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WWP'S SECOND QUARTER EARNINGS DOWN FROM A YEAR AGO; THOUGH YEAR-ENDED JUNE 30 EARNINGS UP BY 20 PERCENT

 SPOKANE, Wash., July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The Washington Water Power Co. (NYSE: WWP) today reported a decrease in second quarter earnings, but earnings for the 12 months ended June 30, 1993, improved by 20 percent, compared with the same period in 1992.
 The company posted second quarter earnings of 53 cents per share, down 6 cents per share from the 59 cents per share second quarter earnings for 1992. Earnings for the 12-month period ending June 30, 1993, improved to $3.02 per share from the $2.51 per share posted in 1992.
 Company earnings for the first six months of 1993 were $1.86 per share, compared with $1.58 for the first two quarters of 1992.
 Paul A. Redmond, WWP board chairman and chief executive officer, said the decrease in second quarter earnings was mostly the result of a decline in wholesale electric revenues and increased costs for unscheduled maintenance at the Colstrip coal-fired generating plants in eastern Montana.
 Redmond said the company continues to be challenged by below-normal precipitation and the resulting poor streamflow conditions on the company's hydroelectric system. Streamflows on WWP's hydro system are expected to be only 80 percent of normal for the year. But above-normal precipitation in June and July has improved conditions, he said, and the streamflow forecast has been upgraded from the 65-70 percent of normal predicted earlier in the year. Redmond added that WWP will have adequate energy to meet retail customers' needs, and the company expects to continue to sell into regional wholesale energy markets throughout the remainder of the year.
 The earnings improvement for the 12-month period ended June 30 primarily resulted from increased retail and wholesale energy sales. These gains were partially offset by fuel and purchased power costs that were a combined $33 million over expense levels incurred during the same period one year ago. Redmond said WWP benefited from colder-than-normal temperatures during the period as well as the company's ability to capitalize on higher prices in both long-term and short-term wholesale energy markets.
 Redmond said Pentzer Corp., the company's wholly owned private investment firm, posted significant increases in net income for both the second quarter and for the year ended June 30. Net income for the second quarter increased nearly 81 percent as a result of the sale of Itronix, income tax benefits from Canadian subsidiaries, and contributions from Pentzer Financial Services and Imfax, Pentzer's newest operation. Pentzer's net income for the year ended June 30 was up by 45 percent. Improved operations at Itron, the electronic data manufacturing subsidiary, and contributions from Pentzer Energy Services and Northwest Telco were primarily responsible for the increase.
 WWP continues to benefit from strong customer growth throughout its service area, Redmond noted. Electric customer growth was 2.8 percent for the year ended June 30, and growth on WWP's consolidated four-state gas system was 8 percent.
 For the second quarter of 1993, utility operating revenues increased by $6 million, or 5.4 percent, over the second quarter of 1992. Net income for the second quarter, however, decreased by about $1 million, or 6.7 percent.
 For the 12-month period ending June 30, utility operating revenues increased $80.9 million or 16.2 percent, compared with the 1992 period. Electric revenues were up $52.3 million, or 12.8 percent, while revenues from the company's consolidated natural gas operations were higher by $28.6 million, or 31.5 percent.
 THE WASHINGTON WATER POWER CO.
 CONSOLIDATED COMPARATIVE STATEMENTS OF INCOME (UNAUDITED)
 (Dollars in Thousands except Per Share Amounts)
 For the Twelve Months
 2nd Quarter Ended June 30
 1993 1992 1993 1992
 OPERATING REVENUES $126,876 $118,761 $621,544 $557,676
 OPERATING EXPENSES:
 Operations and maintenance 57,354 50,644 303,144 269,424
 Administrative and general 13,148 11,979 51,408 47,765
 Depreciation and
 amortization 14,765 13,442 55,488 52,775
 Taxes other than
 income taxes 11,377 10,331 44,077 41,896
 Total operating expenses 96,644 86,396 454,117 411,860
 INCOME FROM OPERATIONS 30,232 32,365 167,427 145,816
 INTEREST EXPENSE AND
 (OTHER INCOME):
 Interest expense 11,977 13,237 51,291 54,403
 Interest capitalized (749) (427) (2,821) (1,392)
 Gain on sale of
 subsidiary stock (Note 1) 0 0 0 (6,685)
 Other - net (2,338) (2,827) (10,554) (959)
 Total interest expense
 and other- net 8,890 9,983 37,916 45,367
 INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES 21,342 22,382 129,511 100,449
 INCOME TAXES 5,577 6,993 44,800 34,076
 INCOME FROM CONTINUING
 OPERATIONS 15,765 15,389 84,711 66,373
 Income from discontinued
 coal mining operations -
 net of income taxes (Note 2) 0 858 1,545 1,589
 NET INCOME 15,765 16,247 86,256 67,962
 DEDUCT - Preferred stock
 dividend requirements 2,079 1,585 7,879 7,690
 INCOME AVAILABLE FOR
 COMMON STOCK $ 13,686 $ 14,662 $ 78,377 $ 60,272
 Average common shares
 outstanding (thousands) 25,746 24,702 25,370 24,023
 EARNINGS PER COMMON SHARE:
 From continuing operations $0.53 $0.56 $3.03 $2.45
 From discontinued coal
 mining operations (Note 2) 0.00 0.03 0.06 0.06
 Total $0.53 $0.59 $3.09 $2.51
 DIVIDENDS PER SHARE OF
 COMMON STOCK $0.62 $0.62 $2.48 $2.48
 SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION
 INCOME FROM CONTINUING OPERATIONS:
 Utility operations $ 11,688 $ 13,149 $ 75,546 $ 59,898
 Non-utility operations $ 4,077 $ 2,240 $ 9,165 $ 6,475
 Note 1: The gain resulted from stock issued by the Company's
 electronics subsidiary for the purpose of acquiring EnScan,
 an electronics equipment production company. Net of tax,
 the gain was $4,412,000 and equates to $0.18 per share.
 Note 2: The Company sold the assets of its coal mining
 subsidiary to PacifiCorp for $40,800,000. The sale closed
 on July 31, 1990. The financial statements have been
 reclassified to reflect the Company's continuing
 operations.
 -0- 7/21/93
 /CONTACT: Patrick Lynch, 509-482-4246, or Rob Strenge, 509-482-4230, both of Washington Water Power/
 (WWP)


CO: The Washington Water Power Co. ST: Washington IN: UTI SU: ERN

JH -- SE004 -- 3898 07/21/93 11:26 EDT
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Date:Jul 21, 1993
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