SOURCE: Middlesex Water Company

March 07, 2005 16:43 ET

Middlesex Water Company Reports 2004 Earnings

ISELIN, NJ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 7, 2005 -- Middlesex Water Company (NASDAQ: MSEX), a provider of water, wastewater and related services in New Jersey and Delaware, today reported earnings of $8.2 million, or $0.74 per basic share, for the year ended December 31, 2004, compared with $6.4 million, or $0.61 per basic share, in 2003. On a fully diluted basis, earnings per share were $0.73 for 2004 compared to $0.61 per share in 2003.

2004 Operating Results

Consolidated operating revenues for the twelve months ended December 31, 2004 rose to $71.0 million, up 10.7% over 2003 revenues of $64.1 million. The increase in revenues was primarily due to base rate increases implemented during 2004, customer growth in the Company's Delaware service territories and meter installations through a meter services venture. In 2004, operating expenses increased by $5.3 million, up 10.0%, mostly due to increased payroll and employee benefit costs, corporate governance expenses and meter installation costs.

Company Pays Quarterly Dividend

Middlesex Water paid a quarterly dividend of $0.1675 per share on the Common Stock on March 1, 2005, to stockholders of record as of February 15, 2005. The Company has paid cash dividends in varying amounts continually since 1912 and the dividend has been increased in each year since 1973. Middlesex Water has a Dividend Reinvestment Plan under which dividends and optional cash payments can be used to purchase additional shares of Common Stock.

About Middlesex Water Company

Middlesex Water Company, organized in 1897, is a water utility serving customers in central and southern New Jersey and in the State of Delaware. The Company and its New Jersey subsidiaries -- Pinelands Water Company, Pinelands Wastewater Company and Bayview Water Company -- are subject to the regulations of the Board of Public Utilities of the State of New Jersey. Middlesex Water Company operates the water and wastewater utilities for the City of Perth Amboy through its subsidiary, Utility Service Affiliates (Perth Amboy) Inc. Middlesex Water also provides contract operations services and a service line maintenance program through its non-regulated subsidiary, Utility Service Affiliates, Inc. The Company's regulated Delaware subsidiaries, Tidewater Utilities, Inc., together with Southern Shores Water Company and the newly created Tidewater Environmental Services Inc., formed in late December 2004, are subject to the regulations of the Public Service Commission in Delaware. These companies are also subject to various Federal and State regulatory agencies concerning water quality standards. White Marsh Environmental Systems, Inc. operates small wastewater systems under contract on a non-regulated basis in Delaware.

For additional information regarding Middlesex Water Company, visit the Company's web site at or call (732) 634-1500.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995:

Certain matters discussed in this press release are "forward-looking statements" regarding the Company's results of operations and financial position. Such statements address future plans, objectives, expectations and events concerning various matters such as capital expenditures, earnings, litigation, growth potential, rates, regulatory matters, liquidity, capital resources and accounting matters. Actual results in each case could differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

                    MIDDLESEX WATER COMPANY

                                             Years Ended December 31,
                                            2004                2003
                                        ------------        ------------

Operating Revenues                      $ 70,991,146        $ 64,111,214
                                        ------------        ------------

Operating Expenses:
   Operations                             36,519,355          32,666,099
   Maintenance                             3,464,036           3,529,113
   Depreciation                            5,846,191           5,362,727
   Other Taxes                             8,228,354           7,815,918
   Income Taxes                            3,814,418           3,237,218
                                        ------------        ------------

      Total Operating Expenses            57,872,354          52,611,075
                                        ------------        ------------

      Operating Income                    13,118,792          11,500,139
                                        ============        ============

Other Income (Expense):
   Allowance for Funds Used During
    Construction                             606,019             315,919
   Other Income                              221,950             131,499
   Other Expense                             (32,676)            (89,931)
                                        ------------        ------------

      Total Other Income, net                795,293             357,487

Interest Charges                           5,468,576           5,227,030
                                        ------------        ------------

Net Income                                 8,445,509           6,630,596

Preferred Stock Dividend Requirements        254,786             254,786
                                        ------------        ------------

Earnings Applicable to Common Stock     $  8,190,723        $  6,375,810
                                        ============        ============

Earnings per share of Common Stock:
   Basic                                $       0.74        $       0.61
   Diluted                              $       0.73        $       0.61

Average Number of
 Common Shares Outstanding:
   Basic                                  11,079,835           10,475,295
   Diluted                                11,422,975           10,818,435

Cash Dividends Paid per Common Share    $      0.663        $       0.649

Contact Information

  • For more information, please call:
    Bernadette Sohler
    Communications Director
    (732) 634-1500