NEWARK, Del., Nov. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Artesian Resources Corporation (Nasdaq: ARTNA), a leading provider of water, wastewater and related services on the Delmarva Peninsula, today announced that net income for the third quarter of 2012 was $2.8 million, an increase of $0.6 million or 27.2% compared to the same period last year. Diluted net income per share increased to $0.33 for the third quarter of 2012 from $0.26 for the same period last year. Net revenues for the third quarter of 2012 were $19.0 million, a $1.3 million or 7.2 % increase for the same three-month period of 2011.
Operating expenses, excluding depreciation and income taxes, for the third quarter of 2012 increased by 6.9% to $10.6 million, compared to $10.0 million for the same period in 2011. The increase was primarily due to higher payroll and employee benefit costs. The ratio of operating expense, excluding depreciation and income taxes, to total revenue fell slightly to 56.0% for the three months ended September 30, 2012, compared to 56.2% for the same time period of 2011.
Through the first nine months of 2012, Artesian posted net income of $8.1 million, a $3.1 million increase over the same period of 2011. Diluted net income per common share was $0.93 through the first nine months of 2012 compared to $0.63 during the same period last year. Revenues during the first nine months of 2012 grew by 9.4% to $53.6 million while operating expense, excluding depreciation and income taxes, was flat at $29.9 million.
"We recorded strong revenue growth through the first nine months of 2012. We attribute this growth to the addition of over 1,900 customers in Delaware and Maryland and to the rate relief we were granted late last year that enabled us to recover millions of dollars invested in needed system improvements that we completed over the previous three years," said Dian Taylor, Chair, President and CEO. "In addition, last year we experienced record rainfall in the third quarter from multiple tropical storms, which impacted water consumption and contributed to depressed earnings."
"We continue to strengthen our position as the primary water and wastewater resource for developers and communities throughout the Delmarva Peninsula seeking to fill both needs simultaneously," Taylor said. "At the same time, we remain focused on providing superior service to our customers while seeking ways to improve our efficiency and performance."
Artesian increased investment in its infrastructure during the first nine months of 2012 to $14.8 million, a 37.1% increase over capital expenditures made during the same period of 2011. The investments were made to replace aging mains, enhance or improve existing treatment facilities, rehabilitate pumping equipment and fund other projects that will enable Artesian to better serve its customers. Artesian is nearing completion of the installation of a needed water main in the Cherry Hill area of Cecil County, Maryland. The new main will provide service to a W.L. Gore facility and two Cecil County public schools.
Other year-to-date highlights include:
- More than 9,200 customers, about 11.2%, have enrolled in Artesian's newly instituted free electronic billing service. Enrolled customers have secure access to their water bills as well as free online payment options.
- The company's Water Service Line Protection Plan and Sewer Service Line Protection Plan continue to be popular with 25.1% and 14.7% of eligible customers participating, respectively.
About Artesian Resources
Artesian Resources Corporation operates as the holding company of eight wholly-owned subsidiaries offering water, wastewater and related services on the Delmarva Peninsula. Artesian Water Company, the principal subsidiary, is the oldest and largest investor-owned public water utility on the Delmarva Peninsula and has been providing water service since 1905.
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SOURCE Artesian Resources Corporation