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SPS ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS

 AMARILLO, Texas, July 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwestern Public Service Company (NYSE: SPS) today reported third quarter earnings of $20.9 million, or 51 cents per common share, compared with earnings in the same period last year of $19.9 million, or 49 cents per share. The electric utility reported earnings of $97.7 million, or $2.39 per common share, for the 12 months ended May 31, 1993. That compares with earnings in the same period last year of $96.4 million, or $2.36 per common share.
 Bill D. Helton, SPS chairman of the board, said the earnings increases were due primarily to greater kilowatt-hour sales and lowered capital costs. Kilowatt-hour sales increased because of greater sales to retail customers and rural electric cooperatives, he said. This was largely due to warm weather conditions in the region, compared with 1992, when the area experienced a cool, wet spring. Increased firm wholesale sales to other utilities also contributed to the increased kwh sales. The declines in interest and dividend charges were the result of refinancings of long-term debt and redemption of preferred stock.
 Also contributing to the earnings increase in the 12 month period was a Texas franchise tax refund of $3.2 million. The state allowed the company to amend its 1988 through 1991 returns to utilize accelerated instead of straight-line depreciation. This refund resulted in five cents of additional after-tax earnings during the period, which was mitigated by higher operating expenses.
 Total kwh sales, excluding non-firm, were up 7.4 percent and 3.9 percent in the three and 12 month periods, respectively, as a result of the increases in sales to all classes of customers.
 Southwestern Public Service Company is a regional electric utility that primarily provides electric service to a population of about one 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, Texas.
 Southwestern Public Service Company reports the following consolidated financial information for the three and 12 month periods ended May 31, 1993, with comparative information from prior periods:
 (In thousands except per share amounts)
 Percent
 Increase
 For the three months (Decrease)
 ended May 31, 1993 1992
 Operating revenues $193,258 $175,583 10.1
 Operating income 30,850 30,299 1.8
 Earnings before interest charges 32,106 31,907 0.6
 Net earnings 22,130 21,684 2.1
 Earnings applicable to common stock 20,911 19,884 5.2
 Earnings per common share $.51(A) $.49(A) 5.2(B)
 Weighted average shares outstanding 40,918 40,918 ---
 Percent
 For the 12 months Increase
 ended May 31, 1993 1992 (Decrease)
 Operating revenues $781,845 $735,411 6.3
 Operating income 140,414 137,393 2.2
 Earnings before interest charges 145,477 146,112 (0.4)
 Net earnings 103,866 103,720 0.1
 Earnings applicable to common stock 97,660 96,447 1.3
 Earnings per common share $2.39(A) $2.36(A) 1.3(B)
 Weighted average shares outstanding 40,918 40,918 ---
 (A) Based on weighted average shares outstanding.
 (B) Earnings per share variance calculated before rounding to nearest cent.
 -0- 7/2/93
 /CONTACT: Phil Roth (media), public information supervisor, 806- 378-2120, or Jim Steinhilper (security analysts), group manager - finance, 806-378-2843, both of Southwestern Public Service Company/
 (SPS)


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

MP -- NY016 -- 8162 07/02/93 13:04 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 2, 1993
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