Artesian Resources Corporation Reports First Quarter 2015 Results

NEWARK, Del., May 5, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Artesian Resources Corporation (Nasdaq:ARTNA), a leading provider of water, wastewater services and related services on the Delmarva Peninsula, today announced that net income for the first quarter of 2015 was $2.5 million, a $0.5 million increase compared to net income recorded during the first quarter of 2014. Diluted net income per share increased to $0.28 compared to $0.23 for the first quarter of 2014.

Revenues for the first quarter of 2015 were $18.0 million, a 6.3% increase from the $16.9 million in revenues recorded for the same three-month period of 2014. Water sales revenue increased by $1.0 million, or 6.3%, to $16.0 million for the first quarter of 2015. The growth in water sales revenue resulted primarily from greater consumption and interim rate relief placed into effect pending final review and approval by the Delaware Public Service Commission of Artesian’s April 11, 2014 rate application.

“Artesian invested over $47.1 million in infrastructure improvements to ensure water quality and service reliability for its customers since its last rate request in April 2011, and remains committed to providing reliable delivery of high quality water,” noted Dian C. Taylor, Chair, President and CEO. “While we await a decision on our pending request for rate relief, we continue to make system improvements to ensure a reliable and safe water supply to our customers. In the first quarter of 2015, we invested another $3.3 million for such improvements,” said Taylor.

Other utility operating revenues increased by $0.1 million, or 8.7%, to $0.9 million for the first quarter of 2015 due to an increase in the monthly fixed fees for wastewater customers effective September 2014 previously approved by the Delaware Public Service Commission.

Non-utility operating revenues for the first quarter of 2015 were $1.1 million, a 3.8% increase from the same period in 2014, reflecting increased enrollment in Artesian’s Service Line Protection Plans. “We continue to see increased enrollment in our water and wastewater Service Line Protection Plans, with 27.4% of our eligible customers now enrolled for water service coverage and 20.5% of eligible customers enrolled for sewer service coverage,” said Taylor.

Excluding depreciation and income taxes, operating expenses increased by $0.1 million, or 1.0%, to $10.3 million for the first quarter of 2015, compared to $10.2 million for the same period in 2014. Utility operating expenses for the first quarter of 2015 were $8.7 million, a $0.1 million, or 1.7%, increase from the same period in 2014. The increase is primarily a result of an increase in amortized rate case expenses related to the currently pending request for rate relief before the Delaware Public Service Commission of $0.1 million and an increase of $0.1 million in employee medical plan expenses, offset by a $0.1 million decrease in water treatment plant and equipment maintenance costs. The ratio of operating expense, excluding depreciation and income taxes, to total revenue decreased to 57.4% for the first quarter of 2015, compared to 60.4% for the same period in 2014. “Our on-going focus on operational efficiencies has allowed continued restraint in the growth of our operating expenses,” said Taylor.

Depreciation and amortization expense increased by $0.1 million, or 3.3%, to $2.2 million as a result of continued investment in utility plant providing supply, treatment, storage and distribution of water to customers. Federal and state income tax expense increased by $0.4 million, or 25.9%, to $1.8 million as a result of improved pre-tax operating results compared to the first quarter of 2014.

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 over 7.6 billion gallons of water per year through 1,201 miles of water main to about 300,000 people on the Delmarva Peninsula.

Artesian Resources Corporation
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations
(In thousands, except per share amounts)
(Unaudited)
Three months ended
March 31,
2015 2014
Operating Revenues
Water sales$16,038 $15,084
Other utility operating revenue 862 793
Non-utility revenue 1,062 1,023
17,962 16,900
Operating Expenses
Utility operating expenses 8,661 8,517
Non-utility operating expenses 521 558
Depreciation and amortization 2,209 2,138
State and federal income taxes 1,764 1,401
Property and other taxes 1,135 1,140
14,290 13,754
Operating Income 3,672 3,146
Allowance for funds used during construction 24 51
Miscellaneous 590 622
Income Before Interest Charges 4,286 3,819
Interest Charges 1,748 1,736
Net Income $2,538 $2,083
Weighted Average Common Shares Outstanding - Basic 8,917 8,845
Net Income per Common Share - Basic$0.28 $0.24
Weighted Average Common Shares Outstanding - Diluted 8,955 8,899
Net Income per Common Share - Diluted$0.28 $0.23
Artesian Resources Corporation
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet
(In thousands)
(Unaudited)
March 31, December 31,
2015 2014
Assets
Utility Plant, at original cost less
accumulated depreciation$395,126 $393,793
Current Assets 14,509 16,648
Regulatory and Other Assets 11,875 11,772
$421,510 $422,213
Capitalization and Liabilities
Stockholders' Equity$124,485 $125,605
Long Term Debt, Net of Current Portion 104,557 104,954
Current Liabilities 28,221 30,192
Advances for Construction 9,947 10,228
Contributions in Aid of Construction 94,477 92,429
Other Liabilities 59,823 58,805
$421,510 $422,213




CONTACT Nicki Taylor Investor Relations (302) 453-6900 ntaylor@artesianwater.com

Source:Artesian Resources Corporation