News Releases

Sierra Pacific Reports 4 Percent Earnings Increase

Jan 31, 1999

February 1, 1999
Sierra Pacific Resources
Contact: Mark Ruelle/Rich Atkinson
Phone: (775) 834-5400/(775) 834-4358

For Immediate Release

(Reno) - Sierra Pacific Resources (NYSE: SRP) today reported net income of $77.3 million for common stock for the year ended Dec. 31, 1998, a 4 percent increase over last year. Basic earnings per share of $2.50 were 4 percent higher than the $2.41 reported in 1997. The increase resulted from customer and sales growth, and a significant increase in lower margin wholesale electric and natural gas sales.

The company reported annual increases of 3 percent, 5 percent and 3 percent for electric, natural gas and water customers, respectively. Electric retail kWh sales were up 4 percent and retail gas decatherm sales were up 13 percent, compared to last year.

Fourth quarter 1998 basic earnings were 62 cents per share, versus 65 cents for the fourth quarter 1997. Income before income taxes increased in 1998 by 15 percent as a result of continued customer and sales growth. This was offset by higher energy costs and a favorable interperiod effective tax rate adjustment during the fourth quarter of 1997 that was not required in 1998.

"Rising energy costs posed a challenge in 1998, but increased efficiencies in other areas of operations helped us maintain our margins. We reduced non-fuel opearations and maintenance expenses by 2 percent this year," said Mark Ruelle, chief financial officer and treasurer.

Headquartered in Reno, Nev., Sierra Pacific Resources is a holding company whose principal subsidiary is Sierra Pacific Power Co., the electric utility for most of northern Nevada and the Lake Tahoe area of California, and a natural gas and water distributor in the Reno - Sparks area. Other subsidiaries include the Tuscarora Gas Pipeline Co., which owns 50 percent interest in an interstate natural gas transmission partnership, Lands of Sierra, e· three, an energy services company and Sierra Pacific Energy Company which markets the Simple Choice line of products under a licensing agreement.

Sierra Pacific Resources is merging with Las Vegas-based Nevada Power Company (NYSE: NVP). The merger is expected to be completed by mid-1999.

Sierra Pacific ResourcesFinancial Highlights
(In thousands, except for per share amounts)

Fourth Quarter

Operating Expenses$165,578$137,40220.5%
Net Income Available for Common$19,297$19,969-3.4%
Average Shares Outstanding$30,987$30,8980.3%
Net Income Per Share$0.62$0.65-3.7%

12 Months Ended December 31

Operating Expenses$617,721$544,61613.4%
Net Income Available for Common$77,321$74,4453.9%
Average Shares Outstanding$30,955$30,8800.2%
Net Income Per Share$2.50$2.413.6%