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The Empire District Electric Company Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Report And Declaration Of Dividend

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 September 15, 2012, to holders of record as of September 1, 2012. The Company, an operator of regulated electric, gas and water utilities, announced today the results for the quarter and twelve months ended June 30, 2012.

Highlights

  • The Company reported consolidated earnings for the second quarter of 2012 of $10.7 million, or $0.25 per share, compared with 2011 same quarter earnings of $9.2 million, or $0.22 per share. Earnings for the twelve months ended June 30, 2012 were $54.4 million, or $1.29 per share, compared to earnings of $52.5 million, or $1.26 per share for the 2011 twelve month period, resulting in a return on equity during the 2012 period of 7.8%.
  • Total Company after tax gross margin increased $0.07 per share during the second quarter of 2012 when compared to the 2011 period, primarily as a result of increased customer rates which drove electric segment margin higher. The increased gross margin was partially offset by increased operating expenses. Customer counts, which continue to improve since the May 2011 tornado, slightly increased margins. Weather impact reduced margins quarter over quarter due to the timing of the warmth throughout the 2012 quarter and the extreme weather in the latter part of the 2011 quarter.
  • On July 6, 2012, the Company filed a rate request with the Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC) seeking an annual increase in electric customer revenues of approximately $30.7 million, or 7.56%, and the continuation of the Fuel Adjustment Clause. After factoring in the Fuel Adjustment Clause revenue of $8.6 million paid by customers during the rate case test year, the impact of the requested annual increase in base rates is approximately $22.1 million, or 5.3%. The filing seeks to recover operating and maintenance expenses and capital costs associated with the May 2011 tornado, Southwest Power Pool transmission charges allocated to the Company, software operating systems replacement costs, vegetation management costs, and new depreciation rates. The filing includes a request to the MPSC to implement the $6.2 million portion of the filing related to tornado recovery costs and the post-tornado cost of service through interim rates which would become effective 30 days from the filing date. However, on July 23, 2012, the MPSC suspended the interim rate request and will proceed with the scheduling of an evidentiary hearing on the matter.
 

THE EMPIRE DISTRICT ELECTRIC COMPANY SEGMENT FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

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

          Quarter Ended June 30, 2012
          Electric         Gas         Other*         Consolidated
Revenues         $ 124,091         $ 5,804           $ 1,885         $ 131,632

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

          45,528           1,769             ––           47,297
Other Operating Expenses           58,729           3,501             1,491           63,573
Operating Income           19,834           534             394           20,762
Net Income         $ 10,691         $ (394 )         $ 411         $ 10,708

Earnings Per Weighted-Average Share, Basic and Diluted

                                      $ 0.25
 
 
THE EMPIRE DISTRICT ELECTRIC COMPANY

SEGMENT FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

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

          Quarter Ended June 30, 2011
          Electric         Gas         Other*         Consolidated
Revenues         $ 120,329         $ 7,303           $ 1,609         $ 129,093

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

          47,228           2,712             ––           49,940
Other Operating Expenses           55,306           3,663             1,198           60,019
Operating Income           17,795           928             411           19,134
Net Income         $ 8,792         $ (27 )         $ 410         $ 9,175

Earnings Per Weighted-Average Share, Basic and Diluted

                                      $ 0.22

* Excludes intercompany eliminations.

Second Quarter Electric Segment Results

Electric segment gross margin (electric revenues less fuel and purchased power costs) increased approximately $5.5 million during the second quarter of 2012 when compared to the second quarter of 2011.

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