ISELIN, NJ, May 5, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Middlesex Water Company (“Middlesex” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: MSEX), a water and sanitation service provider, today released its results first quarter financials.
Quarterly consolidated operating revenues increased 2.4% to $ 32.5 million compared to the same period in 2020. The increase of $ 0.8 million is largely due to increased customer demand for water in the Middlesex system in New Jersey and customer growth in our Delaware water systems. Higher unregulated revenues from our contracting activities also contributed to the increase.
O&M expenses for the first quarter of 2021 increased by $ 1.2 million compared to the same period in 2020. The increase was related to the increase in major weather-related breaks in our region. Middlesex system during the winter months and increased labor costs due to wage increases.
The tax benefit for the first quarter of 2021 decreased by $ 0.3 million from 2020 due to lower tax benefits associated with lower repair expenses on tangible property owned by Middlesex, partially offset by lower pre-tax profit.
Net earnings for the quarter ended March 31, 2021 decreased by $ 0.8 million compared to the same period in 2020. Diluted earnings per share were $ 0.39 and $ 0.44 for the three months completed on March 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively.
“Continuing through 2021, we have maintained a steady pace on numerous capital improvement projects as part of our Water For Tomorrow® program to improve the reliability, resilience and overall quality of service of the system. Construction of our new ozone treatment plant and other upgrades to our largest treatment facility in New Jersey are nearing completion and are expected to be operational in the second quarter. We also launched our annual RENEW program, which is now at 26e year, to modernize and replace water pipes, valves, hydrants and meters in the borough of Metuchen, New Jersey. Our investment in the Middlesex Network Utility Plant, since base rates were last established in early 2018, is approximately $ 250 million through March 31, 2021, ”said the Middlesex President and CEO Dennis W. Doll. “Based on the lifecycle of current customer tariffs in the face of investments in critical Water For Tomorrow projects, Middlesex expects to file a second quarter tariff increase request with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities , ”Mr. Doll added.
“We continue to work to keep our employees and customers safe and to support these customers facing financial hardship due to COVID by suspending closures in New Jersey for non-payment until June 30, 2021,” said Mr. Doll.
Declaration of dividend and virtual annual meeting
As previously announced in April 2021, our Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $ 0.2725 per common share payable on June 1, 2021 to shareholders of record on May 14, 2021. Also, as previously announced, due to persistent health issues linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, Middlesex Water’s 2021 annual meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 25 at 11:00 a.m. EDT will be held exclusively online as a virtual meeting. Shareholders can obtain instructions for accessing the Meeting by visiting http://www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/MSEX2021 and entering the 16-digit control number shown on their notice of Internet availability of proxy documents or on their proxy card.
ABOUT MIDDLESEX WATER COMPANY
Organized in 1897, Middlesex Water provides regulated and unregulated water and wastewater utilities primarily in New Jersey and Delaware through various subsidiaries.
The Company and its New Jersey subsidiaries – Pinelands Water Company and Pinelands Wastewater Company – are subject to the regulations of the Board of Public Utilities of the State of New Jersey. Middlesex Water Company provides contract water and wastewater services to the City of Perth Amboy, New Jersey through its unregulated subsidiary Utility Service Affiliates (Perth Amboy) Inc. The Company also provides contractual operating services through its unregulated subsidiary, Utility Service Affiliates, Inc. to other municipalities in New Jersey. The Company’s regulated subsidiaries in Delaware, Tidewater Utilities, Inc., as well as Southern Shores Water Company and Tidewater Environmental Services Inc., are subject to the regulations of the Delaware Civil Service Commission. White Marsh Environmental Systems, Inc. operates contract water and wastewater systems on an unregulated basis in Delaware. These companies are also subject to various federal and state regulatory agencies regarding water effluent and wastewater quality standards.
For more information about Middlesex Water Company, visit the company’s website at www.middlesexwater.com or call (732) 634-1500.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of United States federal securities laws regarding Middlesex Water Company “MSEX” or the “Company”, its financial condition and results of operations which reflect the current opinions of the Company. and the information currently available. This information is, where applicable, based on estimates, assumptions and analyzes which, in the opinion of the Company, at the date hereof, provide a reasonable basis for the information contained in this document. Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as “prospect”, “believes”, “anticipates”, “potential”, “continuing”, “may”, “will”, “should”, “Seeking” “,” Approximately “,” predicted “,” intends “,” plans “,” estimates “,” anticipates “,” foresees “or the negative version of these words or other comparable words and expressions, and include statements relating to the beliefs or expectations of the company regarding its future performance, strategic plans and cash flows, as well as any other statement which does not relate directly to historical or current facts. Actual results, performance or achievements may differ materially from forward-looking statements and the assumptions on which forward-looking statements are based. There can be no assurance that the information contained in this document reflects future performance, and investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as predictors of future performance. Unless otherwise indicated, all information contained in this press release speaks only as of the date hereof. The Company assumes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this document, publicly or otherwise, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Bernadette Sohler, Vice-President – Corporate Affairs
|MIDDLESEX WATER COMPANY|
|SUMMARY CONSOLIDATED EARNINGS STATEMENTS|
|(In thousands except amounts per share)|
|Three months ended March 31|
|Operating income||$||32,541||$||31 769|
|Operations and maintenance||18 356||17 192|
|Total operating expenses||26,907||25,242|
|Operating income||5 634||6,527|
|Other income (expenses):|
|Allowance for funds used during construction||1,263||1,123|
|Other income (expenses), net||775||385|
|Total other income, net||2,038||1,508|
|Income before taxes||5,934||6 366|
|Net revenue||6,907||7 668|
|Preferred Share Dividend Requirements||30||30|
|Profits applicable to ordinary shares||$||6 877||$||7 638|
|Earnings per common share:|
|Average number of ordinary shares outstanding:|