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SONAT REPORTS ANNUAL RESULTS, DECLARES DIVIDEND, ANNOUNCES ACCOUNTING CHANGE

 SONAT REPORTS ANNUAL RESULTS, DECLARES DIVIDEND,
 ANNOUNCES ACCOUNTING CHANGE
 BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Jan. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Ronald L. Kuehn, Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer of Sonat Inc. (NYSE: SNT), today announced that the Company's earnings from continuing operations for the year ended December 31, 1991, were $77.9 million, or $1.82 per share. This compared with earnings from continuing operations of $91.2 million, or $2.13 per share, for the same period in 1990. 1991 earnings from continuing operations include a fourth quarter charge of $12 million, or $.28 per share, for costs associated with a previously announced early retirement program, while 1990 earnings from continuing operations include a gain of $24 million, or $.58 per share, for various non-recurring items.
 For the three-month period ended December 31, 1991, the Company had earnings from continuing operations of $13.2 million, or $.31 per share, compared to $40.0 million, or $.93 per share, for the same period in 1990. As noted above, earnings from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 1991 include a charge of $12 million, or $.28 per share, while earnings from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 1990 include a non-recurring gain of $12 million, or $.29 per share.
 The Company changed its method of accounting for its exploration and production activities from the full cost method to the successful efforts method during the fourth quarter, and results for all periods reflect the change. This change reduced stockholders' equity at December 31, 1991 by $108 million.
 Sonat announced on January 6, 1992 that it has agreed to sell Teleco Oilfield Services Inc. to Baker Hughes Incorporated. Teleco is therefore being carried as a discontinued operation and, as a result, it is not included in the figures reported above. The sale, which is subject to various conditions including customary government approvals and consents, is expected to close in the second quarter of 1992, and Sonat expects to report an after-tax gain of approximately $110 million on this transaction.
 Kuehn also announced that a regular dividend of 50 cents per share has been declared for Sonat's common stock. The dividend, payable on March 13, 1992, to stockholders of record on February 28, 1992, is the 212th consecutive quarterly dividend paid on the Company's common stock.
 Sonat, headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., is a worldwide energy company involved in natural gas transmission and marketing, oil and gas exploration and production, and oil services.
 SONAT INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME (1) (2)
 (Unaudited)
 3 Months 12 Months
 Periods Ended
 December 31, 1991 1990 1991 1990
 (In Thousands, Except Per-Share Amounts)
 Revenues $399,608 $410,351 $1,420,963 $1,356,858
 Costs and
 Operating
 Expenses 352,734 341,049 1,217,490 1,192,153
 Operating
 Income 46,874 69,302 203,473 164,705
 Other Income,
 Net 2,676 25,074 14,691 69,818
 Interest Expense,
 Net (38,845) (32,147) (117,678) (102,657)
 Income from
 Continuing
 Operations
 Before Income
 Taxes 10,705 62,229 100,486 131,866
 Income Taxes
 (Benefits) (3) (2,471) 22,277 22,605 40,667
 Income from
 Continuing
 Operations
 (4) (5) (6) 13,176 39,952 77,881 91,199
 Discontinued
 Operations (1) (8,482) 1,788 (11,893) 2,696
 Net Income
 (4) (5) (6) $ 4,694 $ 41,740 $ 65,988 $ 93,895
 Earnings Per
 Share of
 Common Stock:
 Earnings from
 continuing
 operations $ .31 $ .93 $ 1.82 $ 2.13
 Earnings
 (loss)
 from
 discontinued
 operations (.20) .04 (.28) .06
 Earnings
 Per
 Share $ .11 $ .97 $ 1.54 $ 2.19
 Weighted Average
 Shares of
 Common Stock 42,913 42,871 42,886 42,806
 Cash Dividends
 Paid Per
 Common Share $ .50 $ .50 $ 2.00 $ 2.00
 SONAT INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 BUSINESS SEGMENT DATA (1) (2)
 (Unaudited)
 3 Months 12 Months
 Periods Ended
 December 31, 1991 1990 1991 1990
 (In Thousands)
 Revenues:
 Natural gas $ 296,504 $295,571 $1,039,691 $ 992,033
 Exploration and
 production 75,193 78,538 269,628 240,196
 Oil services 40,750 50,572 173,639 180,887
 Other 2,315 1,614 8,001 4,586
 Intersegment
 revenue (15,154) (15,944) (69,996) (60,844)
 $ 399,608 $410,351 $1,420,963 $1,356,858
 Operating Income
 (Loss):
 Natural gas $ 30,183 $ 41,090 $ 140,423 $ 111,938
 Exploration and
 production 15,200 24,039 45,200 52,108
 Oil services 3,252 4,316 21,773 3,298
 Other, net of
 corporate
 expenses (1,761) (143) (3,923) (2,639)
 Operating
 Income $ 46,874 $ 69,302 $ 203,473 $ 164,705
 (1) In January 1992, the Company announced a plan to sell
 Teleco Oilfield Services Inc. The results of Teleco are
 reported as discontinued operations in the above
 financials.
 (2) The Company changed its method of accounting for its
 exploration and production activities from the full cost
 method to the successful efforts method during the fourth
 quarter, and results for all periods reflect the change.
 (3) The 1991 periods reflect reductions in income tax expense
 due to adjustments to overall tax provisions and higher
 levels of Section 29 tax credits.
 (4) Income from continuing operations and net income for the
 1991 periods include a charge of $12 million and
 $14 million respectively, or $.28 and $.33 per share, for
 costs primarily associated with an early retirement
 program and an aborted pipeline project.
 (5) Income from continuing operations and net income for the
 three months and twelve months ended December 31, 1990,
 includes $12 million, or $.29 per share, from the
 contribution of an offshore drilling rig to a newly
 formed Norwegian drilling company, Arcade Drilling A/S,
 in exchange for cash and an ownership interest in the
 venture.
 (6) Income from continuing operations and net income for the
 twelve months ended December 31, 1990, includes $6
 million, or $.14 per share, related to thCoastal
 Corporation.
 -0- 1/23/92
 /CONTACT: Thomas W. Barker Jr., 205-325-3586, or Bruce L. Connery, 205-325-3898, both of Sonat/
 (SNT) CO: Sonat Inc. ST: Alabama IN: OIL SU: ERN DIV


BR-CF -- AT001 -- 2751 01/23/92 11:30 EST
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