Loss Widens at El Paso

Its income before items also falls short of the consensus estimate.
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El Paso


reported a wider third-quarter loss as the natural gas pipeline company continued to pay down debt and sell assets.

The Houston-based company lost $146 million, or 24 cents a share, on revenue of $1.54 billion compared with a loss of $69 million, or 12 cents a share, on revenue of $1.70 billion in the same quarter last year.

Excluding items, El Paso lost $6 million, or 1 cent a share, compared with a profit of $54 million, or 9 cents a share, a year earlier. The Thomson First Call consensus estimate was for a profit of 2 cents a share.

El Paso shares closed at $7.20 Friday.

The company said it continued to show progress in debt reduction and liquidity, with cash flow from operations at $752 million during the quarter, and "was on track to meet our asset sales goal for the year."

El Paso paid off $620 million in senior debt and eliminated another $710 million through asset sales during the period.

Operating income at its pipeline group rose $8 million to $267 million, but fell sharply at its production unit from $179 million to $101 million.