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Friday, June 15, 2001, 9:52 am ET

National Fuel anticipates a great year; declares stock split and increases cash dividend

After the close on Thursday, Nation Fuel Gas Company (NSYE:NFG) announced its Board of Directors' approval of a 2-for-1 stock split on the company's common stock and a 5.2 percent increase in the quarterly cash dividend.

Still subject to SEC approval, the stock split will be payable on September 7, 2001 to shareholders of record on August 24, 2001. NFG has not split its stock since 1987 when shares were trading in the $40 range. Upon the execution date of the current split, outstanding shares will effectively increase to approximately 80 million, with the float doubling to 74 million.

The new annual rate for the cash dividend is $2.02 per share, raising the payout by 5.2 percent. Shareholders of record on June 29, 2001 will receive dividends on the payable date of July 16, 2001. This marks the 31st consecutive year of increases.

Bernard Kennedy, Chairman and CEO states, "This promises to be an extraordinary year for our Company. Our record earnings to date have put us on track for a year of unprecedented performance. Today's dividend action, which included a special increase of 4 cents in addition to a 6 cent increase which is the same as last year, plus the anticipated two-for-one stock split, demonstrate the value we continue to offer to our shareholders."

NFG shares closed Thursday at $53.08, down -1.02. The 52-week range is $48-$64 with an average 3-month volume of 122,500.

NFG is a diversified energy company consisting of 6 reportable business segments: Utility Operation, Pipeline & Storage, Exploration & Production, International, Energy Marketing, and Timber. For the 3 months ended 12/31/00, revenues rose 48% to $559.5M. Net income increased 18% to $53M. Results reflect an increase in retail gas sales volume and higher oil production and pricing. Earnings were partially offset by higher costs for purchased gas.

For further details, be sure to check out the complete profile located on the site.

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