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UGI'S FOURTH QUARTER AND 1991 EARNINGS INCREASE DESPITE CONTINUED WARM WEATHER

 UGI'S FOURTH QUARTER AND 1991 EARNINGS INCREASE
 DESPITE CONTINUED WARM WEATHER
 VALLEY FORGE, Pa., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- UGI Corporation (NYSE: UGI), a Pennsylvania gas and electric utility and national marketer of propane, today reported that its earnings increased in the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 1991, but that warm weather depressed results in both periods.
 UGI recorded net income of $11,698,000 for the quarter, a 35 percent increase from $8,689,000 in the same period of 1990. Earnings per share, after preferred dividend requirements, rose to 43 cents on 24 percent more average shares outstanding from 39 cents.
 The higher number of outstanding shares resulted primarily from UGI's issue of an additional 4,600,000 common shares last June and the conversion of its $9 series preferred stock to 839,000 common shares in April.
 Revenues rose 8 percent to $211,623,000 from $195,919,000, due primarily to UGI's acquisition of full ownership and resultant consolidation of the major portion of its propane operations in November 1990. Before the acquisition, the propane business was principally a joint venture whose operating results were not fully consolidated in UGI's financial statements.
 Net income for the full year increased 35 percent to $26,307,000 from $19,430,000. Earnings per share, on 19 percent more average shares outstanding, were up 25 percent to $1.01 from 81 cents. Revenues climbed 64 percent to $709,238,000 from $432,551,000, principally because of the consolidation of propane operations.
 Fourth-quarter earnings include a benefit of 15 cents a share from the effect of certain tax reserve reversals, while the increase in outstanding common shares diluted earnings by 5 cents. For the year, the tax adjustments added 17 cents a share and the higher number of shares diluted earnings by 2 cents.
 James A. Sutton, chairman and chief executive officer, said earnings in the fourth quarter and full year benefited from colder weather than a year ago. For the 12-month period, warmer than normal weather persisted for the second consecutive year in the utility areas and the fourth year in a row across propane markets.
 Sutton noted that the weather in the fourth quarter was warmer than normal by 3 percent and 6 percent, respectively, in the gas utility service area and in propane markets. For the year, it was warmer by 6 percent in the utility area and 11 percent in propane markets.
 He said the unfavorable weather prevented UGI from realizing the full benefit of the increased ownership of the propane business and the continued growth in the gas utility's heating markets. During 1991, the gas utility added 7,400 new residential, commercial and industrial heating customers.
 The combined operating income of the utilities in the quarter increased to $19,978,000 from $17,312,000. However, results in last year's fourth quarter included a charge of $3,100,000 in the gas utility for environmental costs.
 Gas utility operating income increased to $17,905,000 from $15,290,000. During the period, reduced volume and narrowed margins in oil-price-sensitive interruptible markets more than offset the benefit of higher sales in heating markets. Electric utility operating income increased slightly in the quarter to $2,073,000 on increased energy sales for heating. Higher operating expenses partially offset the improvement.
 Operating income from propane increased to $10,874,000 from approximately $8,200,000 it would have recorded in the fourth quarter of 1990 if the operations had been fully consolidated. The income growth reflects reduced operating expenses and improved margins, despite competitive pressures in propane markets.
 For the full year, the utilities posted operating income of $60,722,000 vs. $60,914,000 in 1990 which included $4,000,000 of environmental charges. Gas utility operating income increased to $52,697,000 from $51,614,000. Operating income of the electric utility dropped to $8,025,000 from $9,300,000 because of increased operating costs.
 Twelve-month operating income from propane increased substantially to $45,270,000 from approximately $22,300,000 on a comparable basis in 1990. The improvement resulted primarily from higher margins, expense reductions and colder weather. Non-operating results in 1990 benefited from $4,950,000 of interest income on funds which were later used to acquire the unowned half of the joint venture.
 Propane's interest expense for the year declined to $29,004,000 from $33,214,000 on a comparable basis in 1990. In June 1991, UGI used approximately $45,000,000 of the proceeds from its issue of additional common shares to reduce the propane unit's long-term debt.
 /delval/
 -0- 2/12/92
 /CONTACT: Vince Testa of UGI, 215-337-1000/
 (UGI) CO: UGI Corporation ST: Pennsylvania IN: UTI SU: ERN


KA-JS -- PH039 -- 9422 02/12/92 16:54 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 12, 1992
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