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 ROSEMEAD, Calif., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- For the third quarter of 1993, SCEcorp's (NYSE: SCE) operating earnings, which exclude special charges (explained below), were 60 cents per share, six cents less than the same period in 1992. After adjusting for special charges in both periods, reported earnings for the quarter were 47 cents, 14 cents below 1992.
 The third quarter earnings include $58 million of after-tax charges at SCEcorp's Mission Energy subsidiary, or 13 cents a share. They relate to the previously announced termination of negotiations for purchase of a power plant in Mexico, to five geothermal projects in which Mission Energy has investments, and to the establishment of a reserve for project development and other costs.
 As previously announced, termination of Mission Energy's negotiations to complete the purchase of a 49 percent interest in the Carbon II power plant in Mexico resulted in a charge of $18 million after tax for capitalized interest costs and unrecovered development costs.
 The charge for geothermal projects amounts to $31 million after tax. The affected projects have 30-year power sales contracts which, under terms prescribed by California regulatory authorities, have two distinct pricing structures. For the first 10 years of each contract, the price paid by the purchasing utility for geothermal energy resources increases at a pre-established rate each year.
 From year 11 through year 30 of the contracts, the geothermal power plants will be paid for their electric output at a price based on the purchasing electric utility's cost for acquiring power from other resources. In light of current forecasts, that will result in substantially lower prices for the energy produced by the geothermal projects than was anticipated when Mission Energy invested in the projects, said Edward R. Muller, Mission Energy's president and chief executive officer.
 Muller explained that "The price paid after the 10th year of the contracts is based on natural gas prices. Current estimates for gas prices after the tenth contract year are only about half the price that was estimated in the late 1980s when the contracts were entered into. This one-time charge reflects the reduced prospects of the projects."
 In addition to the third quarter charge, Mission Energy also will forego recording earnings for the geothermal projects commencing with the third quarter and continuing through the end of the 10th year of their contracts, Muller said. That action, along with the one-time charge, will reduce Mission Energy's investment in the affected projects to zero at the end of the 10th contract year for each project, assuming the projects perform as expected until then, he said.
 "Due to uncertainty about both the future regulatory environment and future gas prices, we cannot predict the potential earnings impact of these projects beyond their 10th contract year," Muller said.
 The remaining reserve of $9 million after-tax, "reflects a prudent approach for a business of the size and complexity of Mission Energy today," Muller said.
 SCEcorp reported net income of $211 million in the third quarter of 1993 on revenues of $2,424 million, down from net income of $272 million in 1992 on revenues of $2,555 million.
 Southern California Edison contributed 52 cents per share to SCEcorp's operating earnings for the quarter. This was two cents less than the same period last year. The utility's lower authorized return on common equity for 1993 was the principal reason for the reduction in earnings. However, savings from refinancing nearly $2 billion of securities partially offset the lower return. Edison's reported earnings for the quarter were higher than the prior year because of a five-cent charge in 1992 for settling a lawsuit.
 For the third quarter of 1993, operating earnings for the Mission companies were eight cents per SCEcorp share, down four cents from 1992. Earnings at Mission First Financial and Mission Land Co. were unchanged for the comparable quarterly periods, but Mission Energy's operating earnings were four cents lower. The Mission companies' reported earnings for the quarter were 17 cents less than 1992, reflecting Mission Energy's lower earnings and special charges.
 SCEcorp's year-to-date operating earnings per share were $1.29, eight cents less than the comparable period in 1992. Earnings were lower primarily because of Edison's lower authorized return on common equity, reduced operating income at Mission Land, and higher operating expenses at Mission Energy.
 (Financial Highlights)
 3 Months Ended 9 Months Ended
 Sept. 30, Sept. 30,
 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Operating Earnings:
 Mission Energy $0.07 $0.11 $0.13 $0.16
 Mission First Fin'l 0.01 0.01 0.04 0.04
 Mission Land -0.02
 Mission Companies 0.08 0.12 0.15 0.20
 Edison 0.52 0.54 1.14 1.17
 SCEcorp 0.60 0.66 1.29 1.37
 Nonrecurring charges 0.13 0.05 0.17 0.05
 SCEcorp - Reported $0.47 $0.61 $1.12 $1.32
 -0- 10/21/93
 /CONTACT: Lewis M. Phelps, 818-302-7933/

CO: SCEcorp ST: California IN: UTI SU: ERN

EH-JL -- LA028 -- 5460 10/21/93 17:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 21, 1993

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