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SPS ANNOUNCES THIRD-QUARTER EARNINGS

 SPS ANNOUNCES THIRD-QUARTER EARNINGS
 AMARILLO, Texas, July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwestern Public Service


Company today reported third-quarter earnings of $19.9 million, or 49 cents per common share, compared with earnings in the same period last year of $22.2 million, or 54 cents per share.
 The electric utility reported earnings of $96.4 million or $2.36 per common share for the 12 months ended May 31, 1992. That compares with earnings in the same period last year of $106 million or $2.59 per common share.
 Bill D. Helton, chairman of the board, said despite higher industrial kilowatt-hour sales, current quarterly earnings declined. He said that was primarily because of weather conditions, which reduced kilowatt-hour sales to rural electrical cooperatives, and because of increased operating expenses, principally general and administrative expenses and Texas property taxes.
 Helton attributed the decline in earnings for the 12-month period to increased property and franchise taxes in the state of Texas. Contributing to the decline was the previously disclosed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order in a 1985 wholesale rate case which added nine cents per share to last year's earnings.
 Total kwh sales, excluding non-firm, decreased 3.1 percent and 0.6 percent in the respective three-and twelve-month periods. These decreases in both periods resulted primarily from mild temperatures and above-normal precipitation. These weather conditions adversely affected agriculture-related sales as well as sales to residential and commercial customers during the quarter.
 Industrial kwh sales increased 3.8 percent and 3.6 percent for the quarter and 12-month period, respectively.
 Southwestern Public Service Company is a regional electric utility that serves a population of about one million in a 52,000 square-mile area comprising eastern and southeastern New Mexico, the South Plains and Panhandle of Texas, the Oklahoma Panhandle and southwest corner of Kansas. Corporate headquarters is in Amarillo, Texas.
 Southwestern Public Service Company reports the following consolidated figures for the three- and twelve-month periods ended May 31, 1992, with comparative data from prior periods:
 For the Three Months Ended:
 Pct Increase
 5/31/92 5/31/91 (Decrease)
 (In Thousands
 except per share
 amounts)
 Operating revenues $175,583 $171,970 2.1
 Operating income 30,299 34,196 (11.4)
 Earnings before
 interest charges 31,907 35,715 (10.7)
 Net earnings 21,684 24,066 (9.9)
 Earnings applicable
 to common stock 19,884 22,237 (10.6)
 Earnings per common
 share $ 0.49(A) $ 0.54(A) (10.6)(B)
 Weighted average
 shares outstanding 40,918 40,918 --
 For the Twelve Months Ended:
 Pct Increase
 5/31/92 5/31/91 (Decrease)
 (In Thousands
 except per share
 amounts)
 Operating revenues $735,411 $733,911 0.2
 Operating income 137,393 149,470 (8.1)
 Earnings before
 interest charges 146,112 158,825 (8.0)
 Net earnings 103,720 113,364 (8.5)
 Earnings applicable
 to common stock 96,447 105,973 (9.0)
 Earnings per common
 share $ 2.36(A) $ 2.59(A) (9.0)(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- 7/1/92
 /CONTACT: Jim Steinhilper, group manager of finance of Southwestern Public Service, 806-378-2843/
 (SPSA) CO: Southwestern Public Service Company ST: Texas IN: UTI SU: ERN


KD -- NY107 -- 5870 07/01/92 16:16 EDT
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Date:Jul 1, 1992
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