SECOND QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Consolidated Operating Revenues Up $1.1 Million
  • Net Income Increases 16.3%
  • Earnings Per Share Climb 16.1%

ISELIN, N.J., Aug. 02, 2016 (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, 2016.

Second Quarter Operating ResultsConsolidated operating revenues for the quarter ended June 30, 2016 increased $1.1 million to $32.7 million as compared to the same period in 2015.  Net income climbed to $5.9 million, up from $5.1 million in 2015.   Basic and diluted earnings per share were $0.36 for the quarter ended June 30, 2016, up from $0.31 for the same period in 2015. 

Revenues in the Company's Middlesex System in New Jersey increased $1.3 million from the same period in 2015, primarily due to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approved rate increase implemented in August 2015, higher weather-driven customer demand in our regulated water utilities in New Jersey and higher water demand from contract customers.  Revenues from contract operations increased $0.2 million due to higher supplemental service revenues earned under our contracts to operate municipally-owned systems in New Jersey and Delaware.  Revenues in our Delaware regulated water utility, Tidewater Utilities, Inc. ("Tidewater") decreased $0.4 million due to lower weather-driven customer demand for water, partially offset by the addition of new customers. 

Operation and maintenance expenses for the second quarter decreased $0.4 million from the same period in 2015.  Employee benefit expenses decreased $0.4 million, largely due to lower retirement plan costs resulting from a higher actuarially-determined discount rate than in the prior year.  Variable water production costs decreased $0.3 million, due to higher raw water quality in our Middlesex System.  Decreased cold weather water main break activity resulted in lower costs of $0.2 million in our Middlesex system.  Labor costs increased $0.3 million, due to company-wide higher average labor rates and lower capitalized labor costs at Tidewater.  Contract operations expenses costs increased $0.1 million due to higher expenditures for billable supplemental services under our operating contracts serving municipal customers.

Middlesex Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis W. Doll said, "Our facilities continue to stand ready to deliver quality water and wastewater services through the hot, dry summer weather, which is reflected in these second quarter results.  In the second quarter, we also began a $12.0 million project to replace aging infrastructure in the Township of Edison and the City of South Amboy, New Jersey. Our Company was honored to be recognized in June as a finalist in the Third Annual New York Stock Exchange Governance, Risk & Compliance Leadership Awards for Best-In-House Legal Team at a Small to- Mid-Cap Company and for Distinguished General Counsel.  Also in June, our General Counsel Jay L. Kooper was recognized by NJBIZ as a 2016 General Counsel of the Year Finalist.  We're grateful for this independent validation of the high quality of our team's continuing efforts."

Six Month Operating ResultsConsolidated operating revenues for the six months ended June 30, 2016 were $63.3 million, an increase of $2.9 million from the same period in 2015, due mostly to the aforementioned August 2015 rate increase in our Middlesex System.   For the six months ended June 30, 2016, basic and diluted earnings per share increased to $0.65, as compared to $0.54 and $0.53, respectively, for the same period in 2015. 

Quarterly Dividend Declared The Company's Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.19875 per share, payable September 1, 2016 to common shareholders as of August 12, 2016. 

About Middlesex Water CompanyMiddlesex 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.

  MIDDLESEX WATER COMPANY  
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME  
(Unaudited)  
(In thousands except per share amounts)  
                 
    Three Months Ended June 30,     Six Months Ended June 30,  
    2016       2015       2016       2015    
                 
Operating Revenues $     32,725     $ 31,666     $     63,304     $ 60,446    
                 
Operating Expenses:                
Operations and Maintenance   15,789       16,229       31,617       32,317    
Depreciation   3,180       2,982       6,317       5,930    
Other Taxes   3,428       3,220       6,740       6,280    
                 
Total Operating Expenses   22,397       22,431       44,674       44,527    
                 
Operating Income   10,328       9,235       18,630       15,919    
                 
Other Income (Expense):                
Allowance for Funds Used During Construction   119       103       180       185    
Other Income   25       43       73       82    
Other Expense   (7 )     (18 )     (26 )     (83 )  
                 
Total Other Income, net   137       128       227       184    
                 
Interest Charges   1,436       1,496       2,413       2,554    
                 
Income before Income Taxes   9,029       7,867       16,444       13,549    
                 
Income Taxes   3,110       2,778       5,735       4,825    
                 
Net Income   5,919       5,089       10,709       8,724    
                 
Preferred Stock Dividend Requirements   36       36       72       72    
                 
Earnings Applicable to Common Stock $     5,883     $ 5,053     $     10,637     $ 8,652    
                 
Earnings per share of Common Stock:                
Basic $     0.36     $ 0.31     $     0.65     $ 0.54    
Diluted $     0.36     $ 0.31     $     0.65     $ 0.53    
                 
Average Number of                
Common Shares Outstanding :                
Basic   16,271       16,149       16,252       16,141    
Diluted   16,427       16,305       16,408       16,297    
                 
Cash Dividends Paid per Common Share $     0.1988     $ 0.1925     $     0.3975     $ 0.3850    
                 

Contact:   Bernadette Sohler, Vice President - Corporate AffairsMiddlesex Water Company,  1500 Ronson RoadIselin, New Jersey   08830(732) 638-7549 www.middlesexwater.com

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