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THE DELTA QUEEN STEAMBOAT CO. REPORTS 27 PERCENT INCREASE IN EARNINGS PER SHARE

 THE DELTA QUEEN STEAMBOAT CO. REPORTS 27 PERCENT
 INCREASE IN EARNINGS PER SHARE
 NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The Delta Queen Steamboat Co. (NASDAQ: DQSB) today reported significant improvements in results for the second quarter and first six months of its fiscal year.
 Earnings per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 1992, were 19 cents, a 27 percent increase over pro forma earnings per share of 15 cents during the second quarter of fiscal 1992.
 Earnings were $2.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal 1993, compared to pro forma earnings of $1.3 million in the same quarter last year. Pro forma figures for the prior fiscal year assume the company's initial public offering took place at the beginning of the fiscal year. Revenues during the second quarter increased 7 percent to $16.9 million from $15.8 million during the same quarter of the prior fiscal year.
 For the first half of the current fiscal year, earnings per share rose 19 percent to 52 cents, compared to pro forma earnings per share of 44 cents in the first six months of last fiscal year. Net income during the first half was $5.9 million, compared to pro forma net income of $5.0 million in the same period last year. Revenues of $36.9 million in the first half of the current fiscal year were 8 percent higher than revenues of $34.0 million during the same period last year.
 S. Cody Engle, Delta Queen chairman, said the improvements in company performance were the result of higher steamboat segment fare revenues and total revenues per passenger night. For the quarter, fare revenues per passenger night increased 15 percent to $263, and total revenue per passenger night increased 10 percent to $306. For the first half of the current fiscal year, fare revenue per passenger night increased 15 percent to $280, and total revenue per passenger night rose 10 percent to $332.
 "Earnings for the quarter and first half are the result of our strategy to create higher yields by driving up our fare revenue, based on high demand for our vacations. With occupancy aboard the two vessels running at consistently high levels, improvements in the fare we realize against our published tariffs results in meaningful improvements in operating income," Engle said.
 Engle said a slight dropoff in occupancy occurred during the quarter, due mainly to the impact of Hurricane Andrew on one three-day cruise, and an increase in the number of berths on the Mississippi Queen. However, he said, fare revenue increases more than offset the decline in occupancy.
 Engle said third quarter results also are on track to date, and indications are that full-year results will continue at a record pace. As of Oct. 16, 1992, actual cruise revenues plus advance reservations for cruises during the balance of calendar 1992 stood at $47.9 million, an increase of 15 percent over the same date last year. The company also has commitments for 29 percent of its potential for calendar 1993.
 Providing an update on the company's plans for a third boat, which will increase the company's cabin capacity by 70 percent, Engle said Delta Queen has given the six shipyards from which it is seeking bids until Nov. 23 to provide firm bids on the project.
 "We have elected to provide the yards the additional time so they can give us more complete and precise bids. We have continued to supply additional details in response to requests for clarification, and doing so takes us farther along in the planning process. We expect to select a yard shortly after the firm bids are received," Engle said.
 The Delta Queen Steamboat Co. headquartered in New Orleans, is the nation's only provider of overnight paddlewheel steamboat vacations. Its two vessels, The Delta Queen and The Mississippi Queen, annually carry approximately 34,000 passengers to 50 cities and towns on the Mississippi, Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers. The company also owns the Maison Dupuy Hotel, a 197-room hotel in New Orleans' French Quarter. The Delta Queen Steamboat Co. made an initial public offering of approximately 4.1 million shares in March 1992, and its shares are traded on the NASDAQ National Market System with the symbol DQSB.
 THE DELTA STEAMBOAT CO. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
 (Amounts in thousands)
 Three Months Ended Six Months Ended
 Sept. 30, Sept. 30,
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Revenues $16,946 $15,821 $36,893 $34,006
 Cost of operations 8,755 8,427 18,592 17,441
 Gross profit 8,191 7,394 18,301 16,565
 Gross profit margin(pct) 48.34 46.74 49.61 48.71
 Selling, general and
 administrative
 expense 4,475 4,286 8,400 7,776
 Depreciation 621 687 1,210 1,375
 Operating income 3,095 2,421 8,691 7,414
 Operating income
 margin (pct) 18.26 15.30 23.56 21.80
 Interest income 259 188 609 368
 Interest expense 0 621 0 1,258
 Income before income
 taxes 3,354 1,988 9,300 6,524
 Income taxes 1,194 728 3,376 2,393
 Net income 2,160 1,260 5,924 4,131
 Pro forma adjustments(a)
 Interest expense --- 621 --- 1,258
 Taxes --- (211) --- (428)
 Pro forma net income 2,160 1,670 5,924 4,961
 Average common and common
 equivalent shares
 outstanding(a) 11,340 11,340 11,340 11,340
 Earnings per common
 share(a) 0.19 0.15 0.52 0.44
 (a) In March 1992, the company completed the sale of approximately 4.1 million shares of the company's common stock. The prior period net income, earnings per common share, and average common and common equivalent shares outstanding have been prepared assuming the offering occurred on April 1, 1991, resulting in: (i) interest savings, net of tax, from the retirements of all outstanding debt with proceeds from the offering; and (ii) an increase in average common and common equivalent shares reflecting the issuance of shares from the offering.
 DELTA QUEEN STEAMBOAT CO. FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 Three Months Ended Six Months Ended
 Sept. 30, Sept. 30,
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 (amts. in thousands) (amts. in thousands)
 Revenues $15,628 $14,597 $33,992 $31,136
 Steamboat 1,318 1,224 2,901 2,870
 Hotel 16,946 15,821 36,893 34,006
 Operating Income 2,962 2,398 8,110 6,963
 Steamboat 133 23 581 451
 Hotel 3,095 2,421 8,691 7,414
 Net Income (a) 2,160 1,670 5,924 4,961
 Earnings per common
 share (a) 0.19 0.15 0.52 0.44
 Average common and
 equivalent shares
 Outstanding (a) 11,340 11,340 11,340 11,340
 Operating Statistics
 Steamboat
 Fare Revenue per
 passenger night $263.37 $227.81 $279.74 $243.56
 Total revenue per
 passenger night 306.49 278.85 331.92 302.91
 Operating days:
 Delta Queen 92 92 183 183
 Mississippi Queen 92 92 183 183
 Average vessel capacity
 per day (berths)
 Delta Queen 176.0 176.0 176.0 176.0
 Mississippi Queen 416.0 410.6 416.0 409.3
 Capacity Passenger
 nights 54,464 53,968 108,336 107,112
 Passenger nights 50,991 52,357 102,410 102,790
 Physical occupancy
 percentage (berths) 93.6 97.0 94.5 96.2
 Hotel (197 rooms)
 Average daily rate
 per occupied room 75.22 67.23 80.02 76.85
 Physical occupancy
 percentage (rooms) 73.6 79.1 78.4 83.2
 (a) In March 1992, the company completed the sale of approximately 4.1 million shares of the company's common stock. The prior year net income, earnings per common share, and average common and common equivalent shares outstanding have been prepared assuming the offering occurred at the beginning of the year resulting in: (i) interest savings, net of tax, from the retirements of all outstanding debt with proceeds from the offering, and (ii) an increase in common and common equivalent shares reflecting the issuance of shares from the offering. Actual net income for the quarter and year-to-date periods ended Sept. 30, 1991 was $1,260 and $4,131, respectively.
 -0- 10/27/92
 /CONTACT: Kirk Brewer, 312-258-4358, or Patrick Fahey, 504-586-0631, for Delta Queen Steamboat/
 (DQSB) CO: Delta Queen Steamboat Co. ST: Louisiana IN: CNO SU: ERN


KD -- NY050 -- 5291 10/27/92 10:25 EST
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