ISELIN, N.J., May 04, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Middlesex Water Company (the "Company" or "Middlesex"), (Nasdaq:MSEX), a provider of water and wastewater and related services in New Jersey and Delaware, today announced operating results for the quarter ended March 31, 2017.

First Quarter Operating ResultsConsolidated operating revenues for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 were $30.1 million, a $0.4 million decrease from the same period in 2016.  Net income was $4.4 million, a decrease from $4.8 million from the same period in 2016.   Basic and diluted earnings per share were $0.27 each for the three months ended March 31, 2017, down from $0.29 each for the same period in 2016. 

Revenues in the Company's Middlesex System in New Jersey decreased $0.8 million from the same period in 2016, due to lower water usage by commercial, industrial and contract customers.  Revenues in our Delaware System, Tidewater Utilities, Inc. increased $0.4 million due to customer growth. 

Operation and maintenance expenses for the first quarter decreased $0.1 million from the same period in 2016.  This was due primarily to one-time insurance policy refunds of $0.3 million, which were partially offset by higher labor related costs of $0.2 million.  

Middlesex Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis W. Doll said, "Water consumption in the first quarter of any year is generally moderate in the absence of outdoor usage, and subject to small variations that impact operating revenues.  Increases in depreciation, labor and numerous other operating costs are not impacted by seasonality.  Drought warnings in our New Jersey systems were recently lifted and we are poised to meet our customers' water consumption needs as warmer weather approaches. We continue to closely monitor our revenues and costs to determine the timing of any potential rate filings in both our New Jersey and Delaware regulated utilities."

Dividend DeclarationIn April, the Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.21125 per common share, payable June 1, 2017 to holders of record as of May 12, 2017.  Middlesex has paid cash dividends continually since 1912 and has increased its annual dividend rate for 44 consecutive years.  Information about Middlesex's Direct Share Purchase and Sale and Dividend Reinvestment Plan can be found on our website.

Annual MeetingThe Company will host its Annual Meeting of Shareholders on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, beginning at 11:00 a.m. at its corporate headquarters at 1500 Ronson Road in Iselin, NJ.  To view the Company's 2016 Annual Report visit

About Middlesex Water CompanyOrganized in 1897, Middlesex provides regulated and unregulated water and wastewater utility services in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania through various subsidiary companies.  For additional information regarding Middlesex Water Company, visit

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.

(In thousands except per share amounts)
      Three Months Ended March 31,
        2017       2016  
Operating Revenues $     30,131     $   30,579  
Operating Expenses:      
  Operations and Maintenance   15,734       15,828  
  Depreciation   3,308       3,137  
  Other Taxes   3,309       3,312  
Total Operating Expenses   22,351       22,277  
Operating Income   7,780       8,302  
Other Income (Expense):      
  Allowance for Funds Used During Construction   119       61  
  Other Income   6       48  
  Other Expense   (5 )     (18 )
Total Other Income, net   120       91  
Interest Charges   1,003       978  
Income before Income Taxes   6,897       7,415  
Income Taxes   2,456       2,625  
Net Income   4,441       4,790  
Preferred Stock Dividend Requirements   36       36  
Earnings Applicable to Common Stock $     4,405     $   4,754  
Earnings per share of Common Stock:      
  Basic $     0.27     $   0.29  
  Diluted $     0.27     $   0.29  
Average Number of Common Shares Outstanding:      
  Basic   16,299       16,233  
  Diluted   16,455       16,389  
Cash Dividends Paid per Common Share  $ 0.2113     $ 0.1988  


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

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