Laclede Gas Reports Second-Quarter Earnings

Apr 26, 2001, 01:00 ET from Laclede Gas Company

    ST. LOUIS, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Laclede Gas Company (NYSE:   LG) today
 announced that earnings during the second quarter of its fiscal year -- the
 three-month period ending March 31, 2001 -- were $1.10 per share, compared
 with $1.03 per share last year.
     The 7% increase in earnings is primarily the result of higher sales
 volumes resulting from winter weather that was 24% colder than last year and
 3% colder than normal. The impact of the colder weather on sales was tempered
 by lower customer usage and was further offset by increased operating costs, a
 higher provision for uncollectible accounts and increased carrying costs, due
 in large part to this past winter's high wholesale gas prices.
     Earnings for the six-month period ended March 31, 2001, were $2.08 per
 share this year compared with $1.54 per share last year.  The 35% increase
 results primarily from higher sales during a period that was 37% colder than
 the comparable period last year, as well as the impact of a general rate
 increase that became effective on December 27, 1999.
     Earnings for the twelve months ended March 31, 2001, were $1.91 per share,
 compared with $1.34 per share last year, a result of the increased sales
 volumes and the impact of the general rate increase.
     Although Laclede's revenues increased significantly from each of the
 comparable periods last year, this reflects, in large part, higher wholesale
 gas prices experienced this past winter, which have since moderated.
     Due to the seasonal nature of Laclede's business, earnings are typically
 concentrated in the first six months of the fiscal year, which corresponds
 with the heating season.  The benefit of the higher sales this past winter are
 being partially offset by a higher provision for uncollectible accounts,
 carrying costs associated with the record high wholesale gas prices during the
 past winter, and spring temperatures that thus far have been substantially
 warmer than normal.
 
     Note: This news release contains forward-looking statements within the
 meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.
 The Company's future operating results may be affected by various
 uncertainties and risk factors, many of which are beyond the Company's
 control, including weather conditions, governmental and regulatory policy and
 action, the competitive environment and economic factors.  For a more complete
 description of these uncertainties and risk factors, see the Company's Form
 10-Q for the year ended March 31, 2001, to be filed with the Securities and
 Exchange Commission.
 
                                     UNAUDITED
 
     STATEMENTS OF CONSOLIDATED INCOME
 
     Laclede Gas Company
     and Subsidiary Companies
     (In Thousands Except Per Share Amounts)
 
                                        Three Months Ended   Six Months Ended
                                             March 31,           March 31,
                                          2001      2000      2001      2000
 
     Operating Revenues:
          Utility operating revenues    $417,776  $229,995  $741,590  $374,654
          Non-utility operating
           revenues                       24,966     8,316    46,177    15,011
     Total operating revenues            442,742   238,311   787,767   389,665
 
     Operating Expenses:
         Utility operating expenses
              Natural and propane gas    310,824   141,790   544,156   223,386
              Other operation expenses    26,811    22,389    53,849    45,042
              Maintenance                  5,036     4,943     9,565     9,651
              Depreciation and
               amortization                6,595     6,455    13,113    11,950
              Taxes, other than income
               taxes                      27,996    16,124    45,292    26,496
     Total utility operating expenses    377,262   191,701   665,975   316,525
         Non-utility operating expenses   24,508     8,172    45,073    14,761
     Total operating expenses            401,770   199,873   711,048   331,286
     Operating Income                     40,972    38,438    76,719    58,379
     Other Income and Income Deductions
      - Net                                  564       (19)    1,556       831
     Income Before Interest and Income
      Taxes                               41,536    38,419    78,275    59,210
 
     Interest Charges:
         Interest on long-term debt        4,377     3,785     8,754     7,569
         Other interest charges            3,504     2,298     6,719     4,487
           Total interest charges          7,881     6,083    15,473    12,056
     Income Before Income Taxes           33,655    32,336    62,802    47,154
     Income Taxes                         12,948    12,882    23,578    18,119
     Net Income                           20,707    19,454    39,224    29,035
     Dividends on Preferred Stock             22        24        44        48
     Earnings Applicable to Common
      Stock                              $20,685   $19,430   $39,180   $28,987
 
     Average Number of Common Shares
      Outstanding                         18,878    18,878    18,878    18,878
     Earnings Per Share Of Common Stock    $1.10     $1.03     $2.08     $1.54
 
 
                                                       Twelve Months Ended
                                                            March 31,
                                                     2001              2000
 
     Operating Revenues:
         Utility operating revenues                $898,088          $491,074
         Non-utility operating revenues              66,142            24,465
     Total operating revenues                       964,230           515,539
 
     Operating Expenses:
         Utility operating expenses
              Natural and propane gas               616,033           261,972
              Other operation expenses               95,870            82,841
              Maintenance                            18,558            19,406
              Depreciation and amortization          25,937            22,810
              Taxes, other than income taxes         61,595            41,383
     Total utility operating expenses               817,993           428,412
         Non-utility operating expenses              64,554            24,150
     Total operating expenses                       882,547           452,562
     Operating Income                                81,683            62,977
     Other Income and Income Deductions - Net         1,460            (1,536)
     Income Before Interest and Income Taxes         83,143            61,441
 
     Interest Charges:
         Interest on long-term debt                  16,349            14,841
         Other interest charges                      11,076             6,996
           Total interest charges                    27,425            21,837
     Income Before Income Taxes                      55,718            39,604
     Income Taxes                                    19,564            14,352
     Net Income                                      36,154            25,252
     Dividends on Preferred Stock                        89                96
     Earnings Applicable to Common Stock            $36,065           $25,156
 
     Average Number of Common Shares Outstanding     18,878            18,762
     Earnings Per Share Of Common Stock               $1.91             $1.34
 
     NOTE:  Certain prior-period amounts have been reclassified to conform to
            current-year presentation.
     *  Includes a one-time pre-tax charge of $3.2 million.
 
 

SOURCE Laclede Gas Company
    ST. LOUIS, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Laclede Gas Company (NYSE:   LG) today
 announced that earnings during the second quarter of its fiscal year -- the
 three-month period ending March 31, 2001 -- were $1.10 per share, compared
 with $1.03 per share last year.
     The 7% increase in earnings is primarily the result of higher sales
 volumes resulting from winter weather that was 24% colder than last year and
 3% colder than normal. The impact of the colder weather on sales was tempered
 by lower customer usage and was further offset by increased operating costs, a
 higher provision for uncollectible accounts and increased carrying costs, due
 in large part to this past winter's high wholesale gas prices.
     Earnings for the six-month period ended March 31, 2001, were $2.08 per
 share this year compared with $1.54 per share last year.  The 35% increase
 results primarily from higher sales during a period that was 37% colder than
 the comparable period last year, as well as the impact of a general rate
 increase that became effective on December 27, 1999.
     Earnings for the twelve months ended March 31, 2001, were $1.91 per share,
 compared with $1.34 per share last year, a result of the increased sales
 volumes and the impact of the general rate increase.
     Although Laclede's revenues increased significantly from each of the
 comparable periods last year, this reflects, in large part, higher wholesale
 gas prices experienced this past winter, which have since moderated.
     Due to the seasonal nature of Laclede's business, earnings are typically
 concentrated in the first six months of the fiscal year, which corresponds
 with the heating season.  The benefit of the higher sales this past winter are
 being partially offset by a higher provision for uncollectible accounts,
 carrying costs associated with the record high wholesale gas prices during the
 past winter, and spring temperatures that thus far have been substantially
 warmer than normal.
 
     Note: This news release contains forward-looking statements within the
 meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.
 The Company's future operating results may be affected by various
 uncertainties and risk factors, many of which are beyond the Company's
 control, including weather conditions, governmental and regulatory policy and
 action, the competitive environment and economic factors.  For a more complete
 description of these uncertainties and risk factors, see the Company's Form
 10-Q for the year ended March 31, 2001, to be filed with the Securities and
 Exchange Commission.
 
                                     UNAUDITED
 
     STATEMENTS OF CONSOLIDATED INCOME
 
     Laclede Gas Company
     and Subsidiary Companies
     (In Thousands Except Per Share Amounts)
 
                                        Three Months Ended   Six Months Ended
                                             March 31,           March 31,
                                          2001      2000      2001      2000
 
     Operating Revenues:
          Utility operating revenues    $417,776  $229,995  $741,590  $374,654
          Non-utility operating
           revenues                       24,966     8,316    46,177    15,011
     Total operating revenues            442,742   238,311   787,767   389,665
 
     Operating Expenses:
         Utility operating expenses
              Natural and propane gas    310,824   141,790   544,156   223,386
              Other operation expenses    26,811    22,389    53,849    45,042
              Maintenance                  5,036     4,943     9,565     9,651
              Depreciation and
               amortization                6,595     6,455    13,113    11,950
              Taxes, other than income
               taxes                      27,996    16,124    45,292    26,496
     Total utility operating expenses    377,262   191,701   665,975   316,525
         Non-utility operating expenses   24,508     8,172    45,073    14,761
     Total operating expenses            401,770   199,873   711,048   331,286
     Operating Income                     40,972    38,438    76,719    58,379
     Other Income and Income Deductions
      - Net                                  564       (19)    1,556       831
     Income Before Interest and Income
      Taxes                               41,536    38,419    78,275    59,210
 
     Interest Charges:
         Interest on long-term debt        4,377     3,785     8,754     7,569
         Other interest charges            3,504     2,298     6,719     4,487
           Total interest charges          7,881     6,083    15,473    12,056
     Income Before Income Taxes           33,655    32,336    62,802    47,154
     Income Taxes                         12,948    12,882    23,578    18,119
     Net Income                           20,707    19,454    39,224    29,035
     Dividends on Preferred Stock             22        24        44        48
     Earnings Applicable to Common
      Stock                              $20,685   $19,430   $39,180   $28,987
 
     Average Number of Common Shares
      Outstanding                         18,878    18,878    18,878    18,878
     Earnings Per Share Of Common Stock    $1.10     $1.03     $2.08     $1.54
 
 
                                                       Twelve Months Ended
                                                            March 31,
                                                     2001              2000
 
     Operating Revenues:
         Utility operating revenues                $898,088          $491,074
         Non-utility operating revenues              66,142            24,465
     Total operating revenues                       964,230           515,539
 
     Operating Expenses:
         Utility operating expenses
              Natural and propane gas               616,033           261,972
              Other operation expenses               95,870            82,841
              Maintenance                            18,558            19,406
              Depreciation and amortization          25,937            22,810
              Taxes, other than income taxes         61,595            41,383
     Total utility operating expenses               817,993           428,412
         Non-utility operating expenses              64,554            24,150
     Total operating expenses                       882,547           452,562
     Operating Income                                81,683            62,977
     Other Income and Income Deductions - Net         1,460            (1,536)
     Income Before Interest and Income Taxes         83,143            61,441
 
     Interest Charges:
         Interest on long-term debt                  16,349            14,841
         Other interest charges                      11,076             6,996
           Total interest charges                    27,425            21,837
     Income Before Income Taxes                      55,718            39,604
     Income Taxes                                    19,564            14,352
     Net Income                                      36,154            25,252
     Dividends on Preferred Stock                        89                96
     Earnings Applicable to Common Stock            $36,065           $25,156
 
     Average Number of Common Shares Outstanding     18,878            18,762
     Earnings Per Share Of Common Stock               $1.91             $1.34
 
     NOTE:  Certain prior-period amounts have been reclassified to conform to
            current-year presentation.
     *  Includes a one-time pre-tax charge of $3.2 million.
 
 SOURCE  Laclede Gas Company