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PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY REPORTS INCREASED QUARTERLY EARNINGS

 PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY REPORTS INCREASED QUARTERLY EARNINGS
 GASTONIA, N.C., April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Public Service Company of North Carolina, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: PSNC), a natural gas utility, today reported operating results for the quarter ended March 31, 1992, the second quarter of fiscal 1992. These quarterly operating results reflect the effect of weather which was 10 percent warmer than normal, but 5 percent colder than the quarter ended March 31, 1991.
 Total operating revenues for the quarter ended March 31, 1992 were $96,700,000, an increase of $13,738,000 over the same quarter the prior year, while the cost of gas increased $6,087,000 to $50,852,000. This resulted in gross margin for the current quarter of $45,848,000, a 20 percent increase as compared to $38,197,000 for the same quarter the prior year. Net income for the current quarter increased $3,581,000 to $15,251,000, as compared to $11,670,000 for the second quarter of fiscal 1991. Quarterly earnings per share were $1.49, based on 10,227,000 average common shares outstanding, as compared to $1.17 for the same quarter in fiscal 1991, based on 9,941,000 average common shares then outstanding.
 The increase in quarterly gross margin reflects increased quantities of natural gas sold for heating requirements to higher-margin residential and small commercial customers. Quantities of gas sold to those customers increased 5 percent and 19 percent, respectively, due primarily to weather that was 5 percent colder as compared to the prior year and to an increase in both customer bases of 4 percent. Deliveries to lower-margin industrial and large commercial customers increased 4 percent as compared to the same quarter in fiscal 1991. Additionally, the Company received a rate order effective Nov. 1, 1991 from the North Carolina Utilities Commission which granted the Company increased annual revenues of $5,300,000 with a return on common equity of 12.9 percent and an overall return of 11.1 percent. Included in this rate order was a weather normalization adjustment mechanism which also had a positive effect on gross margin for the current quarter.
 Operating revenues for the twelve months ended March 31, 1992 were $223,137,000 compared to $194,303,000 for the same period in 1991. Gross margin for the comparative periods was $105,567,000 and $88,263,000, respectively. Net income for the period increased to $17,106,000 as compared to $10,787,000 for the same period the prior year. Earnings per average common share for the twelve months ended March 31, 1992 were $1.68 based on 10,096,000 average common shares outstanding. This compares to $1.09 for the prior twelve-month period, based on 9,809,000 average common shares then outstanding.
 Public Service Company distributes natural gas to over 245,000 customers in 87 cities, towns and communities in a 26-county service territory ranging from the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill areas in the northeast; the Concord, Statesville, Gastonia and Forest City areas in the Piedmont; to the Asheville, Hendersonville and Brevard areas in the western part of the state. Public Service Company, through subsidiaries of its wholly-owned subsidiary, PSNC Natural Resources Corporation, also participates in oil and gas exploration and production, and retails propane gas.
 COMPARATIVE RESULTS
 (Amounts in Thousands, Except Raleigh/Durham
 Degree Day And Per Share Data)
 Three Months Six Months Twelve Months
 Periods Ended
 March 31: 1992 1991 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Normal degree
 days (A) 1,835 1,817 3,101 3,083 3,374 3,356
 Actual degree
 days (A) 1,648 1,564 2,817 2,531 3,012 2,772
 Percent of
 normal 90 pct 86 pct 91 pct 82 pct 89 pct 83 pct
 Total volume
 throughout (DT) 20,125 18,742 34,583 31,487 53,568 50,094
 Revenues $96,700 $82,962 $164,937 $135,039 $223,137 $194,303
 Gross margin $45,848 $38,197 $ 74,354 $ 60,114 $105,567 $ 88,263
 Operating
 income $18,144 $14,845 $26,713 $20,131 $ 30,741 $ 22,744
 Net income $15,251 $11,670 $20,307 $13,791 $ 17,106 $ 10,787
 Earnings for
 common $15,227 $11,643 $20,259 $13,735 $ 17,003 $ 10,669
 Average common
 shares 10,227 9,941 10,170 9,883 10,096 9,809
 Earnings per
 share $ 1.49 $ 1.17 $ 1.99 $ 1.39 $ 1.68 $ 1.09
 Cash dividends
 declared per
 share $ .275 $ .275 $ .55 $ .55 $ 1.10 $ 1.10
 (A) Reflects additional day for leap year in 1992.
 -0- 4/23/92
 /CONTACT: Charles E. Zeigler, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, Public Service Company of North Carolina, Inc., 704-864-6731/
 (PSNC) CO: Public Service Company of North Carolina, Inc. ST: North Carolina IN: UTI SU: ERN


JZ -- CH010 -- 1881 04/23/92 12:16 EDT
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Date:Apr 23, 1992
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