Con Edison Media Relations
Telephone: (212) 460-4111
For Immediate Release: January 26, 1999
Consolidated Edison, Inc. today (TUESDAY, JANUARY 26, 1999) reported a 3.1 percent increase in earnings per share for 1998. The company also declared a dividend of 53 1/2 cents a share on its common stock payable March 15, 1999 to stockholders of record as of February 17, 1999, an increase of 1/2 cent over the previous quarterly dividend of 53 cents.
The company reported net income for common stock of $712.7 million in 1998 or $3.04 a share, compared with $694.5 million or $2.95 a share for 1997.
Net income for common stock for the fourth quarter of 1998 was $131.8 million or $.56 a share, compared with $139.1 million or $.59 a share for the fourth quarter of 1997.
The company's strong earnings for 1998 were the result of higher electric revenues from warmer than normal summer weather and the improving New York City economy, continued cost reduction programs and voluntary attrition in Con Edison's labor force. These enhancements to earnings were offset, in part, by expenses resulting from the extended maintenance outage at Indian Point 2 and by the implementation of the rate reductions required under the electric settlement agreement. Indian Point 2 was returned to service in September 1998.
Electric sales volume in 1998 was 3.1 percent higher than in 1997. Firm gas sales and transportation decreased 9.7 percent from the 1997 period and steam sales decreased 8.8 percent due primarily to warmer than normal winter weather. Under the current rate structure, most weather-related variations in firm gas sales do not affect earnings.
"We achieved many significant milestones in 1998," said Eugene R. McGrath, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We formed Consolidated Edison, Inc. as the holding company for our regulated and unregulated subsidiaries, giving the company the flexibility it needs to succeed in the new competitive environment. In addition, we took an important step towards our long-term strategic objective of growing the regulated transmission and distribution business by entering into an agreement to acquire Orange and Rockland Utilities. We also contributed significantly to the development of a competitive energy marketplace by launching a very successful retail access program and by beginning the process of selling at auction our in-city electric generation."
"Our focus on shareholder value is evidenced by the continued growth in earnings and dividends," he continued. "The company's very sound financial position will serve as the foundation for dealing with the ongoing challenges and opportunities of industry restructuring in 1999 and beyond."
Consolidated Edison, Inc. is one of the nation's largest investor-owned energy companies, with more than $7 billion in annual revenues and $14 billion in assets. The company provides a wide range of energy-related products and services to its customers through its four subsidiaries: Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (Con Edison), a regulated utility providing electric, gas and steam service to New York City and Westchester County, New York; Con Edison Solutions, a retail energy services company; Con Edison Energy, a wholesale energy supply company; and Con Edison Development, an infrastructure-development company.