Middlesex Water Company Reports 2011 Operating Results


Source: Marketwire

ISELIN, NJ -- (Marketwire) -- 03/08/12 -- Middlesex Water Company (NASDAQ: MSEX) ('Middlesex' or the 'Company'), a provider of water, wastewater and related services, primarily in New Jersey and Delaware, today announced net income for the year ended December 31, 2011 was $13.4 million, down 6.2% from $14.3 million, for the same period in 2010. On a fully diluted basis, earnings per share were $0.84 for 2011, compared to $0.96 in 2010.

Consolidated operating revenues were $102.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2011, compared to $102.7 million in 2010.

Middlesex President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis W. Doll said, 'Cooler temperatures and abnormally higher precipitation during the second and third quarters resulted in lower water consumption in both New Jersey and Delaware. Also impacting revenues were lower connection fees due to a continued depressed housing market in Delaware. We are at the end of the cycle for current rates for our two largest utilities and have filed for rate relief in both New Jersey and Delaware. An interim 10.49% rate increase was implemented in mid-November 2011 for our Delaware water operations. We expect those filings to deliver their full value in the third quarter of 2012,' added Doll.

2011 Operating Results

In addition to the weather-related consumption declines across all classes of customers in New Jersey and Delaware, revenues also decreased due to the conclusion of a temporary water supply contract and an oil refinery wastewater operating contract. Revenues also declined with the transfer in August 2011 of the LineCare contracts in a new marketing agreement with HomeServe USA.

Operations and maintenance expenses for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased $1.2 million, or 2.1%, from 2010, largely due to increased labor, employee healthcare and post retirement benefit plan expenses, scheduled increases in subcontractor charges at our Utility Service Affiliates (Perth Amboy) Inc. subsidiary, increased net costs from the implementation of our technology platform, and increased transportation charges due to higher average fuel prices. Depreciation expense for 2011 rose by $0.5 million or 5.4%, due to a higher level of utility plant in service.

Fourth Quarter 2011

For the three month period ended December 31, 2011, operating revenues were $23.3 million, down from $25.0 million for the same period in 2010. Total operating expenses were $19.1 million, down from $19.6 million for the same period in 2010. Net income decreased 21.5% to $2.0 million, down from $2.6 million for the same period in 2010.

Company Quarterly Dividend

Middlesex Water paid a quarterly dividend of $0.1850 per share on the Common Stock on March 1, 2012, to stockholders of record as of February 15, 2012. The Company has paid cash dividends in varying amounts continually since 1912.

About Middlesex Water Company

Middlesex Water Company, organized in 1897, is a water utility serving customers in central and southern New Jersey and in the State of Delaware. The Company and its New Jersey subsidiaries -- Pinelands Water Company and Pinelands Wastewater Company -- are subject to the regulations of the Board of Public Utilities of the State of New Jersey. Middlesex Water Company operates the water and wastewater utilities for the City of Perth Amboy through its subsidiary, Utility Service Affiliates (Perth Amboy) Inc. The Company also provides contract operations services through its non-regulated subsidiary, Utility Service Affiliates, Inc. The Company's regulated Delaware subsidiaries, Tidewater Utilities, Inc., together with Southern Shores Water Company and Tidewater Environmental Services Inc., are subject to the regulations of the Public Service Commission in Delaware. White Marsh Environmental Systems, Inc. operates small water and wastewater systems under contract on a non-regulated basis in Delaware. The Company serves customers in Shohola, Pennsylvania through its subsidiary, Twin Lakes Utilities, Inc. These companies are also subject to various Federal and State regulatory agencies concerning water, and wastewater effluent quality standards.

For additional information regarding Middlesex Water Company, visit the Company's web site at or call (732) 634-1500.

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.

                          MIDDLESEX WATER COMPANY
                  (In thousands except per share amounts)

                                         Years Ended       Quarters Ended
                                        December 31,        December 31,
                                       2011      2010      2011      2010
                                     --------  --------  --------  --------

Operating Revenues                   $102,069  $102,735  $ 23,300  $ 24,967
                                     --------  --------  --------  --------

Operating Expenses:
  Operations and Maintenance           56,634    55,481    13,874    14,276
  Depreciation                          9,746     9,244     2,496     2,417
  Other Taxes                          11,488    11,413     2,751     2,881
                                     --------  --------  --------  --------

    Total Operating Expenses           77,868    76,138    19,121    19,574
                                     --------  --------  --------  --------

Operating Income                       24,201    26,597     4,179     5,393
                                     ========  ========  ========  ========

Other Income (Expense):
  Allowance for Funds Used During
   Construction                           821       970       195       185
  Other Income                          1,523       912       405       380
  Other Expense                          (195)     (438)      (15)     (257)
                                     --------  --------  --------  --------

Total Other Income, net                 2,149     1,444       585       308
                                     --------  --------  --------  --------

Interest Charges                        6,376     6,925     1,745     1,800
                                     --------  --------  --------  --------

Income before Income Taxes             19,974    21,116     3,019     3,901
                                     ========  ========  ========  ========

Income Taxes                            6,527     6,786       970     1,291
                                     --------  --------  --------  --------

Net Income                             13,447    14,330     2,049     2,610

Preferred Stock Dividend
 Requirements                             206       207        51        51
                                     --------  --------  --------  --------

Earnings Applicable to Common Stock  $ 13,241  $ 14,123  $  1,998  $  2,559
                                     ========  ========  ========  ========

Earnings per share of Common Stock:
  Basic                              $   0.85  $   0.96  $   0.12  $   0.16
  Diluted                            $   0.84  $   0.96  $   0.12  $   0.16

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Bernadette Sohler
Vice President - Corporate Affairs
Middlesex Water Company
1500 Ronson Road
Iselin, New Jersey 08830
(732) 638-7549

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