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WILLIAMS THIRD QUARTER RESULTS NEARLY DOUBLE, EXCLUDING EFFECTS OF TAX RATE HIKE

 TULSA, Okla., Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The Williams Cos. Inc. (NYSE: WMB; PSE), citing WilTel's continuing comeback and the improved performance of its pipelines, reported third quarter results nearly double the same period last year, excluding one-time effects of an increase in the federal corporate income tax rate.
 The company's board of directors on Sept. 19 approved a 2-for-1 common stock split and distribution to occur on Nov. 5, resulting in the restatement of earnings per share amounts to reflect the increased number of shares.
 Joseph H. Williams, chairman and chief executive officer, said without the effects of the change in tax law and stock split, third- quarter 1993 earnings per share would have been 60 cents, compared with 32 cents in the same period a year ago.
 The company reported unaudited net income of $18 million, or 15 cents per share, for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with net income of $18.6 million, or 16 cents per share, for the same period last year.
 Because of the increase in federal income tax rates, third quarter net income was reduced approximately $15 million, or 15 cents per share. Changes in the law were made retroactive to Jan. 1, and the one-time charge reflects the cumulative effect on deferred income tax liabilities net of related regulatory effects.
 For the first nine months of 1993, net income was $179.7 million, or $1.68 per share on a fully diluted basis, compared with net income of $74.2 million, or 72 cents per share, during the same period in 1992.
 Third quarter 1993 revenues were $572 million, compared with $555 million for the same quarter a year ago. Revenues for the first nine months were $1.9 billion, compared with the $1.7 billion for the same period in 1992.
 Northwest Pipeline Corp. reported a third quarter operating profit of $29 million, compared with an operating profit of $14.5 million in the same quarter a year ago.
 The increase primarily is due to higher transportation rates that became effective when the company's $432 million mainline expansion was placed into service April 1 and higher storage service revenues, partially offset by higher general and administrative expenses and depreciation. While regulatory accounting for the new federal income tax law increased operating profit this quarter, the impact was offset by additional deferred income tax expense.
 For the first nine months, Northwest Pipeline had an operating profit of $78.7 million vs. $45.4 million for the first nine months of 1992.
 In August, Northwest Pipeline filed to receive Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval to build additional mainline expansions totalling 360 million cubic feet per day (MMcfd), supported by 15-year contracts with shippers, to be in service in late 1995, Williams said.
 "Northwest Pipeline had worked with its customers to essentially achieve the goals of the FERC's Order 636. Implementing final restructuring under the order on Nov. 1 should have little impact on annual operating profit and result in no transition costs," he said.
 The company expects the FERC-required change to straight fixed variable rates under Order 636 to moderate seasonal swings in operating profit.
 Williams Natural Gas Co. reported a third quarter operating loss of $7.4 million, compared with an operating loss of $10.4 million during the third quarter of 1992.
 The improvement from 1992's third quarter primarily was due to the reversal of excess contract reformation costs that had been previously accrued. While the regulatory accounting for the new federal income tax law increased operating profit this quarter, the impact was offset by additional deferred income tax expense.
 The company reported operating profit of $27.4 million for the first nine months of 1993, compared with operating profit of $11.5 million for the same period a year ago.
 Williams said this company implemented its final Order 636 restructuring on Oct. 1 and should complete the transition without significant costs.
 "The straight fixed variable rate design required by the order should cause this company to produce lower operating profit in the first and fourth quarters and higher operating profit in the second and third quarters than it has historically," Williams said.
 Kern River Gas Transmission Co., a Wyoming-to-California pipeline system that is 50-percent owned by Williams, contributed an after-tax $4.7 million to the company's investing income during the third quarter, compared with $5.6 million during the same period in 1992.
 The lower earnings result from Kern River's rate design that provides for a regulated return on the net investment that declines by the amount of depreciation expensed each year.
 For the first nine months, Kern River added an after-tax $15.7 million to the company's investing income, compared with $10.6 million during the first nine months of 1992.
 "Since beginning operations in early 1992, Kern River has provided only transportation services," Williams said. "The implementation of its final Order 636 restructuring on Aug. 1 has not had any material impact on operations."
 Williams Field Services reported a third quarter operating profit of $24.3 million, compared with an operating profit of $30 million for the same period in 1992.
 This quarter's operating profit is lower because of favorable natural gas inventory adjustments and disputed processing revenues which were recognized in the third quarter of 1992.
 Gathering volumes increased 12 percent; processing volumes increased 14 percent; and gas liquids sales volumes increased 6 percent when compared with the same period a year ago.
 Operating profit for the first nine months was $93.7 million, compared with $73.7 million for the same period a year ago.
 Williams noted that construction of the new 120 MMcfd Echo Springs, Wyo., natural gas processing plant in the Wamsutter Field is on schedule to be in service Jan. 1. Williams Field Services is working with others to create an interstate pipeline hub to serve this central Wyoming production basin.
 "In addition, much is being accomplished to establish this growing company's presence in producing areas in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas," he said.
 In the San Juan Basin of New Mexico and Colorado, capacity of the Manzanares gathering and processing system is on schedule to increase from 575 MMcfd to 750 MMcfd by year end, with further expansion likely in 1994. The development of the company's conventional natural gas reserves in this region continues with an eight-well drilling program, of which four have been drilled to total depth.
 Williams Pipe Line Co. reported an operating profit of $15.3 million in the third quarter vs. $10.4 million in the same quarter of 1992.
 The increase primarily is due to a 12-percent increase in the number of barrels shipped compared with the same period last year. Demand increased because of new business development, refinery shutdowns and flood damage to competitors.
 For the first nine months of the year, Williams Pipe Line had an operating profit of $37.5 million, compared with $22.6 million for the same period of 1992.
 Williams Pipe Line anticipates a fourth quarter closing of its pending acquisition of 370 miles of pipeline to attach new supply points to the southern end of its 8,500-mile Midcontinent system. The matter is pending before the Federal Trade Commission.
 Williams Energy Ventures reported a third quarter operating profit of $1.4 million, compared with operating profit of $1 million for the same period a year ago.
 For the first nine months of the year, Williams Energy Ventures reported an operating profit of $7.7 million, compared with $7.8 million during the same period a year ago.
 Formed on April 1 of this year, this company markets natural gas liquids from Williams' processing plants and is actively marketing price risk management products and services to the energy industry. The company also introduced two new computer-based products during the quarter -- one a natural gas cash market trading system and the other a brokering system for firm, short-term natural gas pipeline capacity.
 WilTel reported a third quarter operating profit of $22.5 million, compared with $11.9 million in the same quarter last year. Revenues were $255 million vs. $194 million for the quarter in 1992. This marks the first time annualized quarterly revenues would exceed $1 billion.
 The increase was due to greater demand and improved margins in WilTel's equipment business, increased demand from other carriers for dedicated circuits and a substantial increase in demand for switched services.
 WilTel reported an operating profit of $58.8 million for the first nine months vs. $16.1 million for the same period in 1992. Revenues were $690 million, compared with $554 million for the first nine months of 1992.
 On Oct. 5, WilTel announced it had formed strategic relationships with IDB WORLDCOM and Reuters to extend its market-leading frame relay data transmission product into key financial centers in Europe, enhancing its ability to serve domestic business customers' global requirements. The international service is being tested through December, with general commercial availability in January 1994.
 WilTel has installed one of the world's first asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) networks available to carry commercial traffic in the United States, assuring international users that WilTel will be positioned to deploy this evolving high-speed data transmission technology on a global basis as future demand warrants. During the fourth quarter of 1993, WilTel will test its ATM network with leading edge users, including Convex Computer and Motorola.
 The Williams Cos. is listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMB.
 -0- 10/25/93
 /CONTACT: Media, Jim Gipson, 918-588-2111, or Investors, Linda Lawson, 918-588-2087, both of the Williams Cos./
 (WMB)


CO: Williams Cos. Inc. ST: Oklahoma IN: OIL SU: ERN

SG -- SF013 -- 6351 10/25/93 13:02 EDT
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Date:Oct 25, 1993
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