The Empire District Electric Company 2011 Earnings Report, Reinstatement Of Dividend And Initial 2012 Earnings Guidance

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 March 15, 2012, to holders of record as of March 1, 2012.

The Company, an operator of regulated electric, gas and water utilities, announced today the results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2011.

Highlights
  • The Company reported consolidated earnings for the year ended December 31, 2011 of $54.9 million, or basic and diluted earnings per share of $1.31. This compares to 2010 earnings of $47.4 million, or $1.17 per share. Earnings for the 2011 fourth quarter were $8.7 million, or $0.21 per share, compared with 2010 fourth quarter earnings of $8.5 million, or $0.20 per share.
  • The increase in earnings was due primarily to new customer rates put into effect in 2010 and 2011 in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas to recover costs associated with the August 2010 completion of the Iatan 2 and Plum Point generating facilities.
  • Earnings also reflect the loss of revenue associated with the effects of the EF-5 tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri on May 22, 2011. The area continues to recover. As of December 31, 2011, our system-wide total customer count, including the effects of the tornado, is down approximately 1,800 customers from the pre-storm level. The loss of electric load and corresponding revenues from the tornado is expected to continue as customers rebuild.
  • On November 30, 2011, the Missouri Public Service Commission issued an order approving the Company’s request for an Accounting Authority Order filed shortly after the May 22 tornado. The order allows the Company to defer actual incremental operating, maintenance and depreciation expenses associated with the repair, restoration, and rebuilding activities resulting from the tornado. In addition, a carrying charge will be accrued on storm-related capital expenditures. The settlement does not include deferral of the lost revenues associated with the fixed cost component included in rates due to the reduction in customers served by the Company. To date, approximately $20.6 million in initial storm costs have been incurred as well as approximately $5.5 million in new service extensions to customers.
  • On November 10, 2011, a joint settlement agreement was filed with the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) related to the Company’s abbreviated rate case filed June 17, 2011, requesting recovery of the remaining expenditures for Iatan 1, Iatan 2, and Plum Point generating facilities. The KCC approved the agreement on December 22, 2011, resulting in an annual increase in revenues of $1.25 million, or approximately 5.2%. New Kansas rates were effective January 1, 2012. On November 17, 2011, a stipulation and agreement was filed in Oklahoma related to the Company’s rate request filed June 30, 2011. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission approved the agreement on January 4, 2012, resulting in a net overall increase to total annual revenues of $240,000, or approximately 1.66%. The effective date of the new Oklahoma rates was January 6, 2012.

THE EMPIRE DISTRICT ELECTRIC COMPANY

SEGMENT FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

(in 000’s except per share information, certain segment amounts exclude eliminations )
    Year Ended December 31, 2011
    Electric     Gas     Other     Consolidated
Revenues   $ 524,276     $ 46,430     $ 6,757     $ 576,870

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

200,256
     

22,760
     

––
     

223,016
Other Operating Expenses     235,430       17,156       4,927       256,920
Operating Income     88,590       6,514       1,830       96,934
Net Income   $ 50,670     $ 2,709     $ 1,592     $ 54,971

Earnings Per Weighted- Average Share, Basic and Diluted
                   

 

$

 

1.31
 
 
    Year Ended December 31, 2010
    Electric     Gas     Other     Consolidated
Revenues   $ 484,715     $ 50,885     $ 6,268     $ 541,276

Fuel, Purchased Power, and Cost of Natural Gas Sold and Transported
    199,299       26,614       ––       225,913
Other Operating Expenses     212,888       17,944       4,628       234,868
Operating Income     72,528       6,327       1,640       80,495
Net Income   $ 43,187     $ 2,602     $ 1,607     $ 47,396

Earnings Per Weighted -Average Share, Basic and Diluted
                   

 

$

 

1.17

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