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 AMARILLO, Texas, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwestern Public Service Company (NYSE: SPS) today reported for its fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 1993, earnings of $2.43 per common share, up 9 cents, or 3.7 percent, from earnings of $2.34 for fiscal 1992.
 The electric utility reported operating revenues of $809.8 million, up $60.6 million, or 8.1 percent, from last year. Kilowatt-hour sales, excluding non-firm, increased 7.2 percent.
 The fiscal 1993 earnings were not affected by the recent Texas rate reduction settlement of $13 million, which takes effect Oct. 15.
 Bill D. Helton, SPS chairman of the board, attributed the rise in operating revenues to greater kwh sales to all classes of customers and increased fuel-related collections resulting from higher fuel costs. Fuel-related revenues are pass-through expenses and do not benefit earnings.
 Operating income of $140.7 million was up 2.1 percent, or $2.9 million. This increased income from operations was partly attributable to lower tax expense from a franchise tax refund of $3.2 million from the state of Texas. The franchise refund was a result of the company amending 1988 through 1991 returns to utilize accelerated instead of straight-line depreciation.
 In addition, interest expense and dividends on cumulative preferred stock were $3.1 million less than last year, due to the redemption and refinancing of first mortgage bonds and preferred stock in December 1992.
 These various cost-saving efforts were offset by increased operating expenses during the fiscal year. Such expenses included those related to the company's efforts to acquire El Paso Electric Company, higher regulatory commission expense and greater expenses related to SPS's various marketing programs.
 The increase in kwh sales, excluding non-firm, was attributable to weather conditions as well as to a gradual upturn in the economy of the service area. Sales increased to all classes of customers, with notable gains in sales to rural electric cooperatives and in firm wholesale sales, primarily to El Paso Electric Company.
 Consolidated construction expenditures of $92.3 million in fiscal 1993 were up $19.0 million, or 25.9 percent, from the previous year. This was due primarily to construction of transmission facilities to provide wholesale power to a new customer -- Cap Rock Electric Cooperative near Midland, Texas. Fiscal 1994 consolidated construction is budgeted at $86.9 million, and reflects work to complete the Cap Rock lines and expenditures for required emissions monitoring at power plants.
 Southwestern Public Service Company is a regional electric utility that primarily provides electric service to a population of about 1 million people in a 52,000-square-mile area comprising eastern and southeastern New Mexico, the South Plains and Panhandle of Texas, the Oklahoma Panhandle and southwestern Kansas. Corporate headquarters is in Amarillo.
 Southwestern Public Service Company reports the following consolidated financial information for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 1993, with comparative information for fiscal 1992:
 (In thousands except per share amounts)
 Pct. Increase
 1993 1992 (Decrease)
 Earnings Summary
 Operating revenues $809,753 $749,154 8.1
 Operating income 140,684 137,755 2.1
 Net earnings 105,254 102,987 2.2
 Earnings applicable
 to common stock 99,245 95,744 3.7
 Statistical Summary
 Earnings per common
 share(A) $2.43 $2.34 3.7
 Dividends per
 common share 2.20 2.20 --
 Weighted average
 shares outstanding 40,918 40,918 --
 Total kilowatt-hour
 sales 19,268,751 18,258,584 5.5
 Electric customers 359,215 355,692 1.0
 expenditures $92,315 $73,338 25.9
 (A) -- Based on weighted average shares outstanding.
 -0- 10/13/93
 /CONTACT: Phil Roth, public information supervisor, 806-378-2120, or (analysts), Jim Steinhilper, group manager of Finance, 806-378-2843, both of Southwestern Public Service Company/

CO: Southwestern Public Service Company ST: Texas IN: UTI SU: ERN

CK -- NY050 -- 1673 10/13/93 12:25 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 13, 1993

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