Williams Third Quarter Results Fall

Thursday, November 4th 2004, 9:41 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Third quarter earnings at natural gas giant Williams Cos. fell 7%, the company said, but the results beat Wall Street's expectations.

The Tulsa-based company reported net income for the three months ended Sept. 30 of $98.6 million, or 19 cents per share, compared with $106.3 million, or 20 cents per share, a year earlier.

Minus one-time charges including $155 million for premiums, fees and expenses associated with the early retirement of debt, Williams earned 26 cents per share.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 12 cents per share.

Revenue for the quarter fell 28 percent to $3.4 billion versus $4.7 billion a year earlier. The 2003 revenue was boosted by a change in the way Williams accounted its long-term energy trading contracts.

The shipper, producer and processor of natural gas reduced its debt by about $816 million through the early purchase of notes due in 2010.

In October, Williams bought back notes maturing in 2007 to reduce debt by another $827 million to $8.2 billion. The company had debt of more than $14 billion two years ago when it began a restructuring.