Southwest Gas Corporation Announces First Quarter Earnings

Apr 26, 2001, 01:00 ET from Southwest Gas Corporation

    LAS VEGAS, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE:   SWX)
 announced earnings of $1.06 per share for the first three months of 2001, a
 $0.25 increase over the $0.81 per share earned during the first quarter of
 2000.  Net income was $33.8 million, compared to $25.2 million in the prior
 period.
     According to Michael O. Maffie, President and Chief Executive Officer,
 "Weather played a major role in the operating results of both periods.  During
 the first quarter of 2001, temperatures were colder-than-normal.  This marked
 just the second time in ten years that weather conditions were significantly
 favorable during the first three months of the year.  By contrast, the first
 quarter of 2000 included the warmest February in ten years.  Although we've
 made strides in improving rate designs in our service territories, operating
 results are still greatly influenced by weather.  This sequence, in which a
 cold weather period follows a warm weather period, or vice versa, can lead to
 a dramatic swing in earnings."
     First quarter 2001 gas operating margin was $168 million versus
 $144 million during the first quarter of 2000.  Differences in heating demand
 caused by weather variations between periods resulted in an $18 million margin
 increase.  During the first quarter of 2001, operating margin from
 weather-sensitive customers was $6 million higher than expected, adding
 $0.11 per share (after tax) to earnings.  Operating margin for the first
 quarter of 2000 was nearly $12 million lower than it would have been under
 normal conditions, decreasing per share earnings by $0.22 (after tax).
 Customer growth contributed $6 million of incremental operating margin, as the
 Company served 62,000, or five percent, more customers than a year ago.
     Operating expenses increased $6.2 million, or seven percent, due to
 continued expansion and upgrading of the gas system to accommodate customer
 growth.  Net financing costs increased $3.4 million, or 19 percent between
 periods.  This resulted from additional borrowings to finance construction
 expenditures, and to finance purchased gas costs in excess of amounts
 recovered from customers.  At March 31, 2001, the Company had an unrecovered
 purchased gas cost balance of $159 million.
     For the twelve months ended March 31, 2001, net income was $46.9 million,
 or $1.49 per share, compared to $36.2 million, or $1.17 per share, during the
 twelve-month period ended March 31, 2000.
     Operating margin increased $38 million between periods.  Differences in
 heating demand, caused by weather which was 13 percent colder than during the
 prior period, resulted in a $21 million increase in operating margin.
 Customer growth contributed $17 million in incremental margin.
     Operating expenses increased $19 million, or six percent, as a result of
 servicing additional customers.  Net financing costs increased $8.9 million,
 or 13 percent, as a result of incremental borrowings to finance construction
 expenditures and unrecovered purchased gas costs.
     Between periods, the Company recognized net income tax benefits of
 $2.9 million, or $0.09 per share, due to the favorable resolution of certain
 federal income tax issues and the statutory closure of open federal tax years.
 
     Southwest Gas Corporation provides natural gas service to approximately
 1,352,000 customers in Arizona, Nevada and California.  Its service territory
 is centered in the fastest-growing region of the country.
 
     This press release may contain statements which constitute
 "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Securities Litigation
 Reform Act of 1995 (Reform Act).  All such forward-looking statements are
 intended to be subject to the safe harbor protection provided by the Reform
 Act.  A number of important factors affecting the business and financial
 results of the Company could cause actual results to differ materially from
 those stated in the forward-looking statements.  These factors include, but
 are not limited to, the impact of weather variations on customer usage,
 natural gas prices, the effects of regulation/deregulation, the timing and
 amount of rate relief, changes in capital requirements and funding,
 acquisitions, and competition.
 
 
                     SOUTHWEST GAS CONSOLIDATED EARNINGS DIGEST
 
     QUARTER ENDED MARCH 31,                           2001           2000
 
     Consolidated Operating Revenues              $487,498,000   $296,815,000
     Net Income                                    $33,809,000    $25,198,000
     Average Number of Common Shares Outstanding    31,821,000     31,140,000
     Basic Earnings Per Share                            $1.06          $0.81
     Diluted Earnings Per Share                          $1.05          $0.80
 
 
     TWELVE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31,                     2001           2000
 
     Consolidated Operating Revenues            $1,224,770,000   $925,656,000
     Net Income                                    $46,922,000    $36,242,000
     Average Number of Common Shares Outstanding    31,540,000     30,934,000
     Basic Earnings Per Share                            $1.49          $1.17
     Diluted Earnings Per Share                          $1.48          $1.16
 
 
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SOURCE Southwest Gas Corporation
    LAS VEGAS, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE:   SWX)
 announced earnings of $1.06 per share for the first three months of 2001, a
 $0.25 increase over the $0.81 per share earned during the first quarter of
 2000.  Net income was $33.8 million, compared to $25.2 million in the prior
 period.
     According to Michael O. Maffie, President and Chief Executive Officer,
 "Weather played a major role in the operating results of both periods.  During
 the first quarter of 2001, temperatures were colder-than-normal.  This marked
 just the second time in ten years that weather conditions were significantly
 favorable during the first three months of the year.  By contrast, the first
 quarter of 2000 included the warmest February in ten years.  Although we've
 made strides in improving rate designs in our service territories, operating
 results are still greatly influenced by weather.  This sequence, in which a
 cold weather period follows a warm weather period, or vice versa, can lead to
 a dramatic swing in earnings."
     First quarter 2001 gas operating margin was $168 million versus
 $144 million during the first quarter of 2000.  Differences in heating demand
 caused by weather variations between periods resulted in an $18 million margin
 increase.  During the first quarter of 2001, operating margin from
 weather-sensitive customers was $6 million higher than expected, adding
 $0.11 per share (after tax) to earnings.  Operating margin for the first
 quarter of 2000 was nearly $12 million lower than it would have been under
 normal conditions, decreasing per share earnings by $0.22 (after tax).
 Customer growth contributed $6 million of incremental operating margin, as the
 Company served 62,000, or five percent, more customers than a year ago.
     Operating expenses increased $6.2 million, or seven percent, due to
 continued expansion and upgrading of the gas system to accommodate customer
 growth.  Net financing costs increased $3.4 million, or 19 percent between
 periods.  This resulted from additional borrowings to finance construction
 expenditures, and to finance purchased gas costs in excess of amounts
 recovered from customers.  At March 31, 2001, the Company had an unrecovered
 purchased gas cost balance of $159 million.
     For the twelve months ended March 31, 2001, net income was $46.9 million,
 or $1.49 per share, compared to $36.2 million, or $1.17 per share, during the
 twelve-month period ended March 31, 2000.
     Operating margin increased $38 million between periods.  Differences in
 heating demand, caused by weather which was 13 percent colder than during the
 prior period, resulted in a $21 million increase in operating margin.
 Customer growth contributed $17 million in incremental margin.
     Operating expenses increased $19 million, or six percent, as a result of
 servicing additional customers.  Net financing costs increased $8.9 million,
 or 13 percent, as a result of incremental borrowings to finance construction
 expenditures and unrecovered purchased gas costs.
     Between periods, the Company recognized net income tax benefits of
 $2.9 million, or $0.09 per share, due to the favorable resolution of certain
 federal income tax issues and the statutory closure of open federal tax years.
 
     Southwest Gas Corporation provides natural gas service to approximately
 1,352,000 customers in Arizona, Nevada and California.  Its service territory
 is centered in the fastest-growing region of the country.
 
     This press release may contain statements which constitute
 "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Securities Litigation
 Reform Act of 1995 (Reform Act).  All such forward-looking statements are
 intended to be subject to the safe harbor protection provided by the Reform
 Act.  A number of important factors affecting the business and financial
 results of the Company could cause actual results to differ materially from
 those stated in the forward-looking statements.  These factors include, but
 are not limited to, the impact of weather variations on customer usage,
 natural gas prices, the effects of regulation/deregulation, the timing and
 amount of rate relief, changes in capital requirements and funding,
 acquisitions, and competition.
 
 
                     SOUTHWEST GAS CONSOLIDATED EARNINGS DIGEST
 
     QUARTER ENDED MARCH 31,                           2001           2000
 
     Consolidated Operating Revenues              $487,498,000   $296,815,000
     Net Income                                    $33,809,000    $25,198,000
     Average Number of Common Shares Outstanding    31,821,000     31,140,000
     Basic Earnings Per Share                            $1.06          $0.81
     Diluted Earnings Per Share                          $1.05          $0.80
 
 
     TWELVE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31,                     2001           2000
 
     Consolidated Operating Revenues            $1,224,770,000   $925,656,000
     Net Income                                    $46,922,000    $36,242,000
     Average Number of Common Shares Outstanding    31,540,000     30,934,000
     Basic Earnings Per Share                            $1.49          $1.17
     Diluted Earnings Per Share                          $1.48          $1.16
 
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X54663554
 
 SOURCE  Southwest Gas Corporation