ISELIN, N.J., Aug. 01, 2017 (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, 2017.

Second Quarter Operating ResultsConsolidated operating revenues for the three months ended June 30, 2017 increased $0.3 million to $33.0 million from the same period in 2016.  Net income decreased $0.5 million to $5.4 million from the comparable period in 2016.   Basic and diluted earnings per share were $0.33 for the quarter ended June 30, 2017, down from $0.36 for the same period in 2016. 

Operating revenues in our Delaware regulated water utility, Tidewater Utilities, Inc. ("Tidewater"), increased $0.5 million due to the addition of new customers. This was offset by a $0.2 million decrease in operating revenues in the Company's Middlesex System in New Jersey as a result of lower water usage across all customer categories. 

Operation and maintenance expenses for the second quarter increased $0.9 million to $16.7 million from the same period in 2016.  Higher water production costs of $0.5 million in the Middlesex System in New Jersey were due to a rate increase in water treatment residuals disposal costs from the local municipal wastewater utility and lower raw water quality.  Labor costs increased $0.3 million due to higher average labor rates and additional employees required to address regulatory needs.

Middlesex Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis W. Doll said, "Water usage remained moderate through the second quarter and we were able to capably meet the needs of customers as hotter weather took hold by mid-summer.  Through our Water for Tomorrow® initiative, our crews continue to make various strategic improvements in our water distribution infrastructure.  As we seek recovery of those prudent investments, we are closely monitoring our revenues and costs to determine the timing and need for rate filings in our New Jersey and Delaware regulated utilities," added Doll.

Six Month Operating ResultsConsolidated operating revenues for the six months ended June 30, 2017 were $63.1 million, a decrease of $0.2 million from the same period in 2016, due mostly to lower water usage in the Middlesex System in New Jersey, offset by increased revenues from additional new customers in our Tidewater System in Delaware. For the six months ended June 30, 2017, basic and diluted earnings per share were $0.60 and $0.59 respectively, as compared to $0.65 for basic and diluted earnings per share for the same period in 2016. 

Quarterly Dividend Declared The Company's Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.21125 per share, payable September 1, 2017 to common shareholders as of August 11, 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.

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,    
          2017       2016       2017       2016      
                         
  Operating Revenues $     33,014     $   32,725     $     63,145     $   63,304      
                         
  Operating Expenses:                  
    Operations and Maintenance   16,651       15,789       32,385       31,617      
    Depreciation   3,385       3,180       6,693       6,317      
    Other Taxes   3,415       3,428       6,724       6,740      
                         
      Total Operating Expenses   23,451       22,397       45,802       44,674      
                         
  Operating Income   9,563       10,328       17,343       18,630      
                         
  Other Income (Expense):                  
    Allowance for Funds Used During Construction   180       119       299       180      
    Other Income   47       25       53       73      
    Other Expense   (22 )     (7 )     (27 )     (26 )    
                         
  Total Other Income, net   205       137       325       227      
                         
  Interest Charges   1,469       1,436       2,472       2,413      
                         
  Income before Income Taxes   8,299       9,029       15,196       16,444      
                         
  Income Taxes   2,918       3,110       5,374       5,735      
                         
  Net Income   5,381       5,919       9,822       10,709      
                         
  Preferred Stock Dividend Requirements   36       36       72       72      
                         
  Earnings Applicable to Common Stock $     5,345     $   5,883     $     9,750     $   10,637      
                       
  Earnings per share of Common Stock:                  
    Basic $     0.33     $   0.36     $     0.60     $   0.65      
    Diluted $     0.33     $   0.36     $     0.59     $   0.65      
                         
  Average Number of                  
    Common Shares Outstanding :                  
    Basic   16,332       16,271       16,316       16,252      
    Diluted   16,488       16,427       16,472       16,408      
                         
  Cash Dividends Paid per Common Share  $     0.2113     $   0.1988     $     0.4225     $   0.3975      
                         

  

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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