Pacific Enterprises has decided that natural gas and Nikes don't mix. In a thoroughgoing strategic shift, the Los Angeles-based company, a major gas supplier, is jettisoning much of its loss-plagued retailing operation, including its Big 5 sporting good stores and four other chains. It also plans to sell its oil and gas wells. As a result of those moves, the company has taken a $250 million charge against 1991 earnings, leading to a loss of $191 million.

The Feb. 4 announcement spooked the market and the rating agencies. Moody's and Standard & Poor's downgraded the company's debt, and its stock on Feb. 5 fell 6, to 18 7/8.

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