NEWARK, Del., March 11, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Artesian Resources Corporation (Artesian) (Nasdaq:ARTNA), a leading provider of water, wastewater services and related services on the Delmarva Peninsula, today announced revenue and income for 2014. Revenues were $72.5 million, up 4.9% from $69.1 million in 2013. Net income increased 14.6% to $9.5 million, compared to $8.3 million last year. Diluted net income per common share was up 13.8% at $1.07 for 2014 compared to $0.94 for 2013. Improved water sales revenue and a decrease in legal expenses associated with the litigation against the Chester Water Authority drove the increase in net income and earnings per share.
Water sales revenues increased 4.6%, to $64.7 million in 2014 from $61.8 million in 2013. The increase in water sales resulted from a 1.2% growth in the number of metered customers and greater customer consumption compared to that experienced in 2013. The increase was also a result of the temporary rates placed into effect until permanent rates are determined by the Delaware Public Service Commission.
Non-utility revenue was $4.2 million, up from $4.0 million in 2013, a 4.4% increase. The increase was the result of the growth in revenues generated by Artesian's water and wastewater Service Line Protection Plans, which continue to attract new enrollments. The Service Line Protection Plans provide coverage for all material and labor required to repair or replace participants' leaking water service or clogged sewer lines.
Operating expenses, excluding income taxes and depreciation, increased by 1.5% to $41.4 million in 2014 as compared to $40.8 million in 2013. The increases in operating expenses were related to increased payroll and related employee benefit costs of $1.0 million. Also contributing to the increased operating expenses were costs associated with the pending rate case of $0.2 million and increased property tax expense of $0.2 million, as a result of increases in tax rates charged for public schools and in utility plant subject to taxation. These expenses were offset by a decrease of $0.8 million in legal costs associated with the concluded litigation against Chester Water Authority in regard to the proper determination of the rate the authority charged for water purchased from them under contract. The ratio of operating expenses, excluding depreciation and income taxes, to total revenues was 57.1% for 2014 compared to 59.0% for 2013.
Depreciation and amortization expense increased by $0.4 million, or 5.1%, due to continued investment in utility plant, providing supply, treatment and distribution of water. Income tax expense increased by $0.8 million as a result of improved profitability compared to a year ago.
"Our improved financial results are not only due to increases in utility revenues but also our success in restraining growth of operating expenditures," said Dian C. Taylor, Chair, President and CEO. "We also continued to deliver on our commitment of providing superior service to our customers, investing $23.7 million in 2014 for infrastructure and other improvements to replace aging water mains, enhance existing treatment facilities, rehabilitate pumping equipment and upgrade our computer software system."
For the three months ended December 31, 2014, revenues were $18.1 million, an increase of 7.0% from $16.9 million for the same period in 2013 as a result of increased water sales. Net income increased 38.6% to $2.1 million for the three months ended December 31, 2014 compared to $1.5 million for the same period in 2013. Diluted net income per common share increased 41.2% to $0.24 for the three months ended December 31, 2014 compared to $0.17 for the same period in 2013.
Highlights in 2014 include the following:
- Completed eleven water main renewal projects replacing nearly 4 miles of main ranging in age from 49 to 71 years old.
- Completed the first phase of a hydraulic improvement project in the Christiana and Churchmans Crossing area of New Castle County, Delaware, with the installation of 4,150 feet of 16 inch ductile iron main and 1,450 feet of 20 inch high density polyethylene main as well as placing a new 5.1 million gallon per day booster station in service.
- Completed rehabilitation of the 1950's era Castle Hills 1.3 million gallon per day water treatment plant in northern New Castle County.
- Installed an ultraviolet advanced oxidation treatment process at our Llangollen facility in New Castle County.
- Enrolled more than 19,000 customers to date, about 23% of our base, in our free and secure e-billing service that enables our customers to conveniently view, print and pay their bills on-line.
About Artesian Resources
Artesian Resources Corporation operates as the holding company of wholly-owned subsidiaries offering water, wastewater services and related services on the Delmarva Peninsula. Artesian Water Company, the principal subsidiary, is the oldest and largest investor-owned public water utility on the Delmarva Peninsula and has been providing water service since 1905. Artesian supplies 7.6 billion gallons of water per year through 1,201 miles of water main to about 301,000 people.
|Artesian Resources Corporation|
|Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations|
|(In thousands, except per share amounts)|
|Three months ended||Year ended|
|December 31,||December 31,|
|Other utility operating revenue||1,057||1,033||3,648||3,253|
|Non-utility operating revenue||1,035||1,015||4,150||3,974|
|Utility operating expenses||9,044||8,893||34,893||34,509|
|Non-utility operating expenses||495||524||2,193||2,121|
|Depreciation and amortization||2,121||2,086||8,673||8,251|
|State and federal income taxes||1,442||1,047||6,375||5,588|
|Property and other taxes||1,057||1,066||4,285||4,120|
|Allowance for funds used during construction||24||80||329||324|
|Income Before Interest Charges||3,921||3,311||16,899||15,356|
|Weighted Average Common Shares Outstanding - Basic||8,907||8,818||8,884||8,774|
|Net Income per Common Share - Basic||$0.24||$0.18||$1.07||$0.95|
|Weighted Average Common Shares Outstanding - Diluted||8,945||8,878||8,926||8,836|
|Net Income per Common Share - Diluted||$0.24||$0.17||$1.07||$0.94|
|Artesian Resources Corporation|
|Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet|
|December 31,||December 31,|
|Utility Plant, at original cost less accumulated depreciation||$393,793||$378,960|
|Regulatory and Other Assets||11,772||11,618|
|Capitalization and Liabilities|
|Long Term Debt, Net of Current Portion||104,954||105,510|
|Net Advances for Construction||10,228||11,427|
|Contributions in Aid of Construction||92,429||87,865|
CONTACT: Nicholle Taylor Investor Relations (302) 453-6900 email@example.com
Source:Artesian Resources Corporation