PacifiCorp, the Portland, Ore.-based parent company of Utah Power, says it expects its 1998 earnings to be below the expectations of securities analysts and that its third quarter earnings could be as much as 50 percent lower than analysts' expectations of 41 cents per share.

The utility said a "significant decline" in profit margins on its U.S. regulated sales of electricity are expected to force down third quarter earnings.PacifiCorp also expects its earnings in its Australian subsidiary to be lower, citing increased costs of purchasing power, the timing of other operating expenses' and the decline in the exchange rate between the U.S. and Australian dollar.

The company also noted that the Utah Division of Public Utilities is proposing adjustments in electricity rates that, if accepted by the Utah Public Service Commission, would reduce customers prices by a total of $57.5 million, further cutting the company's earnings.