NewsCon Edison Media Relations
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Consolidated Edison, Inc. today (TUESDAY, APRIL 27, 1999) reported a 4.1 percent increase in earnings per share for the first quarter of 1999. The company also declared a dividend of 53 1/2 cents a share on its common stock payable June 15, 1999 to stockholders of record as of May 19, 1999.
The company’s net income for common stock for the first quarter of 1999 was $176.6 million or $.76 a share, compared with $171.9 million or $.73 a share for the first quarter of 1998.
The company also reported net income for common stock for the 12 months ended March 31, 1999 of $717.5 million or $3.08 a share, compared with $704.4 million or $2.99 a share for the 12 months ended March 31, 1998 and $3.04 a share for calendar year 1998.
The company’s strong earnings for the first quarter of 1999 were the result of higher electric sales growth, reflecting continued strength in the New York City economy, continued emphasis on cost reduction and the impact of the common stock repurchase program. These factors more than offset the rate reductions being implemented under the company’s five-year competition transition plan. Earnings for the 12-month period continue to be strong for the same reasons and also reflect higher electric net revenues from warmer than normal 1998 summer weather.
Through the end of the first quarter, Con Edison has repurchased 7 million shares amounting to about $330 million of its previously announced $1 billion stock repurchase program.
"In addition to the very encouraging trend in earnings, a number of other significant events occurred in the first quarter which will be of particular importance to the future prospects of the company,” said Eugene R. McGrath, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “The company completed very successful auctions of its New York City based electric generation at prices totaling more than $1.6 billion, or two times the net book value of the plants. The company also received approval from the state regulatory agencies to consummate the merger with Orange and Rockland Utilities. The closings for the sale of generation and the merger are both expected around mid-year. These two events, which are significant elements of the company’s strategic plan, represent important milestones for the company."
Electric sales volume in the first quarter of 1999 increased 3.9 percent from the 1998 period. Firm gas sales and transportation volume increased 11.4 percent and steam sales volume increased 13.7 percent from the 1998 period, due primarily to colder winter weather in 1999 as compared to 1998. Under the current rate structure, most weather-related variations in firm gas sales do not affect earnings.
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 five 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; Con Edison Development, an infrastructure development company; and Con Edison Communications, a telecommunications infrastructure company. For additional financial, operations and customer service information, visit the Consolidated Edison, Inc. web site at http://www.conedison.com.