Williams Cos. delays earnings release

Tuesday, January 29th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Williams Cos. delayed the release of its 2001 fourth-quarter and year-end earnings Tuesday while officials assessed financial obligations related to the spinoff of Williams Communications Group.

The Tulsa-based energy company said it needed to review '' ``contingent financial commitments associated with'' the April 2001 spinoff.

The company, which operates the nation's second-largest natural gas pipeline, reaffirmed the previous 2002 recurring earnings outlook of $2.65 to $2.75 per share.

For the fourth quarter of 2001, recurring earnings are forecast to be 34 cents per share, compared to 89 cents for the same quarter of 2000. Williams' estimated fourth quarter 2001 income from continuing operations of 13 cents a diluted share, down from 80 cents per share in 2000.

Williams officials also said they expected to achieve recurring 2001 earnings of $2.35 per share, which includes an approximate 12 cents per share fourth quarter charge for credit exposure related to the bankruptcy of Houston-based Enron Corp. Recurring earnings for 2000 were $2.33 per share.