Middlesex Water Company Announces Second Quarter 2017 Financial Results

ISELIN, N.J., Aug. 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Middlesex Water Company (the “Company” or “Middlesex”), (Nasdaq:MSEX), a provider of water and wastewater and related services primarily in New Jersey and Delaware, today announced operating results for the quarter ended June 30, 2017.

Second Quarter Operating Results
Consolidated operating revenues for the three months ended June 30, 2017 increased $0.3 million to $33.0 million from the same period in 2016. Net income decreased $0.5 million to $5.4 million from the comparable period in 2016. Basic and diluted earnings per share were $0.33 for the quarter ended June 30, 2017, down from $0.36 for the same period in 2016.

Operating revenues in our Delaware regulated water utility, Tidewater Utilities, Inc. (“Tidewater”), increased $0.5 million due to the addition of new customers. This was offset by a $0.2 million decrease in operating revenues in the Company’s Middlesex System in New Jersey as a result of lower water usage across all customer categories.

Operation and maintenance expenses for the second quarter increased $0.9 million to $16.7 million from the same period in 2016. Higher water production costs of $0.5 million in the Middlesex System in New Jersey were due to a rate increase in water treatment residuals disposal costs from the local municipal wastewater utility and lower raw water quality. Labor costs increased $0.3 million due to higher average labor rates and additional employees required to address regulatory needs.

Middlesex Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis W. Doll said, “Water usage remained moderate through the second quarter and we were able to capably meet the needs of customers as hotter weather took hold by mid-summer. Through our Water for Tomorrow® initiative, our crews continue to make various strategic improvements in our water distribution infrastructure. As we seek recovery of those prudent investments, we are closely monitoring our revenues and costs to determine the timing and need for rate filings in our New Jersey and Delaware regulated utilities,” added Doll.

Six Month Operating Results
Consolidated operating revenues for the six months ended June 30, 2017 were $63.1 million, a decrease of $0.2 million from the same period in 2016, due mostly to lower water usage in the Middlesex System in New Jersey, offset by increased revenues from additional new customers in our Tidewater System in Delaware. For the six months ended June 30, 2017, basic and diluted earnings per share were $0.60 and $0.59 respectively, as compared to $0.65 for basic and diluted earnings per share for the same period in 2016.

Quarterly Dividend Declared
The Company’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.21125 per share, payable September 1, 2017 to common shareholders as of August 11, 2017. Middlesex has paid cash dividends continually since 1912 and has increased its annual dividend rate for 44 consecutive years. Information about Middlesex’s Direct Share Purchase and Sale and Dividend Reinvestment Plan can be found on our website.

About Middlesex Water Company
Middlesex Water Company, organized in 1897, is an investor-owned water and wastewater utility, serving customers in central and southern New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. For additional information regarding Middlesex Water Company or its Direct Share Purchase and Sale and Dividend Reinvestment Plan, visit http://investors.middlesexwater.com or call (732) 638-7549.

This release contains forward looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, among others, our long-term strategy and expectations, the status of our acquisition program, the impact of our acquisitions, the impact of current and projected rate requests and the impact of our capital program on our environmental compliance. There are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements including: general economic business conditions, unfavorable weather conditions, the success of certain cost containment initiatives, changes in regulations or regulatory treatment, availability and the cost of capital, the success of growth initiatives and other factors discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

(In thousands except per share amounts)
Three Months Ended June 30, Six Months Ended June 30,
2017 2016 2017 2016
Operating Revenues$ 33,014 $ 32,725 $ 63,145 $ 63,304
Operating Expenses:
Operations and Maintenance 16,651 15,789 32,385 31,617
Depreciation 3,385 3,180 6,693 6,317
Other Taxes 3,415 3,428 6,724 6,740
Total Operating Expenses 23,451 22,397 45,802 44,674
Operating Income 9,563 10,328 17,343 18,630
Other Income (Expense):
Allowance for Funds Used During Construction 180 119 299 180
Other Income 47 25 53 73
Other Expense (22) (7) (27) (26)
Total Other Income, net 205 137 325 227
Interest Charges 1,469 1,436 2,472 2,413
Income before Income Taxes 8,299 9,029 15,196 16,444
Income Taxes 2,918 3,110 5,374 5,735
Net Income 5,381 5,919 9,822 10,709
Preferred Stock Dividend Requirements 36 36 72 72
Earnings Applicable to Common Stock$ 5,345 $ 5,883 $ 9,750 $ 10,637
Earnings per share of Common Stock:
Basic$ 0.33 $ 0.36 $ 0.60 $ 0.65
Diluted$ 0.33 $ 0.36 $ 0.59 $ 0.65
Average Number of
Common Shares Outstanding :
Basic 16,332 16,271 16,316 16,252
Diluted 16,488 16,427 16,472 16,408
Cash Dividends Paid per Common Share $ 0.2113 $ 0.1988 $ 0.4225 $ 0.3975

Contact: Bernadette Sohler, Vice President – Corporate Affairs Middlesex Water Company, 1500 Ronson Road Iselin, New Jersey 08830 (732) 638-7549 www.middlesexwater.com

Source:Middlesex Water Company