 0.89
 Entech Inc. 0.22 0.23 0.57 0.71 0.84 0.97
 Independent
 Power Group (0.02) -- (0.01) 0.04 0.02 0.05
 Consolidated $ 0.21 $ 0.29 $ 1.04 $ 1.17 $1.89 $ 1.91
 -0- 10/22/93
 /CONTACT: Russ Cox of Montana Power, 406-496-5040/
 (MTP)


CO: Montana Power Co.; Entech; Independent Power Group ST: Montana IN: UTI SU: ERN

RB-JH -- SE004 -- 5966 10/22/93 18:37 EDT
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Date:Oct 22, 1993
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