Stock Drop Puzzles Pacific Enterprises

Times Staff Writer

Pacific Enterprises said it does not know any reason for the recent drop in its stock price on heavy trading other than market reaction to flat third-quarter earnings reported on Monday.

In composite New York Stock Exchange trading Wednesday, Pacific Enterprises closed at $39, down $2.50, on volume of 1.75 million.

For the record:
12:00 AM, Oct. 29, 1988 FOR THE RECORD
Los Angeles Times Saturday October 29, 1988 Home Edition Business Part 4 Page 2 Column 6 Financial Desk 2 inches; 37 words Type of Material: Correction
Pacific Enterprises said its flat third-quarter earnings were due in part to an increase in shares outstanding resulting from new shares issued to expand the number of drugstore outlets for its Thrifty Corp. The explanation was misstated in Thursday’s editions.

Paul A. Williams, vice president and treasurer, said the market may be reacting to a combination of factors, including the lackluster third-quarter results and the potential for lower earnings in 1989 because of depressed oil prices, higher interest expenses and the dilutive effect of a additional shares issued to increase the size of its Thrifty drugstore chain.

In addition to Thrifty Corp., Pacific Enterprises owns Southern California Gas Co. and companies involved in oil and gas exploration and production. On Monday, the company said its net income was flat at $64.6 million because of the 28% increase in Thrifty outlets, a California Public Utilities Commission ruling lowering Southern California Gas’ return on equity, a drop in oil prices and an increase in interest expenses for recent oil and gas acquisitions.