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NORTHWEST NATURAL GAS REPORTS HIGHER 2Q EARNINGS

 PORTLAND, Ore., July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Northwest Natural Gas Co. (NWNG) (NASDAQ: NWNG)reported net income applicable to common stock of $1.9 million for its second quarter ended June 30, 1993, compared to a loss of $3.9 million for the second quarter of 1992, Robert L. Ridgley, president and chief executive officer, said today. Earnings for the quarter were 15 cents per share compared to a loss of 33 cents per share for the equivalent period last year.
 During the first six months of 1993, the company earned $25.6 million or $1.97 per share, up from $8.6 million or 73 cents per share during the same period in 1992.
 "Our earnings are continuing to show improvement," Ridgley explained, "due to solid customer growth, cooler weather conditions and better subsidiary results."
 The company served 357,289 customers at the end of June 1993, up by 17,823 customers or 5.3 percent from a year earlier. NWNG's customer growth rate has averaged more than five percent over the past three years.
 "So far this year," Ridgley added, "our new customer construction program is running about 14 percent ahead of last year's record pace. As of June 30, meters set for residential and commercial new construction were 19 percent ahead of last year's additions, while meters set for homes and businesses converting from other fuels were 10 percent ahead of last year."
 Weather conditions in the company's service territory during the spring quarter were characteristically mild and damp, but considerably cooler than last year. In terms of heating degree days, this year's second quarter was 15 percent warmer than average, but it was 40 percent cooler than last year's record-setting warm second quarter. Gas deliveries to the company's weather-sensitive residential and commercial markets in the second quarter were 74 million therms, up from 58 million therms in the second quarter of 1992.
 The company's results for the second quarter include earnings from subsidiary activities equivalent to five cents per share, compared to a loss equivalent to eight cents per share from these activities in the second quarter of 1992. The results of all four of the company's operating subsidiaries improved over last year's second quarter performance.
 For the 12 months ended June 30, 1993, NWNG reported earnings of $2.41 per share compared to a loss of nine cents per share for the equivalent 12-month period a year earlier. The results for the prior- year period reflect, in addition to the impact of record warm weather in the 1991-92 heating season, a fourth quarter 1991 write-down of $1.23 per share in the company's investments in its Agrico cogeneration subsidiary.
 The company's board of directors has declared a quarterly dividend of 44 cents per share on its common stock. Regular quarterly dividends on all preferred, preference and common stock will be paid Aug. 16, 1993, to shareholders of record on July 30, 1993.
 NORTHWEST NATURAL GAS CO.
 Comparative Income Statement
 (Consolidated - Unaudited)
 Three Months Ended
 June 30 1993 1992 Increase
 Total operating
 revenues $61,789,000 $47,791,000 $13,998,000
 Net income (loss) $ 2,767,000 $(3,232,000) $ 5,999,000
 Earnings (loss)
 applicable to
 common stock(a) $ 1,905,000 $(3,865,000) $ 5,770,000
 Average shares
 of common stock
 outstanding 13,048,000 11,864,000 1,184,000
 Primary earnings
 (loss) per share
 of common stock(a) $ 0.15 $ (0.33) $ 0.48
 Year to Date
 June 30 1993 1992 Increase
 Total operating
 revenues $190,503,000 $138,117,000 $ 52,386,000
 Net income $ 27,420,000 $ 9,898,000 $ 17,522,000
 Earnings
 applicable to
 common stock(a) $ 25,602,000 $ 8,628,000 $ 16,974,000
 Average shares
 of common stock
 outstanding 13,023,000 11,839,000 1,184,000
 Primary earnings
 per share
 of common stock(a)$ 1.97 $ 0.73 $ 1.24
 Fully-diluted
 earnings per share
 of common stock $ 1.91 $ 0.72 $ 1.19
 12 Months Ended
 June 30 1993 1992 Increase
 Total operating
 revenues $326,752,000 $265,465,000 $61,287,000
 Net income $ 33,297,000 $ 1,453,000 $31,844,000
 Earnings (loss)
 applicable to
 common stock(a) $ 30,189,000 $ (1,102,000) $31,291,000
 Average shares
 of common stock
 outstanding 12,501,000 11,790,000 711,000
 Primary earnings
 (loss) per share
 of common stock(a)$ 2.41 $ (0.09) $ 2.50
 (a) After allowance for preferred and preference stock dividend requirements.
 NORTHWEST NATURAL GAS CO.
 Financial Highlights
 (Thousands, except share amounts)
 Second Quarter - 1993
 1993
 Three Months Year
 Ended Mar 31 Jun 30 Sep 30 Dec 31 To Date
 Operating revenues $128,714 $ 61,789 $190,503
 Operating margin $ 82,116 $ 40,141 $122,257
 Operating expense $ 35,700 $ 31,444 $ 67,144
 Operating income $ 46,416 $ 8,697 $ 55,113
 Other income
 (expense) $ (1,230) $ 1,590 $ 360
 Interest charges
 - net $ 6,357 $ 6,144 $ 12,501
 Net income $ 24,653 $ 2,767 $ 27,420
 Preferred & preference
 dividends $ 956 $ 862 $ 1,818
 Earnings on
 common stock $ 23,697 $ 1,905 $ 25,602
 Common shares outstanding
 End of period 13,022 13,073 13,073
 Average (12 month) 12,205 12,501
 Earnings per share $ 1.82 $ 0.15 $ 1.97
 Dividends paid
 per share $ 0.43 $ 0.44 $ 0.87
 Book value per share$ 20.05 $ 19.79 $ 19.79
 Market closing price$ 30.875 $ 34.000 $ 34.000
 Total customers
 (end of period) 358,182 357,289 357,289
 Gas deliveries (therms)
 Res. & comm.
 customers 197,686 74,012 271,698
 (weather sensitive)
 Industrial
 customers 156,417 134,455 290,872
 Total 354,103 208,467 562,570
 Degree days
 Normal (20-year
 average) 1,880 704 2,584
 Actual 2,091 595 2,686
 Colder (warmer)
 normal (pct) 11 (15) 4
 NORTHWEST NATURAL GAS COMPANY
 Financial Highlights
 (Thousands, except share amounts)
 Second Quarter - 1993
 1992 Year
 Three Months Ended
 Ended Mar 31 Jun 30 Sep 30 Dec 31 Dec 31
 Operating revenues $ 90,326 $ 47,791 $ 38,811 $ 97,438 $274,366
 Operating margin $ 56,291 $ 30,827 $ 26,859 $ 58,473 $172,450
 Operating expense $ 28,761 $ 29,541 $ 32,399 $ 32,023 $122,724
 Operating income $ 27,530 $ 1,286 $ (5,540)$ 26,450 $ 49,726
 Other income
 (expense) $ 154 $ 932 $ (1,186)$ (167) $ (267)
 Interest charges
 - net $ 6,456 $ 7,494 $ 6,027 $ 6,756 $ 26,733
 Net income $ 13,130 $ (3,232) $ (7,785)$ 13,662 $ 15,775
 Preferred & preference
 dividends $ 637 $ 633 $ 620 $ 670 $ 2,560
 Earnings on common
 stock $ 12,493 $ (3,865) $ (8,405)$ 12,992 $ 13,215
 Common shares outstanding
 End of period 11,828 11,884 11,931 12,973 12,973
 Average (12 month) 11,743 11,790 11,838 11,909 11,909
 Earnings per share $ 1.06 $ (0.33) $ (0.71)$ 1.08 $ 1.11
 Dividends paid
 per share $ 0.43 $ 0.43 $ 0.43 $ 0.43 $ 1.72
 Book value per share 19.02 18.30 17.20 18.62 18.62
 Market closing price$ 29.500 $ 30.250 $ 32.250 $ 28.500 $ 28.500
 Total customers
 (end of period) 340,549 339,466 339,707 352,978 352,978
 Gas deliveries (therms)
 Res. & comm.
 customers 134,367 57,885 40,250 147,198 379,700
 (weather sensitive)
 Industrial
 customers 187,786 137,666 178,880 181,311 685,643
 Total 322,153 195,551 219,130 328,509 1,065,343
 Degree days
 Normal (20-year
 average) 1,899 720 113 1,622 4,354
 Actual 1,497 425 121 1,619 3,662
 Colder (warmer)
 normal (pct) (21) (41) (7) 0 (16)
 -0- 7/19/93
 /CONTACT: Doug Yocom of Northwest Natural Gas, 503-220-2426 or 503-226-4211/
 (NWNG)


CO: Northwest Natural Gas ST: Oregon IN: UTI SU: ERN

SB -- SE008 -- 3080 07/19/93 13:06 EDT
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