News Releases

Sierra Pacific Resources Reports Quarterly Loss

May 14, 2002

Sierra Pacific Resources
Contact: Analyst Contacts:
Rich Atkinson 775-834-5640
Media Contact:
Karl Walquist 775-834-3891
Phone: see above

For Immediate Release

Las Vegas, Nev. - Sierra Pacific Resources (NYSE: SRP) today reported consolidated net losses of $303.9 million, or $2.98 net loss per share, for its first quarter ended March 31, 2002, compared with consolidated net losses of $83.5 million or $1.06 net loss per share, in the year- earlier period.

Most of the losses for the first-quarter of 2002 were attributable to an after-tax write-off of deferred energy costs and other rate case related write-offs of $310.7 million at Nevada Power Company, one of Sierra Pacific's two electric utilities. Excluding the one-time write-offs, net income would have been $6.8 million in the first quarter of 2002.

"While our retail operations remain solid, the decision by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) in late March 2002 denying recovery of costs incurred during the 2001 energy crisis has had a very negative impact," said Walt Higgins, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Sierra Pacific.

The PUCN disallowed $434 million of pre-tax costs needed to reimburse Nevada Power Company for costs it incurred purchasing power during last year's energy crisis. That decision resulted in a downgrading of the Company's credit rating, which in turn has resulted in a serious liquidity problem.

Following the PUCN's decision, a bank syndicate headed by Union Bank of California determined that a material adverse change had occurred at Nevada Power. However, the syndicate agreed to waive the limitations on its credit line. As a result, Nevada Power retained its $200 million credit facility and Sierra Pacific's other utility, Sierra Pacific Power, retained its $150 million credit facility. The syndicate's $75 million credit line with Sierra Pacific Resources was terminated. Subsequently, both Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Power have borrowed the full amount available under each credit facility and retired all outstanding commercial paper.

Nevada Power Company has filed a financing application with the PUCN to issue secured debt of up to $450 million if market acceptance is available.

Last week, Sierra Pacific Resources announced that it had approached its energy suppliers with a program designed to help Nevada Power meet its liquidity needs during this summer's peak power-delivery period. The program is designed to ensure continuation of deliveries under existing power-supply contracts and to reduce near-term cash outlays for power.

Both Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Power are finding it difficult to secure additional power to meet peak summer needs and to replace power contracts terminated by suppliers because of the weakened financial position and credit agencies'downgrades occasioned by the disallowance of previously incurred power and fuel costs at Nevada Power. The Company is actively working with a number of power marketers to fill the summer needs. The key to success in this endeavor is overcoming supplier credit concerns.

Separately, hearings before the PUCN concluded May 9 on Sierra Pacific Power's request to recover $205 million in energy costs incurred last year. The PUCN's decision on that case is expected by June 1.

In addition, the Company noted that a settlement hearing is scheduled for May 15 in its Section 206 complaint proceeding before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The complaint challenges the price of power contracts entered into during a dysfunctional market period.

Headquartered in Nevada, Sierra Pacific Resources is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries are Nevada Power, the electric utility for most of southern Nevada, and Sierra Pacific Power, the electric utility for most of northern Nevada and the Lake Tahoe area of California. Sierra Pacific Power also distributes natural gas in the Reno-Sparks area of northern Nevada. Other subsidiaries include the Tuscarora Gas Pipeline Company, which owns a 50 percent interest in an interstate natural gas transmission partnership, and several unregulated energy services companies.

This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding the future performance of Sierra Pacific Resources within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, further unfavorable rulings in pending and future rate cases, the ability of the Company to access capital markets in light of recent ratings downgrades, whether suppliers will continue to honor existing power and fuel supply contracts, whether long-term power costs can be lowered through negotiation or administrative proceedings, weather conditions during the summer of 2002 and beyond, operating hazards, uninsured risks and changes in energy-related federal or state legislation and regulations. Additional cautionary statements regarding other risk factors that could have an effect on the future performance of the Company are contained in the Company's Form 10-K filed with the SEC. The Company undertakes no obligation to release publicly the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Financial Highlights


Sierra Pacific Resources
Financial Highlights
(In thousands, except for per share amount)
First Quarter 2002            
  2002 2001 2002 2001 2002 2001
Revenues $638,407 $706,245 $356,272 $359,012 $279,380 $344,603
Operating Expenses 869,158 736,732 617,031 389,696 254,446 333,419
Net Income (Loss) Available for Common1 (303,916) (83,479) (300,984) (55,342) 9,969 (4,493)
Net Loss Per Share $(2.98) $(1.06) - - - -
Net Income (Loss) Contribution Per Share - - - $(2.95) $(0.71) $0.10 $(0.06)
SRP Weighted Average Shares Outstanding 102,111 78,475 102,111 78,475 102,111 78,475

1) Does not include Sierra Pacific Equity in Losses for NPC