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The Empire District Electric Company First Quarter 2012 Earnings Report And Earnings Guidance Update

At the Board of Directors meeting of The Empire District Electric Company (NYSE:EDE) held today, the Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share on common stock payable June 15, 2012, to holders of record as of June 1, 2012.

The Company, an operator of regulated electric, gas and water utilities, announced today the results for the quarter and year ended March 31, 2012.

Highlights

  • The Company reported consolidated earnings for the first quarter of 2012 of $9.8 million, or basic and diluted earnings per share of $0.23. This compares to 2011 same quarter earnings of $11.9 million, or $0.29 per share. Earnings for the twelve-months ended March 31, 2012 were $52.9 million, or $1.26 per share, compared to earnings of $50.7 million, or $1.23 per share, for the 2011 twelve month period.
  • First quarter results were negatively impacted by record mild weather. When compared to the prior year, the margin impact of mild weather experienced during the quarter reduced earnings per share an estimated $0.14 for our electric segment and $0.03 for our gas segment. The negative impact from the mild weather offset the positive results of increased electric rates which added an estimated $0.15 per share. Electric operating expenses were also higher, further decreasing earnings per share.
    • First quarter 2012 electric segment Heating Degree Days were 29.3% below the 2011 first quarter and 26.4% below the 30-year average for our service territory. Average temperatures during the first quarter were the warmest in our service territory since weather data was first recorded on a national basis. When compared to normal weather, the total electric segment margin impact of first quarter results reduced earnings per share approximately $0.14.
  • Joplin continues to recover from the May 22, 2011 tornado. As of March 31, 2012, our system-wide total customer count, including the effects of the tornado, is down approximately 1,400 customers from the pre-storm level. We estimate the earnings per share impact to be a reduction of approximately $0.02 per share compared to the first quarter of last year.
 
THE EMPIRE DISTRICT ELECTRIC COMPANY

SEGMENT FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

(in 000’s except per share information, certain segment amounts exclude eliminations )

          Quarter Ended March 31, 2012
          Electric         Gas         Other*         Consolidated
Revenues         $ 119,726         $ 15,683         $ 1,883         $ 137,144

Fuel, Purchased Power, and Cost of Natural Gas Sold and Transported

         

45,229

         

8,581

         

––

         

53,810

Other Operating Expenses           56,254           5,048           1,370           62,524
Operating Income           18,243           2,054           513           20,810
Net Income         $ 8,173         $ 1,119         $ 512         $ 9,804

Earnings Per Weighted- Average Share, Basic and Diluted

                                     

 

$ 0.23

       
 
           
          Quarter Ended March 31, 2011
          Electric         Gas         Other*         Consolidated
Revenues         $ 128,360         $ 20,989         $ 1,527         $ 150,728

Fuel, Purchased Power, and Cost of Natural Gas Sold and Transported

          54,217           12,040           ––           66,257
Other Operating Expenses           55,867           5,754           1,150           62,623
Operating Income           18,276           3,195           377           21,848
Net Income         $ 9,301         $ 2,246         $ 375         $ 11,922

Earnings Per Weighted-

Average Share, Basic and Diluted

                                     

 

$ 0.29

* Excludes intercompany eliminations.

First Quarter Electric Segment Results

Electric segment gross margin (electric revenues less fuel and purchased power costs) discussed below increased approximately $0.4 million during the first quarter of 2012 when compared to the 2011 quarter.

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