The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

July 30, 2012

Empire reports boost in revenue, earnings

Second-quarter net earnings up 16 percent from 2011

From staff reports

— Empire District Electric Co. reported net income for its second quarter of $10.7 million, or 25 cents per share, on revenue of $131.6 million.

That compares with 2011 second-quarter earnings of nearly $9.2 million, or 22 cents per share, on revenue of just under $129.1 million.

Earnings for the 12 months ending June 30 were $54.4 million, or $1.29 per share, compared with earnings of $52.5 million, or $1.26 per share, for the same period one year earlier.

Revenue for the past 12 months came to $565.8 million, compared with $566.7 million for the same period one year earlier.

Customer rate increases in Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas added an estimated $36.8 million in revenue during the most recent 12-month period, Empire said in a statement.

Weather and other factors reduced revenues by an estimated $13.9 million. The company also said that the hot weather during the summer of 2011 was more than offset by record mild weather during the winter.

The latest revenue and earnings results do not reflect the fact that on July 6, the Joplin-based utility filed a rate request with the Missouri Public Service Commission seeking an annual increase in electric customer revenues of about $30.7 million, or 7.56 percent, to recover costs associated with damage from the May 2011 tornado and other operational costs.

During its board of directors meeting last week, Empire declared a quarterly dividend of 25 cents per share on common stock, payable Sept. 15 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 1.

Customer count

EMPIRE DISTRICT reported that its systemwide total customer count on June 30 was down by 1,100 customers from the pre-tornado level.